Columbia students help monitor Erie County zombie homes

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Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns and the Western New York Law Center announced a partnership with Columbia Law School to help local municipalities with limited resources track and monitor zombie home foreclosures.

Working with Columbia, local government officials can electronically submit information requests on vacant and abandoned properties. University law students will then use data from the County Clerk's Office to research and report back to municipal officials on pending foreclosures.

Columbia law students will be able to count the time spent researching for municipalities towards Columbia's mandatory 40-hour pro bono requirement.

"Zombie properties are a blighting influence throughout New York," said Columbia law professor Conrad Johnson.

"By participating in this program, students at Columbia Law School can make a positive difference while fulfilling their responsibilities to serve the public."

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