January 24, 2012
FOUR PUBLIC SERVICE LAWYERS RECEIVE GRANTS TO HELP REPAY LAW SCHOOL
Four attorneys working in the public sector have received $4,000 grants
to help defray the cost of their student loans, the New York State Bar
Association announced today.
The State Bar’s Steven C. Krane Special Committee on Student
Loan Assistance for the Public Interest has awarded grants to: Michelle
De Mareo of the Monroe County Legal Assistance Center in Rochester;
Stacey-Ann Harris of the Church Avenue Merchants Block Association
(CAMBA) Legal Services in Staten Island; and Amy E. Lowenstein and
Jennifer A. Monthie, both of Disability Advocates, Inc. in Albany.
“With the high cost of law school loans, many students are
discouraged from choosing careers in the public sector,” said
committee co-chair C. Bruce Lawrence of Rochester (Boylan Code).
“These grants can help ease the burden of law school debt and
allow our recipients to keep doing their vital work.”
“Our grant recipients represent New York’s most
vulnerable citizens with fewer resources and lower salaries than their
colleagues in private practice,” said committee co-chair Edwina
Frances Martin of Staten Island. “We are pleased to help
four dedicated public servants repay their loans.”
This year’s recipients are:
Michelle DeMareo has worked at the Monroe County Legal Assistance
Center for nine years, first as an AmeriCorps volunteer. She represents
low-income individuals and families, many of whom are disabled and at
risk of homelessness, in eviction proceedings and administrative
hearings to preserve their rental subsidies, such as Section 8 Housing
Stacey-Ann Harris is project director of the Staten Island Office of
CAMBA Legal Services. She represents tenants in Housing Court and
Amy E. Lowenstein was the lead attorney on Joseph S. v. Hogan, a
federal lawsuit against New York State that settled in September 2011.
The settlement will result in the community integration of thousands of
New Yorkers with mental illnesses who were inappropriately discharged to
nursing homes from state psychiatric hospitals.
Jennifer Monthie provides protection and advocacy services to
individuals with developmental disabilities throughout New York State.
She concentrates her practice in civil rights, education and community
integration, with a focus on systems change litigation.
The awards were presented January 23 during the State Bar
Association’s Annual Meeting in New York City.
The 77,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest
voluntary state bar association in the nation. It was founded in