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Free advice for those who lost money

December 5, 2008 3:48:32 PM PST
Students at New York Law School are both studying and practicing securities arbitration. The Securities Arbitration Clinic at the school gives free representation to people such as Arline Jacoby, who lost thousands of dollars due to bad financial advice.

"I was hard on myself that I could have let this type of thing happen or have so much trust in someone, but it was a hard time in my life," Jacoby said.

Ms. Jacoby is 84-years-old. A broker she considered a friend had coaxed her to invest in annuities. The clinic was able to win a partial settlement.

"Based on the investment that she was sold, she would have had to live another 25 years just to break even on her investment," New York Law School Professor Howard Meyers said.

The volume of people who have come into the Securities Arbitration Clinic has increased by a whopping 50 per cent since October. It is no surprise to anyone that the spike in the number of people needing help is directly related to the downturn in the economy.

"In an economy such as this, where there are so many losses that people are experiencing, people are more alert and more aware of what's going on with their accounts and they're monitoring them much closer," student Robert Zecher said.

Students feel their work in the clinic will help in their careers.

"A lot of being a lawyer, especially a lawyer in litigation, is interacting with clients and learning how to respond to their needs, and that's something you can't learn in a classroom," student Magdalena Kadziolka said.

The clinic is thought to be good training for students studying 'any' field of the law.

More information is available:

Securities Arbitration Clinic:

http://old.nyls.edu/pages/3185.asp Professor Howard Meyers at 212.431.2892, Ext. 3.

Consumers can also learn if there are a significant number of complaints about a specific broker by visiting the website: www.finra.org.

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