Partnership Conference

Welcome to the 2016 Partnership Conference!
Justice Rising
September 14-16, 2016
The Albany Marriott
189 Wolf Road
Albany, NY 12205

Conference Overview 
Schedule At-a-Glance 
     Wednesday 
     Thursday 
     Friday 
Workshop Descriptions 
Presenter Bios 
Denison Ray Awards Reception & Dinner 
Conference Materials 
Directions & Accommodations 
FAQs




Conference Overview

NYSBA's Partnership Conference is the premier civil legal services educational and networking conference in New York State.  The Partnership Conference is attended by leaders of civil legal service organizations and private law firms from across New York State. 

Individuals and groups from all corners of the state travel to Albany, NY every other year to attend the conference, earn continuing legal education credits, and attend the Denison Ray Civil Awards dinner to honor attorneys’, directors’, and nonprofits’ extraordinary leadership and commitment to access to justice.  This year’s Partnership Conference has a projected attendance of over 500 people.

The theme for the 2016 Partnership Conference is Justice Rising and will be held from September 14th through September 16th at the Albany Marriott. The conference will provide over thirty workshops, covering a diverse range of subjects, including program innovation and management, technology, and substantive legal topics (immigration, foreclosure, domestic violence, government benefits, and housing, among others). 





Schedule at a GlanCE

WEDNESDAY (9/14/2016)


Wednesday Affinity Groups
Health Task Force Meeting from 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
NYS Tech Meeting from 3:00 PM - 5:30 PM
New York Immigration Coalition Meeting from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Law Help Consortium Meeting from 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
DAP Task Force Meeting from 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
DV Task Force Meeting from 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
NYS Legal Services Coalition Meeting from 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Housing Task Force Meeting from 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Joint Meeting for Legal Services from 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Diversity Coalition Meeting from 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Joint Meeting of CoLA and PCAJ from 10:00 AM - 1:30 PM
PBCN Meeting from 1:30 PM - 5:00 PM
LGBTQ Affinity Group Meeting from 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Welfare Task Force Meeting from 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM


THURSDAY (9/15/2016)


Thursday Breakfast    7:30 AM - 8:30 AM
Continental Breakfast

Opening Plenary   8:45 AM - 9:45 AM

Thursday Early Morning Conference Workshops

DAP Workshop #1  10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
DAP - Exploring Limitations in Attention and Concentration in a Work Setting: the Effect on Disability Claims. 1.5 areas of professional practice MCLE Credits. Note: DAP Workshops #1, #2, #3, #4 are designed a a progression from an introduction of the substantive law concept to a deeper understanding.

Nursing Homes: From Admission To Discharge   10:00 AM - 11:15 AM

Health - This session will provide an overview of the nursing home admissions process, Medicaid managed care enrollment policies for nursing home residents, public benefits budgeting methodologies for people in nursing homes, nursing home quality of care and resident's rights, and nursing home discharge planning in New York State. 1.5 areas of professional practice MCLE Credits.

Representing Persons Accused of Public Benefits Fraud: Handling SNAP IPVs and other Fraud Charges  10:00 AM - 11:15 AM
Benefits - Intentional Program Violations with a Focus on SNAP. 1.5 areas of professional practice MCLE Credits.
 
Cultural Competency Session  10:00 AM - 11:15 AM
Pro Bono - Cultural Competency Session. 1.5 skills MCLE Credits.

Legal Aid Leaders for Tomorrow   10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Learning Lab - Legal Aid Leaders for Tomorrow.

Thursday Late Morning Conference Workshops
 
When Criminal Convictions Affect Civil Legal Needs   11:45 AM - 1:30 PM

Program Innovation/Management - When Criminal Convictions affect  Legal Needs: Utilizing reentry tools and strategies to address  employment, housing and other "collateral" consequences. 1 skill MCLE credit; 1 areas of professional practice MCLE credit. 

Healthcare Access for Undocumented Immigrant New Yorkers   11:45 AM - 1:30 PM
Healthcare: Healthcare Access for Undocumented Immigrant New Yorkers - The World of PRUCOL. 2 areas of professional practice MCLE credits. 

Building Community Collaborations To Support Low Wage Worker   11:45 AM - 1:30 PM
Wage/Employment Issues - Advocating for low-wage workers in collaboration with community based organizing groups through  community education, litigation, policy advocacy and community development strategies. 1 skill MCLE credit; 1 areas of professional practice MCLE credit.

A New Vocabulary for a New Paradigm   11:45 AM - 1:30 PM
Diversity Inclusion & Racial Justice - A New Vocabulary for a New Paradigm. 2 skills MCLE Credits.

Strategies for Preserving Affordable Housing   12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Housing - Strategies for Preserving Affordable Housing - discussions on fair housing and sources of income discrimination, inclusionary  zoning, challenging landlord harassment of rent regulated tenants and the perspective of homeowners and affordability. 1.5 areas of professional practice MCLE Credits.

Thursday Lunch 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Thursday Early Afternoon Workshops
 
Practical Tips for Limited Scope Pro Bono Projects   3:00 PM - 4:15 PM

Pro Bono - Don't Call it Unbundled! Practical Tips for Limited Scope Pro Bono Projects. 1.5 skills MCLE Credits.

Fair Hearings   3:00 PM - 4:15 PM
Benefits - Fair Hearings - A Focus on Skills, Issue Identification, Due Process and Procedure. 1.5 skills MCLE Credits.

Foundations of Matrimonial Practice   3:00 PM - 4:15 PM
Domestic Violence/Family- Foundations of Matrimonial Practice: Pendente Lite Motions, Discovery and Spousal Support. This panel will address the essentials one needs to understand the beginning of a matrimonial matter. 1.5 areas of professional practice MCLE Credits.

Accessing Behavioral Health Services   3:00 PM - 4:15 PM
Health - Accessing Behavioral Health Services: Using Parity Laws & Understanding the New Medicaid HARPS. 1.5 areas of professional practice MCLE Credits.

DAP Workshop #2   3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
DAP - Developing Medical Evidence for Limitations in  the Ability to Attend and Focus on Tasks. 1.5 areas of professional practice MCLE Credits.

Thursday Late Afternoon Conference Workshops  

Serving Veteran Clients   4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Learning Lab - Serving Veteran Clients. 

How To Preserve Your Right To Appeal   4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Appeal - How to Preserve your Right to Appeal/Innovative Strategies to Provide Pro Bono Appellate Representation to Traditionally Under served Populations. 1 skills MCLE Credit; .5 areas of professional practice MCLE Credit.

National Technology Innovations in Legal Services   4:45 PM - 6:00 PM
Learning Lab - National Technology Innovations in Legal Services: A Road-map for New York State.
 
Representing Clients With Limited English Proficiency   4:45 PM - 6:00 PM
Learning Lab - Representing Clients with Limited English Proficiency (LEP): Strategies to improve language access across various systems.

Elder Abuse Prevention   4:45 PM - 6:00 PM

Elder Abuse Prevention: Recognizing and Responding When Your Elderly Client is at Risk for Exploitation. 1 skills MCLE Credit.

Thursday Evening

Denison Ray Reception  6:15 PM - 7:15 PM

Denison Ray Awards Ceremony and Dinner  7:15 PM


FRIDAY (9/16/2016)
 

Friday Breakfast   8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Continental Breakfast

Friday Early Morning Conference Workshops
 
Evidence in Family Law Matters/Clearing Evidence Hurdles   9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
DV/Family- Evidence in Family Law Matters: Clearing Evidence Hurdles. This panel will focus on training how to admit documentary, social media, digital and other evidence. 2 areas of professional practice MCLE Credits; 1 skills MCLE Credits. 

Ethical Issues in Pro Bono   9:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Pro Bono - Ethical Issues in Pro Bono. 2 Ethics MCLE Credits.

Immigration 101   9:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Immigration - Immigration 101: Immigration Law for Non-Immigration  Attorneys. 2 areas of professional practice MCLE Credits.

The LGBT Community and the Law   9:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Program Innovation/Management - The LGBT Community and the Law: A Discussion on Youth, Transgender Rights, and Legal Needs of Low-Income LGBT People. 1 skills MCLE Credit; 1 areas of professional practice MCLE Credit.  

50 Tech Tips/Technology By Advocates for Advocates   9:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Learning Lab - 50 Tech Tips/ Technology by Advocates for Advocates.

Disrupting the School To Prison Pipeline/Equal Access To Education   9:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Program Innovation/Management - Disrupting the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Representing Students in School Discipline Matters/Equal Access to Education: Navigating New York Education Law and School District Policies. 2 areas of professional practice MCLE Credits.

Friday Late Morning Conference Workshops
 
DAP Workshop #3   11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
DAP - Presenting The Case for Limitations in Attention and Concentration at a Hearing: Direct and Cross Examination Strategies. 1.5 areas of professional practice MCLE Credits.

Using the ADA to Help Clients With Disabilities Get Improved Access to Public Benefits  11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

Benefits - Using the ADA to help clients with disabilities get improved access to public benefits 1.5 areas of professional practice MCLE Credits.

Lessons From the FEGS Collapse   11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Learning Lab - Lessons from the FEGS Collapse: A Discussion of  Changes in Government Contracting and Nonprofit Risk Management.

Using Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Foreclosure Cases   11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

1 areas of professional practice MCLE Credit.

Student Loan Debt Advocacy and Litigation Strategies   11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Foreclosure & Consumer - Student Loan Debt Advocacy and Litigation Strategies for Defending Borrowers. 1 areas of professional practice MCLE Credit.

Friday Lunch 12:15 PM - 1:15 PM

Friday Afternoon Conference Workshops  

DAP Workshop #4   1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

DAP - Identifying Issues in Appeals: Analyzing the ALJ Decision for Appeals Council Review and Beyond. 1 areas of professional practice MCLE Credit; .5 skill MCLE Credit. 

Using Article 78 Proceedings To Get Results   1:30 PM - 2:45 PM
Benefits - Using Article 78 Proceedings to Get Far Reaching Results. 1 areas of professional practice MCLE Credit; .5 skills MCLE Credit.

How Bankruptcy Can Help Your Clients Deal With Debt, Etc.   1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Foreclosure & Consumer: How Bankruptcy Can Help Your Clients Deal with Debt, Student Loans, Losing Their Home and More. 1 areas of professional practice MCLE Credit; .5 skills MCLE Credit. 

Strategies for Opposing Termination of Subsidized Housing   1:30 PM - 2:45 PM

Housing - Strategies for Opposing Termination of Subsidized Housing.1.5 areas of professional practice MCLE Credits.

To Be or Not To Be: The Future of Non Attorney Advocates   1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Learning Lab - To Be or Not To Be: The Role and Future of Volunteer Non Attorney Advocates in Legal Services.

Coercive Control Dynamics in Family Offense and Custody   1:30 PM - 2:45 PM
DV/Family - Coercive Control Dynamics and their Impact on Family Offense and Custody Matters. This panel will focus on the nonphysical methods abusers use to control their victims, such as financial abuse, litigation abuse and other such forms of control. 1 areas of professional practice MCLE Credit; .5 skills MCLE Credit.  


Workshop Descriptions

DAP Workshop #1 - Exploring Limitations in Attention and Concentration in a Work Setting: the Effect on Disability Claims. 
1.5 Credits - Areas of Professional Practice
The DAP sessions are designed as a progression from introduction of the substantive law concept (limitations in attention and concentration), to better understanding of the concept from a medical expert (psychologist presentation), to identification of issues related to developing evidence in the case, as well as disability cases generally (problems gathering evidence and proving vocational issues), to putting problem solving skills into practice for these cases and disability cases generally (ALJ mock hearing). Then we move on to developing a good record in the event further appeal is necessary (Identifying issues in appeals). 

Nursing Homes: From Admission to Discharge
1.5 Credits - Areas of Professional Practice
This session will provide an overview of the nursing home admissions process, Medicaid managed care enrollment policies for nursing home residents, public benefits budgeting methodologies for people in nursing homes, nursing home quality of care and resident's rights, and nursing home discharge planning in New York State

Representing Persons Accused of Public Benefits Fraud: Handling SNAP IPVs and Other Fraud Charges
1.5 Credits - Areas of Professional Practice
SNAP and Cash Assistance Intentional Program Violation (“IPV”) charges leveled against our clients carry stiff penalties and require advocates to navigate a fairly complex procedural landscape.  This panel will provide an overview of IPVs in the SNAP program from a federal law perspective and how these cases are dealt with in New York State including information on new developments in New York State policy and practice. The panel will also touch upon fraud charges in the Cash Assistance program. 

Cultural Competency Session
1.5 Credits – Skills
Overview: Cultural competency has become increasingly important in today’s legal community. With clients from diverse backgrounds, it is essential that practitioners have a comprehensive understanding of what it means to be culturally competent, how to seek cultural competence, and what the benefits of cultural competence are. This session will introduce participants to a variety of areas in which cultural competency may be needed, explore means for becoming culturally competent, and address the benefits of such competency in both communicating with your client and presenting his/her case to the court or other advocates.

Legal Aid Leaders for Tomorrow
Learning Lab  
This workshop will consider how our new leaders are developed and supported.  Program-wide efforts to develop new leaders and leadership competencies will be highlighted.  What's working?  How do we measure success? Join us for an interactive discussion of your own practices, ideas, and examples.  By the end of the is session, participants will be able to: (1) articulate best practices for leadership development in legal aid law firms; (2) articulate the skills and competencies legal aid leaders need to move our firms forward; and (3) motivate our Boards and staff to invest in leadership development.

When Criminal Convictions affect Legal Needs: Utilizing reentry tools and strategies to address employment, housing and other "collateral" consequences
1 Credit - Areas of Professional Practice; 1 Credit - Skills
Using a case study, panelists in this workshop will train the audience on tools and strategies available to help clients who have employment, housing or other civil legal issues as a result of contact with criminal court to help them "reenter."  Given that one in three individuals has a criminal record today, it is increasingly important for civil practitioners to understand how criminal convictions affect people's lives and how to mitigate the impact for getting and keeping jobs, and keeping or accessing homes.

Healthcare Access for Undocumented Immigrant New Yorkers - The World of PRUCOL
2 Credits - Areas of Professional Practice
With a focus on uninsured and undocumented populations, this workshop will examine various public health insurance eligibility criteria for immigrant New Yorkers.  Attorneys and other staff members will learn to view immigration benefits through a lens that focuses on the client's health and medical needs, particularly Medicaid eligibility rules regarding people who are or could be considered Permanently Residing Under Color of Law ("PRUCOL"). The workshop will go into detail on a particular and underused avenue: filing humanitarian deferred action applications and also reference organizing efforts and specific campaigns seeking to expand access to healthcare for immigrant New Yorkers.  This workshop will arm attendees with tools to provide the much needed screening and assistance to their client population.

Building Community Collaborations To Support Low Wage Workers 
1 Credit - Skills; 1 Credit - Areas of Professional Practice
Advocating for Low-Wage Workers in Collaboration with Community Based Organizing Groups through community education, litigation, policy advocacy and community development strategies– An Upstate and NY Metro Area Dialogue.  Panelists will include lawyers and community organizers from Upstate NY and the NY Metro area offering lessons learned from collaborative efforts.

A New Vocabulary for a New Paradigm
2 Credits - Skills
The concepts and work to achieve equity, racial justice, diversity, language access, immigration reform and inclusion are distant and yet connected.  This workshop will give texture to the language we need to create a new paradigm for meaningful impact, diversity and inclusion.  Can we build a language and practice of anti-oppression and inclusion that connects our various struggles while valuing the unique characteristics of each?  What are the linkages across diversity, inclusion and equity?  Is the language we use really that important?  How do they inform and influence one another?  What does this mean for our work and our organizations?  This session will explore how advocates for a broad range of civil rights and human rights can develop deeper common cause and common language.  This workshop will help managers build and improve staff diversity.  There will be particular focus on serving LGBT clients and working with LGBT colleagues.

Strategies for Preserving Affordable Housing
1.5 Credits - Areas of Professional Practice
The need for affordable housing remains an ongoing challenge throughout New York State.  It has been proven that clean, safe, and suitable affordable housing can lead to more opportunities - better education, employment, and even stimulate the economy. This topic area will include discussions on fair housing and source of income discrimination, inclusionary zoning, challenging landlord harassment of rent regulated tenants (included but not limited to frivolous evictions, illegal rent increases, use of “tenant relocation specialists”, and dangerous construction work in occupied buildings), and the perspective of homeowners and affordability.  This discussion will be helpful to practitioners that might encounter some of these issues when advocating for their clients and/or advocating to promote affordable housing in their area

Don't Call it Unbundled! Practical Tips for Limited Scope Pro Bono Projects
1.5 Credits - Skills
Numerous civil legal services organizations, the private bar, corporate legal departments, law schools and the courts themselves have all turned to “limited scope” programs in an effort to expand access to justice. One-day clinics, assistance with completion of legal forms, advice on applying for benefits, and help lines are just some of the models employing volunteer attorneys and law students to provide services on a limited scope basis. This program will provide practical strategies, identify essential components and discuss ethical considerations for partners looking to take advantage of this potentially powerful method to increase capacity and client assistance.
This program will explore what works and what doesn’t when undertaking limited scope representation.  It will also provide a road map to developing a successful limited scope project. Attorneys in public interest and legal services practices who want to learn how to help more clients with limited funding would benefit from this program.  Attorneys involved in law firm or corporate legal department pro bono coordination also will find this program useful

Fair Hearings: A Focus on Skills, Issue Identification, Due Process and Procedure
1.5 Credits - Skills
Fair Hearing Advocacy in 2016:  Due Process, Clients Rights, and Best Practices 
This workshop will take advocates through the A-Z of Fair Hearing advocacy, focusing on client’s rights.  We will cover procedure and best practices for pre-hearing issues, including conciliation and advocacy leading up the hearing; day-of-hearing issues including substantive rights and how to best prepare to challenge the LDSS; and post-hearing issues, including requests to re-open and Article 78 basics.  

Foundations of Matrimonial Practice: Pendente Lite Motions, Discovery and Spousal Support
1.5 Credits - Areas of Professional Practice
This panel will address the essentials one needs to understand the beginning of a matrimonial matter.  We will discuss pendent lite applications, which will include an analyze of both temporary maintenance and final maintenance under the new guidelines. We will also discuss the Statement of Net Worth and ways to obtain essential discovery to assist your case.

Accessing Behavioral Health Services: Using Parity Laws & Understanding the New Medicaid HARPS
1.5 Credits - Areas of Professional Practice
This session will cover two emerging mechanisms for accessing more comprehensive behavioral health (mental health and substance use disorder) treatment in commercial and public insurance.  The first part of the training will cover the basics of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (“federal parity law”) and its application in private insurance, Medicaid and CHP.  Part two of the training will introduce participants to Medicaid’s new Health and Recovery Plans which are intended to better coordinate behavioral health and medical services and provide an opportunity for access to behavioral health services and supports that have not been previously available in Medicaid. 

DAP Workshop #2 - Developing Medical Evidence for Limitations in the Ability to Attend and Focus on Tasks
1.5 Credits - Areas of Professional Practice 
On appeal, the claimant must demonstrate that s/he is unable to work, so vocational evidence is crucial to the claim. In a panel format, this session will present a discussion of sources of evidence to corroborate attention and concentration limitations, including psychological testing, medical questionnaires, and vocational evidence from agencies such as ACCESS-VR. Strategies will be suggested for creative alternatives, such as testimony and evidence from non-medical sources.

Serving Veteran Clients
Learning Lab
Veterans are a unique population within the world of clients who access free legal services.  This so because they often have veteran-specific legal needs, including legal disputes with offices within the Department of Veterans Affairs, and because they are often eligible for veteran-specific benefits, including earned entitlements and assistance from public and private aid organizations.  Veterans' military backgrounds and, often, their related mental health issues, further distinguish them from other clients. For legal services attorneys to effectively serve veteran clients, they must be able to (1) understand the clients' cultural backgrounds and contexts; (2) anticipate the clients' potential legal issues; and (3) assist the clients in accessing available resources.  In this workshop, attorneys who are experienced in working with veteran clients will lead a dialogue with workers in other veteran service organizations for the purpose of providing information and tools that will enable all legal services offices and attorneys to better serve their veteran clients in those three areas.

Protecting Your Client's Appellate Rights in Family Court and Other Appeals / Innovative Strategies to Provide Pro Bono Appellate Representation to Traditionally Underserved Populations
1 Credit - Skills; .5 Credit - Areas of Professional Practice
Outside of New York City, legal services and pro bono organizations may not have the resources to offer extensive pro bono appellate representation.  As a result, many litigants with meritorious issues, particularly in the crucial Civil Gideon areas, precede pro se or abandon their appeals because they do not qualify for assigned counsel and cannot afford to retain private appellate counsel. This workshop will discuss innovate strategies to provide appellate representation to this traditionally under-served population through the use of volunteer attorneys.  The workshop will explore common appellate issues which arise in proceedings involving the essentials of life and suggest techniques to preserve and pursue appeals in those fundamental areas. The workshop will also explore innovative strategies through which the legal aid community can leverage the availability of pro bono volunteers to provide appellate representation in these essential subject areas.

National Technology Innovations in Legal Services: A Roadmap for New York State
Learning Lab
This workshop will feature a showcase of innovative law related technology projects from around the country.  Panelists will present an overview of some of the national trends in legal aid technology and engage national experts, allowing for detailed exploration and understanding of certain technology projects.  Panelists will also discuss technology tools, review opportunities for collaboration and present strategies for implementation in New York.  

Representing Clients with Limited English Proficiency (LEP): Strategies to improve language access across various systems
Learning Lab
We have created a best practices model in the city of Buffalo that can be replicated in other programs.  The city of Buffalo has created an Office for New Americans with this intent of affirming the city's commitment to the concerns of non-citizens in our city by increasing access to city services and programs.  Because virtually every county in New York has seen an increase in the number of new Americans, most civil legal aid communities can learn from our experience to create change through both traditional legal methods and non-traditional advocacy strategies.  This workshop will provide an overview of the highly successful coordinated program that was created to deliver civil legal services to meet the needs of new Americans in Western New York.  Partners in this collaboration will discuss the successes we have had so far in our community including the Department of Social Services, the Buffalo Police Department, the Department of Motor Vehicles, city and county governments and medical providers.  This workshop will also highlight collaborations between stakeholders in our community.

Elder Abuse Prevention: Recognizing and Responding When Your Elderly Client is at Risk for Exploitation
1 Credit - Skills
This workshop of three panelists will educate participants on the signs, symptoms and red flags of elder abuse, with an emphasis on how these may manifest among legal services clients.  Workshop attendees will learn practical tips and tools for taking a trauma-informed approach to working with potential elder abuse victims in a legal context, in order to maximize effective assistance.  Participants will receive comprehensive statewide resource guides for assisting clients who are in abusive situations.

Evidence in Family Law Matters: Clearing Evidentiary Hurdles
2 Credits - Areas of Professional Practice; 1 Credit - Skills
This three hour panel will be focused on training participants in how to admit documentary, social media, digital and other evidence.  Participants will have an opportunity to observe a sample mock voir dire of admitting certain pieces of evidence.  The session will be broken into 2 parts the first half will be training on the skills and the second half will be the mock trial on evidence.  

Immigration 101: Immigration Law for Non-Immigration Attorneys
2 Credits - Areas of Professional Practice
Immigration 101: Immigration Law for Non-Immigration Lawyers – Our client’s immigration status has an impact on almost every area of their lives (employment, access to benefits, housing options, etc). Understanding a client’s immigration status can often help non-immigration lawyers better serve their immigrant clients and assist them in accessing essential benefits.  This training will look at the different immigration statuses, what documentation corresponds to which status, as well as a broad overview of our nation’s immigration policies.  We will also explore the opportunities and obstacles facing undocumented clients.  

The LGBT Community and the Law: A Discussion on Youth, Transgender Rights, and Legal Needs of Low-Income LGBT People
1 Credit - Areas of Professional Practice; 1 Credit - Skills
This workshop will focus on the current state of the law in New York and Federally as it applies to the LGBT community, and best practices for practitioners representing this population.  Particular attention will focus on LGBT youth in schools, including a discussion of DASA, bullying, Title IX protections for LGBTQ and Female Students, and protections for gender nonconforming students.  Presenters will also discuss the new Human Rights Law protections for transgender individuals in New York State as recently promulgated by Governor Cuomo.  Further, the workshop will delve into the many unique challenges low-income LGBT individuals face in New York.

50 Tech Tips/ Technology by Advocates for Advocates
Learning Lab
Members of the legal aid technology community will present 50 new technology tips, tools and tricks to help further inspire legal services attorneys to use technology in their day to day work.  This past-paced workshop will provide tips about free and low-cost tools, apps and software covering a broad range of topics that everyone can use.  Panelists will use their experience in the legal aid technology community as well as their interest in current consumer technology trends to demonstrate how approachable and exciting new technology trends can be. / This workshop will focus on various technology tools advocates have successfully implemented for their organizations.  It will focus on lower cost easily executable technology initiatives that allowed the advocates to better serve their clients by making their jobs easier or more efficient.  Panelists will share what issue they were having, what their plan was to address it and give feedback on their results.  Where applicable, they will also speak about how they collaborated to implement the tools, what obstacles they had to overcome and what they have learned.  Topics may include mobile device usage, videoconferencing for hearings and collaboration and creative document management solutions.

Disrupting the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Representing Students in School Discipline Matters/Equal Access to Education: Navigating New York Education Law and School District Policies
2 Credits - Areas of Professional Practice
This workshop will focus on the substantive and procedural due process protections for students facing both short-term and long-term suspensions.  Specific emphasis will be placed on representation at suspension hearings for all students, including those with disabilities.  In addition, the workshop will address the process of appealing adverse decisions to school boards, the commissioner of education and in the courts.  The alternative education to which suspended students are entitled, and the role of school resource officers will be discussed.  The long term benefits and increased opportunities that a High School education can provide minority and low income students is unparalleled.  Obtaining an appropriate education for students with disabilities, English Language Learners and students returning to their communities after incarceration is a challenge fraught with obstacles.  The biggest obstacle is often unfamiliarity with New York's Education Law and offer a road map for understanding how local school district policies and practices often serve to exclude those students most in need of an education.  Panelists will offer advocacy-based strategies to remove the obstacles and obtain equal access to education.

DAP Workshop #3 - Presenting the Case for Limitations in Attention and Concentration at a Hearing: Direct and Cross Examination Strategies
1.5 Credits - Areas of Professional Practice 
This session will address how to conduct an effective hearing before an SSA Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), focusing on issues related to limitations in attention and concentration in a work setting. It will also introduce proactive strategies to deal with issues that may arise at this type of hearing. And it will cover ways in which advocates can better elicit helpful testimony on direct examination, and sharpen skills necessary for cross examining SSA’s vocational expert. Sample – or “mock” – direct and cross examinations will be conducted. 

Using the ADA to Help Clients With Disabilities Get Improved Access to Public Benefits
1.5 Credits - Areas of Professional Practice
The ADA is a powerful tool advocates can use to assist clients obtain and maintain access to public benefits.  This panel will provide an overview of the ADA and other anti-disability discrimination laws advocates can use with a focus on the use of “reasonable accommodations” and feature an overview of settlements reached in recent impact litigation using the ADA and the remedies available to individual clients. 

Lessons from the FEGS Collapse: A Discussion of Changes in Government Contracting and Nonprofit Risk Management
Learning Lab
In March 2015, the Federation Employment and Guidance Service (FEGS) closed abruptly.  FEGS had been in business for over 80 years, had more than 1900 employees, an operating budget of over $250M and provided a wide range of social services in NYC, including mental health, disabilities, housing, homecare and employment services to more than 120,000 people.  It was the nonprofit equivalent of the Lehman Brothers closure.  In response, the Human Services Council (HSC) convened a blue ribbon Commission to consider what systemic issues in the nonprofit human services sector may have contributed to FEGS' downfall and to develop recommendations for improvements.  In March 2016, the HSC Commission released a comprehensive report, including a number of recommendations for improvements in government contracting and philanthropic grant making as well as recommendations for how nonprofits can better manage their risks.  Shortly thereafter, Oliver Wyman and Sea Change Capital Partners release a report that analyzed financial risk in the New York nonprofit social services sector and offered "concrete steps that organizations can take to manage risk better."  This workshop will present an overview of these two reports and discuss their application to New York's nonprofit civil legal aid providers.  Panelists will discuss strategies for improving the dynamic between funders and nonprofit service providers as well as steps that nonprofit managers and boards should take to mitigate the financial risks their organizations face.

Using Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Foreclosure Cases 
1 Credit- Areas of Professional Practice
As lenders continue to become less likely to extend loan modifications to homeowners who could sustain them, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy has become a useful and alternative tool to the NY State Supreme court system where judges are reluctant to enforce rules against lenders.  The loss mitigation process before a federal bankruptcy judge is more streamlines, and does not afford the lender stalling tactics that they often enjoy in state court.  The loan modification success rate in Chapter 13 bankruptcies far exceeds the state court system.  This workshop will introduce civil legal service providers and pro bono attorneys to the tools of using Chapter 13 bankruptcy in foreclosure cases.  This would open up a new practice area for legal service providers to better serve homeowners in their area by adding a tool to their legal remedies, allowing them to save more homes and communities.

Student Loan Debt Advocacy and Litigation Strategies for Defending Borrowers
1 Credit - Areas of Professional Practice; .5 Credits - Skills
Student debt is the largest type of unsecured consumer debt in the U.S. with federal debt alone topping $1 trillion.   For low-income borrowers, the dream of earning a degree and pursuing a better life can place students deep into debt.  Worse, the combination of predatory schools, ineffective loan servicing, and extraordinary enforcement powers makes student debt particularly toxic -- borrowers experience wage garnishment, SSA and tax offsets, and inability to continue their formal education. This session will cover the basics of assessing a student debt case to determine if a client’s concern stems from private student loans, federal student loans, school-based debt, or a combination.  We will discuss the different rights and remedies that apply in those contexts including: (1) defenses to private student loan litigation; (2) federal student loan discharges and income-driven repayment plans; and (3) bankruptcy as a solution for school-based debt.  

DAP Workshop #4 - Identifying Issues in Appeals: Analyzing the ALJ Decision for Appeals Council Review and Beyond
1 Credit - Areas of Professional Practice; .5 Credit - Skills
This panel session will focus on how to review an unfavorable ALJ decision for appeal where the ALJ has denied the claim without properly taking into account the claimant’s limitations in ability to concentrate and attend, or similar vocational considerations. It will cover the difficult but crucial distinctions between the appellate standards of review: error of law and lack of substantial evidence. It will explore how best to structure claims on appeal given the standards of review, and current case law governing vocational issues, including ability to concentrate and attend. This session will be important to all advocates, including those who do not do appellate work. It is critical for advocates to understand how evidence presented at the administrative level can affect appeals.

Using Article 78 Proceedings to Get Far Reaching Results
1 Credit - Areas of Professional Practice; .5 Credit - Skills
This training will provide an overview of Article 78 practice and procedure in the public benefits context. It will cover post-hearing options for getting compliance with or appealing administrative fair hearing decisions. It will address strategic considerations in bringing an Article 78 proceeding, such as choice of respondents, crafting claims, whether to bring as a combined declaratory judgment or class action, and defeating mootness and exhaustion defenses. The training will also provide examples of Article 78 proceedings that obtained relief for the individual client(s) and also resulted in agency policy changes benefitting recipients/applicants generally.  

How Bankruptcy Can Help Your Clients Deal with Debt, Student Loans, Losing Their Home and More
1 Credit - Areas of Professional Practice; .5 Credit - Skills
This session will cover using bankruptcy as a tool to help clients who are drowning in consumer debt (medical, credit card, utility, etc.), can’t pay back student loans because of an “undue hardship,” whose wages are being garnished especially due to default judgments where they were not served, or who are in jeopardy of losing their home because of a land contract or foreclosure.  You will leave the session knowing the differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, how to issue spot when bankruptcy may be a good option for your client and an introductory understanding of what a bankruptcy case involves.  

Strategies for Opposing Termination of Subsidized Housing
1.5 Credits - Areas of Professional Practice
Subsidized housing represents a valuable and ongoing opportunity for low-income tenants to secure and maintain safe, affordable housing.  Numerous circumstances and allegations may result in proceedings seeking to terminate this benefit.  The training will review the requirements with which landlords or agencies must comply in order to terminate a housing subsidy, and will present law and strategies which may assist in preventing terminations.

To Be or Not To Be: The Role and Future of Volunteer Non Attorney Advocates in Legal Services
Learning Lab 
This workshop will create a space for legal services attorneys and staff to discuss, debate and strategize regarding the use of non-attorney volunteer advocates in the provision of legal services.  The panel will have individuals representing differing points of view regarding whether the direction towards incorporating non attorney volunteer advocates is positive for our clients and our community, and will provide an opportunity for audience discussion and debate.  This workshop will create a space for the legal services community to be at the front end of the discussion of new steps to involve non attorney volunteers as advocates.

Coercive Control Dynamics and their Impact on Family Offense and Custody Matters
1 Credit - Areas of Professional Practice; .5 Credit - Skills
This panel will focus on the non-physical methods abusers use to control their victims, such as financial abuse, litigation abuse and other such forms of control. The panel will discuss how to present these issues to a court and ways to overcome hurdles to presenting such evidence to a court.


Presenter Bios


DAP Workshop #1 - Exploring Limitations in Attention and Concentration in a Work Setting: the Effect on Disability Claims. 
1.5 Credits - Areas of Professional Practice
Panel Biographies: 
Kevin Liebkemann
is a 1991 Tulane Law School graduate who has represented adult and child Social Security Disability claimants for over 20 years.  Following 10 years in private practice Kevin has worked at not-for-profit groups providing free representation to people with disabilities.  He is currently Chief Counsel for Disability Rights at Legal Services of New Jersey.  He handles Social Security cases from the ALJ level through U.S. District Court and supervises attorneys handling hearings and appeals.  Kevin is also in charge of the Veterans Legal Assistance Project and the Disability Rights Initiative at Legal Services of New Jersey. Kevin regularly publishes articles on disability topics and conducts continuing legal education trainings on disability-related topics, and participates in groups advocating for beneficial changes in local and national disability policies. 
Catherine M. (Kate) Callery
is the Disability Advocacy Project (DAP) Coordinator at the Empire Justice Center in Rochester, New York, focusing on Social Security and Supplemental Security Income disability issues. She is a graduate of Smith College and the University of Connecticut Law School. She is admitted to practice in Connecticut (1979) and New York (1983). Kate serves as coordinator of the Western New York DAP Task Force and has presented trainings for the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR), the New York State Bar Association, the Monroe County Bar Association and various DAP conferences.  She has represented numerous clients before the Social Security Administration and in federal court.

Nursing Homes: From Admission to Discharge
1.5 Credits - Areas of Professional Practice
Panel Biographies:
Marie T. Vaz, Esq., New York Legal Assistance Group- Marie has been a Staff Attorney in the Evelyn Frank Legal Resources Program at NYLAG since 2012.  Marie specializes in Medicaid and Medicare eligibility and services, emphasizing the needs of low-income people seeking long-term care services.   She graduated from Fordham Law School in 2011 as a Stein Scholar in Public Interest Law and Ethics.   Marie interned during and after law school in Medical-Legal Partnership programs at Manhattan Legal Services and Legal Services NYC-Bronx and for Georgia Legal Services.  She also represented and coordinated services for children with severe medical conditions and/or developmental disabilities at SKIP of New York.  Marie graduated in 2004 from Emory University with a B.A. in Sociology.   
Daniel A. Ross, Esq., MFY Legal Services, Inc.- Dan is a staff attorney at MFY Legal Services, Inc., where he represents residents of nursing homes and adult homes in individual and class-action matters related to health care, housing, and public benefits. Previously, Dan was a staff attorney at the Vera Institute of Justice’s Guardianship Project, which works to allow incapacitated adults to age in place or return to their homes from nursing homes and hospitals.  As a Disability Rights Fellow at Brown, Goldstein & Levy, he represented people who had been denied educational and employment opportunities due to the use of inaccessible technology in schools, offices, and other places of public accommodation. Dan graduated from Vassar College (A.B.) and the University of Virginia (M.A., history, J.D.).

Representing Persons Accused of Public Benefits Fraud: Handling SNAP IPVs and Other Fraud Charges
1.5 Credits - Areas of Professional Practice
Panel Biographies:
Belkys Garcia has been a staff attorney with The Legal Aid Society since 2007 helping low-income New Yorkers to access various government benefits. She is currently in the Civil Practice Law Reform Unit focusing on health and benefits after spending five years in the Health Law Unit where she represented clients and engaged in policy and legislative reform on issues regarding access to healthcare. She currently works on Cruz v. Zucker, a class action challenging a Medicaid regulation which denies payment for medically necessary health care for transgender Medicaid recipients.  Previously in The Legal Aid Society’s Bronx Neighborhood Office she represented clients on appeals of denials of public assistance, food stamps and disability benefits in administrative hearings, New York State Courts and U.S. District Court. Belkys is a graduate of CUNY School of Law and The New School.
David A. Super is a Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center. Previously, he was general counsel to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and worked for several legal services programs, including Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, where he specialized in food stamp and Medicaid cases.  He has done extensive legislative and administrative work on SNAP and has trained legal services advocates on SNAP, Medicaid, and litigation strategy in over thirty states.  He is currently completing a casebook on Public Welfare Law.

Cultural Competency Session
1.5 Credits – Skills
Panel Biographies:
Kelly Louise Anderson is the Immigration Staff Attorney at Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York. She graduated from the University of Washington School of Social Work in 2011, where she was a Facilitator in the Intergroup Dialogue (IGD) program, a course designed to open conversation about the intersections of race, class, and gender and how the intersections arise in the context of helping professions. She then graduated from the Seattle University School of Law in 2015, where she focused her field work and writing on immigration and naturalization law, criminal defense, and civil rights.
At PLS, she represents noncitizens who are completing their criminal sentences in New York State custody and who are simultaneously facing deportation in immigration court. Her work involves traversing language and cultural barriers that highly impact the legal representation of incarcerated individuals. 
Samantha Howell is the Director of Pro Bono & Outreach of Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York (PLS). She is a graduate of Whitman College and Albany Law School. She previously worked as the Pro Bono Coordinator at the Albany County Bar Association and, while in law school, helped to redevelop the school’s Pro Bono Program. Ms. Howell has presented at three Equal Justice Conferences and conducted numerous webinars and trainings on prisoners’ rights and the development and management of pro bono programs.
Ms. Howell serves on the New York Civil Liberties Union – Capital Region Chapter Board of Directors and legal committee and is a member of the National Lawyers Guild, and president of the Albany chapter. Ms. Howell is also a member of the New York State Bar Association’s President’s Committee on Access to Justice, the National Association of Pro Bono Professionals, the NYS Pro Bono Coordinators Network, the Capital Region Pro Bono Committee, the American Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association.
Ms. Howell was the 2014 recipient of Albany Law School’s Pro Bono Service Award for a Supervising Attorney.

When Criminal Convictions affect Legal Needs: Utilizing reentry tools and strategies to address employment, housing and other "collateral" consequences

1 Credit - Areas of Professional Practice; 1 Credit - Skills
Panel Biographies:
Bill Bryan joined the BDS Civil Justice Practice in July 2014 after 5 years as a staff attorney at the Urban Justice Center where he focused on direct representation and affirmative litigation of public benefits and public housing issues. He is a 2009 Graduate of UC Berkeley School of Law.
Originally from Southern California Bill attended UC Santa Cruz where he majored in Philosophy and Legal Studies. He spent 3 years working as a game tester and producer in the video game industry. Desiring a more meaningful career path Bill attended law school where he gained experience with both criminal defense and civil legal services organizations, highlighted by a summer internship at the Federal Defender’s Capital Habeas Unit in Philadelphia and two years of work with the East Bay Community Law Center where he focused on criminal record expungement and direct civil legal services.
For the past 5 years Bill has fought for systemic change and the due process rights of his clients in various administrative fora as well as state and federal court. Having been interested in the intersection of the criminal and civil justice systems since law school, Bill jumped at the opportunity to join BDS’ Civil Justice Practice and is truly grateful to be able to help some of New York’s most vulnerable residents with a range of civil legal issues while also being part of a broader multidisciplinary effort to push back against the stigma caused by contact with the criminal justice system. Every new client is a both a reminder of the shocking extent to which, even while a criminal case is pending, the civil legal world does not care about “innocent until proven guilty”, and an important opportunity to help individual clients deal with collateral consequences at the point of origin rather than addressing them only after their full impact is realized.
Paul Curtin has worked at the Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo since 2002. During that time he has been staff attorney in the Civil, Felony Appeals, and Attorneys for Children Units. He is currently Joint Chief Attorney in the Civil Unit, concentrating on matters related to Reentry, Housing, Bankruptcy, financial well-being, Foreclosure defense, and Veterans and Military Families issues. He oversees the Reentry Practicum as an adjunct professor at the University of Buffalo Law School. Together with other members of the Civil Unit, he has established a Reentry initiative at Legal Aid that cooperates with Federal and State Probation, Federal Reentry Court of the Western District of New York and a range of community organizations and agencies to assist individuals facing barriers related to incarceration or criminal records. The Reentry initiative recently expanded to provide supportive services for a regional Restorative Justice project. 
Graham Dumas is a Supervising Attorney in the Civil Action Practice at The Bronx Defenders.  After joining BXD in 2013, Graham has defended clients against a broad range of consequences arising out of an arrest, including evictions, termination of crucial benefits, suspension of employment, forfeiture of property and police misconduct.  In addition to those duties, Graham supervises two attorneys and four non-attorney advocates within the Civil Action Practice.   He also provides technical assistance to defense attorneys and civil practitioners alike in identifying the potential civil fallout from entry into the criminal justice system and developing approaches to safeguard clients and promote reintegration and reentry into the community.  Prior to joining The Bronx Defenders, Graham was a Staff Attorney for the Housing Project at the New York Legal Assistance Group, where he represented tenants in eviction proceedings in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens.  Graham received his J.D. from New York University School of Law, and his B.A. in Russian Studies from Amherst College. 
Judith Whiting is General Counsel at the Community Service Society of New York (CSS), performing a full range of legal services for this 174-year-old nonprofit organization.  She also directs the work of CSS’s Legal Department, helping to develop litigation, advocacy and legislative approaches to ending discrimination against people with criminal conviction histories, with a particular emphasis on employment and housing.  In addition, she supervises the Legal Department’s Next Door Project, whose staff and specially-trained older adult volunteers help hundreds of New Yorkers each year to obtain, understand and fix mistakes in their official criminal conviction histories.  Judy represents individual clients in employment, licensing, criminal records-correction and housing matters, and – together with the firm Outten and Golden and a host of well-respected advocacy organizations – represents plaintiffs in a nationwide Title VII class action against the U.S. Census Bureau challenging discriminatory hiring practices.  She and staff of the Legal Department convene the New York Reentry Roundtable, a regular convening of individuals with conviction histories, their friends, family and allies. She also co-directs the Coalition of Reentry Advocates, a statewide organization that works to change laws and policies preventing individuals with criminal conviction histories from full participation in society at large.  She is a frequent speaker on reentry, employment and criminal justice matters.
Before coming to CSS, Judy was Senior Staff Attorney at the Legal Action Center, where she worked on anti-discrimination litigation and policy affecting people with criminal records, histories of substance use disorders and/or HIV/AIDS.  She previously served as Assistant Attorney General in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection and Antitrust Division.  She also worked as staff attorney with the Criminal, Civil and Volunteer Divisions of The Legal Aid Society in New York, specializing in representing the elderly and mentally impaired persons charged with crimes.  Judy also served as clinical instructor at Hofstra Law School’s Housing Law Clinic and as adjunct faculty at Suffolk University Law School.  
Judy is a graduate of Barnard College and Cornell Law School, where she received the first Freeman Civil Rights/Civil Liberties Award, and in 2014 received its Exemplary Public Service Award.  She is past Chair of the New York City Bar Association’s Corrections and Community Reentry Committee, was appointed to and serves on its Mass Incarceration Task Force and House of Delegates, as well as the Association’s Criminal Justice Operations Committee.  She was formerly a member of the Association’s Nominating Committee and Council on Criminal Justice, and in 2008 received the Association’s Legal Services Award.  Judy is also a member of the New York State Bar Association and both the New York and national chapters of the National Employment Lawyers Association.

Healthcare Access for Undocumented Immigrant New Yorkers - The World of PRUCOL
2 Credits - Areas of Professional Practice
Panel Biographies:
Laura F. Redman is the Director of the Health Justice Program at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI), where she leads NYLPI’s program challenging health disparities and systemic and institutional barriers to accessing quality health care. Before joining NYLPI, Laura worked at the National Center for Law and Economic Justice first as an Equal Justice Works fellow focused on access to Medicaid, and later as a Senior Attorney litigating federal and state class action cases seeking systemic reform in the public benefits system. Prior to NCLEJ, Laura was a Senior Legal Officer at the Commission for Racial Equality in the United Kingdom and clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Staff Attorneys’ Office. Laura has a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law and an M.A. in Gender Studies from Birkbeck College at the University of London.
Steven Sacco is a staff attorney with the African Services Committee, a non-profit organization based in Harlem, New York that provides a variety of support services to immigrants living in New York City, including legal representation in several areas of practice. Mr. Sacco represents ASC clients in their claims for immigration relief as well is in their claims to appeal the denial or change of various public assistance benefits.  Much of Mr. Sacco’s area of practice centers around the intersection between immigration and public assistance.  
Sarika Saxena is a Staff Attorney in the Health Justice Program at NYLPI. Sarika’s practice focuses primarily on issues relating to access to healthcare for undocumented immigrants and language access campaigns. A graduate of City University of New York School of Law, Sarika defended detainees who were imprisoned without charge at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as a law student. There, Sarika also worked on an interdisciplinary team to design a community lawyering model to assist undocumented survivors of domestic violence. Prior to joining NYLPI, Sarika worked extensively with immigrant New Yorkers at a boutique immigration law firm.

Building Community Collaborations To Support Low Wage Workers 
1 Credit - Skills; 1 Credit - Areas of Professional Practice
Panel Biographies:
Jim Williams is a Staff Attorney in the Syracuse office of Legal Services of Central New York (LSCNY).  LSCNY serves 13 Central New York counties and has offices in Syracuse, Oswego, Utica, Watertown, Cortland and Binghamton.  At LSCNY he focuses on employment, income and economic justice issues on behalf of workers.  Prior to joining LSCNY, he was Executive Director of the National Employment Law Project (NELP) and also served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Labor Bureau of the New York State Department of Law.  He is a 1986 graduate of Brooklyn Law School and is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Syracuse University College of Law where he teaches Employment Law.  He is active in bar associations and currently serves as President of the Onondaga County Bar Association and is a member of the House of Delegates of the New York State Bar Association.  He is a founding board member of the Onondaga County Volunteer Lawyers Project and serves on its Executive Committee. He is a longtime Board Member of WCCNY.
Rebecca Fuentes, Lead Organizer, Workers’ Center of Central New York has been involved in social change work for over 12 years as a grassroots organizer, coalition builder, media activist and cultural worker in many organizations and grassroots movements, more recently with the CNY Immigration Task Force and Solidarity of CNY. In 2011, she received the National Council on Occupational Safety and Health “Community Service” Award. She was born in California, where her mother worked as a farm worker. However, she grew up in Tijuana, Mexico. She has lived in Central New York since 2003.
The Workers’ Center of Central New York is a grassroots organization focused upon workplace and economic justice. It is part of a nation-wide network of innovative workers’ centers affiliated with the Chicago-based Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ). It operates in and around the city of Syracuse, a city with one of the highest rates of poverty in the country, driven by deindustrialization and deunionization, the entrenchment of widespread joblessness and the proliferation of low-wage jobs. Through community organizing, leadership development, popular education and policy advocacy, the Workers’ Center of Central New York empowers low-wage workers to combat workplace abuses and improve wages and working conditions throughout the community. The Workers’ Center facilitates worker empowerment and leadership development through trainings related to workers’ rights and occupational health and safety, orchestrates campaigns to combat wage theft and to promote employer compliance with the law, and engages in organizing and coalition-building to push for policies that will increase wages and workplace standards and promote human rights.
Karen Cacace is the Director for the Employment Law Unit at The Legal Aid Society.  At Legal Aid, Ms. Cacace oversees the Employment Law Unit’s work providing representation, community education and advice to low-income New York City residents.   The Employment Law Unit brings affirmative litigation in federal and state court to address violations of employment laws, including wage and hour laws and anti-discrimination laws.  The Employment Law Unit also assists clients in obtaining unemployment insurance benefits.
Prior to joining Legal Aid, Ms. Cacace was a partner at Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, P.C. in New York, where she represented individuals in employment related matters, including discrimination, contract and non-compete actions at all stages of trial and appellate practice.  She was also an associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and served as a law clerk for the Honorable Manuel L. Real of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.  Ms. Cacace graduated from Wesleyan University and The University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Narbada Chhetri leads the workers' rights program at Adhikaar, a human rights and social justice organization based in Queens. She joined Adhikaar in 2008 and was an organizer. She led Adhikaar in successfully campaigning for the New York State Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. She organized and mobilized Nepali domestic workers and contributed to the passage of the bill in 2010.  In her current role she organizes, advocates and empowers Nepali-speaking immigrants to speak up about the injustices they face, and to learn about and be able to assert their legal rights. She oversees a range of programs and campaigns that support members to develop the skills and knowledge needed to secure better jobs and to live with dignity and respect in the U.S. She is board member of NDWA (National Domestic Worker Alliance and steering committee member of NYHS (New York Healthy Salon coalition).
Narbada earned her BA in Economics in Nepal. She worked as a human rights activist prior to coming to the U.S., heading up the Makwanpur District Office of Himalayan Human Rights Monitor (HimRights). At HimRights, she led the fight against human trafficking, the caste system, and violence against women.  Narbada is an alumni the National Domestic Workers Alliance’s 2012 Strategy Organizing Leadership (SOL) program, 2012- 2013 NYS –AFL-CIO / Cornell Union Leadership Institute and the 2014 Coro Immigrant Leadership Program. She lives in Woodside, Queens with her daughter.
Elizabeth Koo is a Hanna S. Cohn Equal Justice Legal Fellow, working with Empire Justice Center’s Workers’ Rights Project in Rochester, NY.  Elizabeth's fellowship project focuses on providing direct legal representation to workers in wage theft cases and other employment matters, engaging in policy advocacy work to improve labor laws, and conducting community outreach and education in support of workers and workers' centers, specifically Rochester’s workers’ center, People Organizing for Worker Empowerment and Respect (POWER).  
Elizabeth received her J.D. from the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law where she was a Graduate Fellow.  While at CUNY, Elizabeth represented immigrant workers in wage theft cases and CUNY undergraduates in contested public benefits hearings as a student attorney with CUNY Law's Workers' Rights Clinic and Economic Justice Project.  During law school, Elizabeth also worked with the Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights, Fordham Law School’s Feerick Center for Social Justice and Urban Justice Center’s Community Development Project.  Prior to law school, Elizabeth was a community organizer and program associate with the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.  Elizabeth received her B.A. from Barnard College. 

A New Vocabulary for a New Paradigm
2 Credits - Skills
Panel Biographies:
Lillian M. Moy became the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York, Inc. in 1995.  She is a 1981 graduate of Boston University School of Law.  She is a former member of the Board of the National Legal Aid & Defender Association and past Chair of NLADA’s Civil Policy Group.  Ms. Moy is a  member of the ABA’s Standing Committee on  Pro Bono and Public Service and the Legal Access Job Corps Task Force. She is the chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Attorney Professionalism and serves on the Board of Directors for the Albany Medical Center.  
Amanda Norejko is the Director of the Matrimonial and Economic Justice Project and Victoria J. Mastrobuono Economic Justice Fellow at the Center for Battered Women’s Legal Services at Sanctuary for Families.  She is an attorney specializing in representation of domestic violence and trafficking survivors. Ms. Norejko supervises a team of staff and pro bono attorneys in family and matrimonial, housing, and public benefits matters. She engages in legislative and policy advocacy aimed at combating violence against women and promoting women’s economic empowerment on the local, state, national, and international levels.  Ms. Norejko serves as a Senior Policy Advisor and UN Representative for the international NGO, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women. She is a member of several bar associations and serves on the Board of Directors of the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence as well as the New York Women’s Bar Association. She has been an active participant in the New York State Anti-Trafficking Coalition, the Maintenance Standards Coalition, and the Lawyers Committee Against Domestic Violence, which awarded her with the In the Trenches Award in 2014.  In 2016, City & State recognized Ms. Norejko’s work with its Above & Beyond award Honoring Women of Public and Civic Mind.  She is a 2001 graduate of New York University School of Law, which presented her with an Alumni Association award in 2011.
Laura A. Russell is currently the Co-Citywide Supervising attorney of the Family Law/Domestic Violence Unit of The Legal Aid Society in New York City.  Formerly, she was the Matrimonial Director of Sanctuary for Families, Center for Battered Women’s Legal Services and prior to this, the Director of  SHIELD, a program of the New York City Bar’s Justice Center.  As a Supervising attorney, she supervises staff in family law, domestic violence and immigration matters, works on domestic violence policy issues and coordinates family law matters for the offices.   She has handled a variety of matrimonial and family law actions, including Contested Matrimonials, Orders of Protection, Abuse/Neglect matters and Custody/Visitation issues.  Ms. Russell is admitted in both New York and New Jersey, and has lectured on various family law topics, including equitable distribution, domestic violence and Orders of Protection, and also on consumer and tax issues, especially as they relate to domestic violence.   She sat on Judge Miller’s Matrimonial Commission, the NYC Bar’s Judiciary Committee, and the Lawyers Committee Against Domestic Violence’s Matrimonial Committee.  She currently sits on the Attorney for the Child Advisory Committee for the Second Department.  

Strategies for Preserving Affordable Housing
1.5 Credits - Areas of Professional Practice
Panel Biographies:
Keriann Pauls is a Tenants’ Rights attorney working with the Community Development Project (CDP) at the Urban Justice Center. She has been representing tenants and tenant associations across the City, advocating for safe, dignified and affordable housing for NYC residents for nearly 3 years. Keriann is also an active member of the Task Force on HDFCs, advocating for the preservation of limited equity cooperative units in NYC, and also Stabilizing NYC, a coalition of grassroots tenant organizing groups fighting against predatory equity and tenant harassment.
Kevin Quinn is a Staff Attorney within the Housing Department at Legal Services for the Elderly, Disabled or Disadvantaged of WNY, Inc. in Buffalo, New York (LSED). He has been representing elderly tenants across Western New York for over 4 years, advocating for their rights and helping them to maintain affordable housing. Kevin also represents homeowners cited with housing code violations in Buffalo City Court as well as homeowners facing In Rem Tax Foreclosures in the City of Buffalo and Erie County. Kevin’s work at LSED is focused on  protecting elderly citizens in Western New York so that they may live affordably and independently.
Jennifer Metzger Kimura is a Staff Attorney in the Civil Unit at the Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo, Inc. She currently serves as a public defender in Buffalo City Housing Court, defending homeowners with code violations. Additionally, Ms. Kimura defends homeowners in the City of Buffalo’s In Rem Tax Foreclosure process and practices in the areas of landlord/tenant law and fair housing law. Prior to her joining the Legal Aid Bureau, she was a Staff Attorney at Housing Opportunities Made Equal, Inc. (HOME), a nonprofit fair housing organization fighting housing discrimination in Western New York. During her time at HOME, while her main focus was housing discrimination litigation, she also drafted and extensively reviewed and reported on various jurisdictions within Erie County on Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Studies.

Don't Call it Unbundled! Practical Tips for Limited Scope Pro Bono Projects
1.5 Credits - Skills
Panel Biographies:
Jennifer L. Colyer (Jennifer L. Colyer, Fried Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP) is special counsel in the Litigation Department, and resident pro bono counsel in the New York office.  She joined the Firm in 1993 and became special counsel in 2000. 
As pro bono counsel, Ms. Colyer is responsible for directing the overall pro bono program and supervising individual pro bono projects handled by other attorneys at the Firm.  Ms. Colyer specializes in immigration and criminal defense and LGBT rights cases.  In 2010, she was counsel to the attorney for the child in the landmark case of Debra H. v. Janice R., in which the New York Court of Appeals gave effect to a lesbian couple's Vermont civil union to find that the child had two legal parents.  On the immigration front, Ms. Colyer has extensive experience in asylum, VAWA, U-Visa and cancellation of removal cases and has won asylum based on political opinion, sexual orientation, HIV status and other social group claims.  She also handles family-based immigration petitions.  For the past ten years, Ms. Colyer has defended individuals facing a broad array of criminal charges in federal court.   
In addition, her extensive litigation experience includes a broad range of civil matters as well as substantial work on investigations brought by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, United States Attorney's office and other criminal and internal investigations.
Honors & Awards
In May 2016, Ms. Colyer spoke about partnerships between law firms and legal services organizations at the ABA/NLADA Equal Justice Conference.  In 2014, Ms. Colyer was honored with the Safe Haven Award from Immigration Equality.  In June 2014, Ms. Colyer was recognized as one of 500 leading lawyers in America by Lawdragon.  In May 2014, Ms. Colyer spoke at the ABA Equal Justice Conference about law firm/public school legal clinics.  In February 2014, Ms. Colyer received the Pro Bono Liaison Award from Her Justice. In June 2011, Ms. Colyer was honored by the New York City Bar Association for her work on behalf of members of the LGBT community.  In 2010, she was recognized by the Legal Aid Society for her work representing inmates who are eligible to apply for resentencing under New York State's Drug Law Reform Act. 
Professional Associations
Association of Pro Bono Counsel (President, 2010 - 2012; Corporate Secretary, 2009 - 2010; Board Member, 2006 - present)
Immigration Equality and Immigration Equality Action Fund, Board of Directors, Member 
Pro Bono and Public Service Committee, New York City Bar Association, Member
Federal Bar Council Public Service Committee, Member
National Pro Bono Summit, American Bar Association, Participant 
Louis S. Sartori is the Director of the Pro Bono Practice at The Legal Aid Society in New York City. The Legal Aid Society is the nation’s oldest and largest provider of free legal services to the poor. The Pro Bono Practice partners with attorneys from the private bar to assist the Society's staff in handling matters for thousands of clients in their Civil, Criminal Defense and Juvenile Rights practices. Lou has been a presenter at the Pro Bono Institute’s Annual Conference, most recently on Best Practices for Working with Public Interest Groups and a frequent panelist at the ABA and NLADA Equal Justice Conference. He formerly co-chaired the Best Practices Subcommittee of the New York City Bar Association Committee on Pro Bono and Legal Services.
Prior to joining the Pro Bono Practice, Lou was the Attorney-in-Charge of the Society's Manhattan and Staten Island Juvenile Rights trial offices and oversaw the initiation of programs focusing on literacy and the needs of adolescents transitioning from foster care. Lou began his legal career as a judicial law clerk in the Superior Court of New Jersey. He then worked as a Staff Attorney in both the Juvenile Rights and Criminal Defense practices of Legal Aid, as well as an associate with a private firm specializing in employee benefits. Lou has also served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at St. John's University School of Law, as Guest Lecturer at Wake University School of Law and as faculty for several National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) and Practicing Law Institute (PLI) programs.
Manasi Raveendran is a Cybersecurity Attorney with IBM and supports the IBM Chief Information Security Office (CISO) and other corporate and business functions with cybersecurity investigations; cybersecurity policies, education, and regulatory compliance; and security-related negotiations with customers. Prior to joining the cybersecurity legal team, Manasi was an attorney focused on IBM's state & local government accounts. She currently serves as Pro Bono Coordinator for the IBM Legal Department and as the Pro Bono and Cybersecurity Editor for the Department. She is also an Advisory Committee Member of the American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Immigration. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame Law School with a J.D. and from Boston University with a B.A. in International Relations and Political Science.

Fair Hearings: A Focus on Skills, Issue Identification, Due Process and Procedure
1.5 Credits - Skills
Panel Biographies: 
Sienna Fontaine is the Deputy Legal Director at Make the Road New York (MRNY), a community based organization that aims to build immigrant and working class power through organizing, education and support services.  Prior to joining MRNY, Sienna was the Director of Public Benefits at Legal Services NYC – Bronx (LSNYC-Bronx), where she practiced for 8 years, representing individuals and families in civil litigation and administrative hearings to secure access to and maintain public benefits.   Sienna’s litigation included Johnson v. Berlin, Index No. 400081/10 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Co.), which resulted in expanding the time frames within which an appellant can request that a defaulted fair hearing be rescheduled.  She began at LSNYC-Bronx as a Skadden Fellow, establishing the Bronx Medical-Legal Advocacy Project; a collaboration between LSNYC-Bronx and Montefiore Hospital to provide direct legal services at two ambulatory family medicine clinics.  Sienna graduated from NYU School of Law in 2007, where she participated in the Medical-Legal Advocacy Clinic, the Family Defense Clinic, and was an editor on the Review of Law and Social Change.  Sienna grew up in the Bay Area, California, and received her B.A. from U.C. Berkeley, where she studied Sociology and Spanish. 
Douglas Ruff is the Director of Litigation at Nassau/Suffolk Law Services and supervises the public assistance units in both counties.  In his thirty plus years there, he has developed a special expertise in the area of public benefits and the rights of the homeless.  He has handled over 50 reported Appellate Division decisions and represented hundreds of clients at administrative fair hearings.  Thirty years ago, he started the Community Resource Room at Nassau Suffolk Law Services which provided legal support and backup to lay advocates in the community who provided assistance to individuals who had public assistance, Medicaid and food stamp problems.  This was the predecessor of the organization’s Legal Support Center for Advocates. At the time he also wrote a booklet A Guide to Fair Hearings - a 30 page booklet that explains from beginning to end the administrative process public assistance recipients/applicants can employ to challenge adverse determinations affecting their entitlements. 
Doug has also conducted fair hearing trainings for the New York State Bar Association and the Nassau County Bar Association.
Doug has been awarded the New York State Bar Association’s Denison Ray Civil Legal Services Award for extraordinary commitment to the poor and disadvantaged, the St. Vincent de Paul Honorary Vincentian Award and the S.U.N.Y. at Oswego Distinguished Alumni Award.

Foundations of Matrimonial Practice: Pendente Lite Motions, Discovery and Spousal Support
1.5 Credits - Areas of Professional Practice
Speaker Biography
Laura A. Russell is currently the Co-Citywide Supervising attorney of the Family Law/Domestic Violence Unit of The Legal Aid Society in New York City.  Formerly, she was the Matrimonial Director of Sanctuary for Families, Center for Battered Women’s Legal Services and prior to this, the Director of  SHIELD, a program of the New York City Bar’s Justice Center.  As a Supervising attorney, she supervises staff in family law, domestic violence and immigration matters, works on domestic violence policy issues and coordinates family law matters for the offices.   She has handled a variety of matrimonial and family law actions, including Contested Matrimonials, Orders of Protection, Abuse/Neglect matters and Custody/Visitation issues.  Ms. Russell is admitted in both New York and New Jersey, and has lectured on various family law topics, including equitable distribution, domestic violence and Orders of Protection, and also on consumer and tax issues, especially as they relate to domestic violence.   She sat on Judge Miller’s Matrimonial Commission, the NYC Bar’s Judiciary Committee, and the Lawyers Committee Against Domestic Violence’s Matrimonial Committee.  She currently sits on the Attorney for the Child Advisory Committee for the Second Department.  

Accessing Behavioral Health Services: Using Parity Laws & Understanding the New Medicaid HARPS
1.5 Credits - Areas of Professional Practice
Panel Biographies:
Karla Lopez is a Staff Attorney at the Legal Action Center, a non-profit law and policy organization that fights discrimination against people with substance use disorders, HIV/AIDS, and criminal records. At the Legal Action Center, Karla represents clients facing such discrimination, as well as clients whose HIV confidentiality has been breached. Karla also counsels and trains health and social services providers, as well as state and federal governments, on their obligations under anti-discrimination and privacy laws. Karla was the primary drafter of the Legal Action Center’s forthcoming guide to the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (the federal parity law).  Karla participated in writing and editing the 2012 edition of LAC’s seminal book on the law governing the privacy of alcohol and drug treatment information, “Confidentiality and Communication: A Guide to the Federal Alcohol and Drug Confidentiality Law and HIPAA.” Karla has also conducted numerous trainings about the federal parity law, laws governing the confidentiality of alcohol and drug treatment records, and employment rights for people with substance use disorders, HIV/AIDS, and viral hepatitis. Prior to joining the Legal Action Center, Karla worked on criminal justice reform at the Open Society Institute and Policy Center. Karla received her B.A. from Bard College and her J.D. Georgetown University Law Center, where she was a Public Interest Law Scholar.
Amy Lowenstein is a senior attorney with the Health Law Unit in the Albany office of the Empire Justice Center, a statewide, multi-issue, multi-strategy non-profit law firm focused on changing the “systems” within which poor and low income families live. Amy works to improve and strengthen health coverage and services for low-income populations in New York State.  She represents the needs of healthcare consumers in a variety of settings, including within the state legislature and before state administrative agencies; analyzes legislative and administrative proposals impacting health access and coverage; and provides training and support to community-based organizations throughout the state through in-person trainings, webinars and written health policy updates.  Amy’s policy work includes collaborating with statewide coalitions as well as working with regulatory agencies to ensure that the changes to our health care system brought about by Medicaid Redesign and the Affordable Care Act meet the needs New York’s most vulnerable populations.  Prior to joining Empire Justice Center, Amy litigated disability rights and health law cases at Disability Rights New York and New York Legal Assistance Group.  Amy received her J.D. from Columbia Law School and her B.A. in history from Wesleyan University.

DAP Workshop #2 - Developing Medical Evidence for Limitations in the Ability to Attend and Focus on Tasks
1.5 Credits - Areas of Professional Practice
Panel Biographies: 
Latanya White is the Director of the Disability Advocacy Project at Brooklyn Legal Services. She has worked at Brooklyn Legal Services since 2005, first as a staff attorney in the Comprehensive Rights Unit, and then in the Disability Advocacy Project. She began her legal career as a staff attorney at the Defender Association of Philadelphia where she represented low income adults and juveniles in criminal proceedings. She holds a B.S. from St. John’s University in New York and a J.D. from Washington and Lee University School of Law.
Tanya Douglas is the Director of the Disability Advocacy Project (DAP) at Manhattan Legal Services (MLS) and coordinates the Veterans Justice Project at MLS which is a program of Legal Services NYC.  Tanya is a graduate of Cornell University and Cornell Law School. Tanya is admitted to the Southern District of New York and the Eastern District of New York. Tanya has spent her entire 24 year legal career as a public interest attorney with Legal Services NYC. Tanya has been a DAP advocate for 24 years. During her legal career, Tanya has represented clients primarily in Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and education cases. Tanya has represented hundreds of clients in their claims for SSI/SSDI benefits at the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing and Appeals Council levels.  Additionally, she has represented clients in their SSI/SSDI claims at the Federal Court level. She has handled a significant of  SSI/SSDI benefit cases  for children. She has offered trainings on a variety of substantive legal issues (SSI/SSDI and education) as well as conducted trainings for public interest managers.
Tanya has spent a significant amount of her legal career focused on diversity and cultural competency matters for legal services/legal aid programs. She is the first chair of the Legal Services NYC’s Diversity Committee. The Committee has focused on recruitment and retention issues, drafted an exit interview policy and offered trainings on cultural competency.
Joseph V. Maslak has been a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York, Inc., since January of 2014. Joe’s primary focus in that time has been Social Security Disability law, as well as Landlord/Tenant and Family Law. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Public Justice from the State University of New York at Oswego, and his J.D. from Florida Coastal School of Law. Joe is admitted to practice in New York and Florida.
Peter Racette has been a Deputy Director of the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York since 2004.  From 1988 until 2004, he was a staff attorney and then executive director at North Country Legal Services.  He has represented more than a thousand clients in their claims for Social Security disability and SSI benefits and has often served as a trainer and panelists in disability-related training events.   Mr. Racette is a graduate of Bennington College and Vermont Law School.  He is admitted to practice in New York and Vermont.

Immigration 101: Immigration Law for Non-Immigration Attorneys
2 Credits - Areas of Professional Practice
Panel Biographies:  
Hasan Shafiqullah is a supervising attorney at the Legal Aid Society’s Immigration Law Unit. Previously, he was a staff attorney in the same unit, and before that was a staff attorney in the HIV Unit at Legal Aid’s Harlem Community Law Office, and in the HIV Unit at Queens Legal Services. He began is legal career representing tenants in San Francisco. Over the past nineteen years, he has represented clients in a range of matters, including immigration, housing, family, consumer, name change, divorce and probate, and has given numerous trainings to clients and staff at nonprofit organizations and hospitals, on issues such as immigrant rights, housing rights, HIV confidentiality, attorney-client confidentiality and permanency planning. He is a graduate of the University of California Hastings School of Law and of the University of Arizona, and holds a certificate in French to English legal translation from New York University. 
Camille J. Mackler, Esq. is the Director of Legal Initiatives at the New York Immigration Coalition, where she works with NYIC members and a variety of stakeholders on issues relating to immigration law in New York. Before joining the NYIC in March 2013, Ms. Mackler worked in private practice representing immigrants before US Immigration Courts and Federal Courts of Appeals. She focused primarily on asylum and refugee, deportation proceedings, immigration detention, and family-based immigration issues. 
Ms. Mackler is currently the co-chair of the Media and Advocacy committee for the NY Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She has a Juris Doctor. from New York Law School and a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service. She is also a frequent lecturer on immigration law and advocacy issues surrounding the practice of immigration law.
Jorge Montalvo currently serves in New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration as the top policy advisor to the New York Secretary of State. In this role, he has created the New York State Office for New Americans. The Office's recently opened Opportunity Centers - 27 in total - have been heralded as the model for immigrant integration policy in this country. In their first year alone, the Centers have served more than 34,000 immigrants with English-for-Speakers-of-Other-Languages training; naturalization and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals assistance; federal immigration law and policies information and referrals; and business development training.
Among his many accomplishments, Montalvo developed the state's Opportunity Agenda to ensure those living in poverty were included in the state's economic revitalization, helped merge the state's consumer protection and occupation licensing agencies and created the Empire State Fellows program — an innovative approach to attracting and training cross-sector leaders for public service. Montalvo collaborates with economic, environmental, justice and industry groups, state and local agencies, and the members of the state legislature on the New York State Council on Food Policy.
Previously, Montalvo helped lead two state government agencies, created and oversaw the state's Safe Toy NY toy testing program and served as the policy advisor to the NYS Council on Interactive Media and Youth Violence. Additionally, he managed New York City's 2012 Olympic Bid's corporate relations and volunteerism efforts and served in New York City Mayor Bloomberg's Economic Development Office. Montalvo graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in chemistry and spends his weekends teaching free GED and SAT prep classes to disconnected youth in the South Bronx.  

The LGBT Community and the Law: A Discussion on Youth, Transgender Rights, and Legal Needs of Low-Income LGBT People
1 Credits - Skills; 1 Credit - Areas of Professional Practice
Panel Biographies:
Jose Abrigo is the staff attorney of the LGBTQ/HIV Advocacy Project at Queens Legal Services. Before becoming a lawyer Jose worked in classical archaeology and specialized in Ancient Greek statuary. During law school he devoted most of his work to public benefits advocacy, poverty law and representing clients at welfare fair hearings. He has also worked with the Sylvia Rivera Law Project and clerked for the New York State Supreme Court, Commercial Division. Before heading the LGBTQ/HIV Practice at Queens, Jose was a tenant attorney for almost three years and has practiced in almost all of the Housing Courts across New York City. As the LGBTQ/HIV Advocacy Project attorney he represents low income people in Queens in administrative hearings, Civil, Supreme and Federal Court on issues ranging from discrimination, housing, public benefits, social security, and name changes. He received a dual B.A. from UC Berkeley and his J.D. from CUNY School of Law.
Adam Heintz is a primary author of Legal Services NYC’s ground-breaking report, “Poverty is an LGBT Issue: The Civil Legal Needs of Low-Income LGBT People.” 
Mr. Heintz is the Director of Pro Bono Services for Legal Services NYC. He works with staff and pro bono partners to create and manage pro bono projects, place cases, access in-kind resources, and match individual volunteers with appropriate LSNYC offices. These include several pro bono projects focused on low-income LGBT clients. He also manages communications related to pro bono, builds and maintains relationships with private partners, and ensures that pro bono partners are adequately trained and supervised. Mr. Heintz has overseen a dramatic expansion of LSNYC’s pro bono program, with most measures more than doubling year over year. 
Prior to joining LSNYC, Mr. Heintz spent six years as a litigation associate at Morrison & Foerster, LLP, where he maintained an active pro bono docket. He clerked for the Hon. Cheryl L. Pollak, in the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York. Mr. Heintz has served on the Pro Bono Advisory Council for New York Lawyers for the Public Interest. He is also a founding member of the Brooklyn Family Defense Project’s Associate Advisory Board. Previously, Mr. Heintz was employed as the HIV-Related Violence Program Coordinator at the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, and as Director of Education at the Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project. Mr. Heintz received his B.A. from Oberlin College, and J.D. from NYU Law School.  
Katherine McGerald, Esq.,  Legal Services of the Hudson Valley
Katherine McGerald is a Senior Staff Attorney at Legal Services of the Hudson Valley in Newburgh, NY, with an expertise in intimate partner violence litigation, family court proceedings, and trial advocacy.  For over 15 years, Ms. McGerald has worked with survivors of intimate partner violence, sexual assault and stalking.  Currently, she is working under a Legal Assistance for Victims Grant (LAV) where Ms. McGerald provides direct legal services and advocacy to victims of intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and stalking in Family Court, Supreme Court, City/Town Courts, and meetings in family offense, custody, child support, housing, public benefits, title ix, divorce, and immigration matters in Orange, Sullivan and Dutchess Counties.  
Prior to joining LSHV in March 2014, she worked The New York County DA’s Office and The Pace Women’s Justice Center.  While at the Manhattan DA’s Office, Ms. McGerald was a member of the Domestic Violence Unit and Sex Crimes Unit.  At the Women’s Justice Center she supervised attorneys and law students in the Family Court Externship.  Ms. McGerald graduated from Pace University School of Law where she participated in the Prosecution of Domestic Violence Clinic and started the Family Court Externship whereby law students represented victims of domestic violence under the supervision of an attorney for the ex parte family offense proceeding.  
Christopher Oldi, Esq., Legal Services of the Hudson Valley
Christopher Oldi is a Staff Attorney at Legal Services of the Hudson Valley (LSHV) based out of its White Plains, New York office.  Mr. Oldi began at LSHV as a staff attorney in the HIV legal unit where he represented individuals infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.  In June 2015 LSHV created the LGBTQ Legal Project and he transitioned into the designated staff attorney position.   In that capacity, Mr. Oldi represents low-income Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning individuals in a variety of legal issues throughout Westchester and the Hudson Valley, including discrimination, housing, government benefits, name changes and family law.   Mr. Oldi will be honored in June 2016 by the Westchester County Board of Legislatures at its LGBTQ Heritage Celebration for his work with the LGBTQ community.   He is also the chair of the LGBT Advisory Board of Westchester County.  Mr. Oldi received his B.A. from Vassar College, and his J.D. from CUNY School of Law.
Milo Primeaux, Esq., Empire Justice Center
Milo Primeaux, Esq. (he/him/his) is a queer transgender man and long-time transgender rights advocate. As the LGBT Rights Staff Attorney at Empire Justice Center in Rochester, Milo provides direct legal services, cultural competency and legal trainings, and policy advocacy to advance the rights of low-income LGBTQ people across upstate New York. His Project focuses primarily on anti-LGBTQ discrimination occurring in employment, education, public accommodations, and access to health care and health insurance. Previously he served as an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow at Whitman-Walker Health in Washington, DC, where he managed a free monthly Name & Gender Change Legal Clinic and reduced legal barriers to employment for over 250 transgender residents of DC, Maryland, and Virginia. He is a graduate of CUNY School of Law.

Disrupting the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Representing Students in School Discipline Matters/Equal Access to Education: Navigating New York Education Law and School District Policies
2 Credits - Areas of Professional Practice
Panel Biographies:
Wendy Gildin is an education attorney with the Long Island Advocacy Center (LIAC), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to protecting the legal rights of students and individuals with disabilities.  She currently serves as an advisor to the Suffolk County Felony Youth Part on education law matters and assisting youth with school reentry following incarceration.  She also represents students at school meetings, suspension hearings, and State Education Department hearings and appeals. 
Prior to her position at LIAC, Wendy had her own practice representing children in special education matters across New York City and Long Island. She has served on the NYS Appellate Division, Second Department Attorney for the Child (AFC) panel representing children in the Suffolk County Courts as well as a Staff Attorney for the Nassau County Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Court Bureau.  She is a graduate of Touro College, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center.    
Ms. Gildin has served as a guest lecturer in law schools and conferences and appeared as a commentator on special education matters on the Fox 5/WNYW Television Network
Diane E. Inbody is an Education Attorney with the Long Island Advocacy Center (LIAC), a not-for profit organization dedicated to protecting the legal rights of students  with disabilities. 
After graduating from Hofstra Law School where she was an editor of the Labor Law Review, Diane worked as a staff attorney for Mental Hygiene Legal Services providing representation at discharge and drug administration hearings for residents at Kings Park Psychiatric Center. She worked as an associate for  Ahmuty, Demers and McManus concentrating in insurance defense and was named one of the firm’s first female partners. Diane later  joined the firm of Feeney, Gayoso and Fitzpatrick  LLP as trial counsel. 
Currently Diane represents  students at school meetings, administrative hearings and  suspension and impartial hearings. She serves as the “in court” educational advocate for students charged with  juvenile delinquency offenses in Suffolk County Family Court. Diane also handles  appellate proceedings  on both the local and state level in the areas of student discipline and residency. 
She has lectured on special education law, student discipline, the CSE process and accessing transitional services at Nassau and Suffolk Bar Association Seminars, school district in-services and mental health association trainings. 
Diane is admitted to practice  law in New York, the federal courts for Eastern and Southern District as well as U.S. Court of Claims.  She was recently selected to serve on the Cornell Cooperative Family Health and Wellness Advisory Board.
Ashley Patronski, J.D., is a Staff Attorney at Legal Assistance of Western New York who works on the organization’s Education Advocacy Project and also does work in the areas of prisoner re-entry advocacy and public benefits. Ms. Patronski has worked in various capacities in the civil legal services sector for 4 years.
Susan M. Young, Esq.
Susan Young is a staff attorney at Legal Services of Central New York in Syracuse, New
York. Ms. Young has primarily practiced in the field of education law over 20 yearc, and has
represented both children and adults in administrative proceedings and state and federal court.
Currently, her practice focuses on access to education, discipline, school residency, and the rights
of English Language Leamers in school. Ms. Young has conducted numerous trainings on the
right to education and the rights of persons with disabilities, and has co-authored a chapter on
special education hearings in the New York State Bar Association's book Disability Law and
Practice. Most recently, she was co-counsel on a federal court case challenging a school district's
practice of funneling newly-arrived refugee students over the age.of 16 into segregated and
inferior education programs. Ms. Young received her B.A. in Political Science from the State
University of New York at Albany, and her J.D. from the Washington College of Law, American University.

DAP Workshop #3 - Presenting the Case for Limitations in Attention and Concentration at a Hearing: Direct and Cross Examination Strategies
1.5 Credits - Areas of Professional Practice
Panel Biographies:
Louise M. Tarantino, a senior attorney at the Empire Justice Center, is a graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law. She focuses her practice in Social Security and disability law.  Ms. Tarantino is a member of the New York State Bar Association and serves on its Committee on Issues Affecting People with Disabilities. She is a contributing author of the committee’s publication, Representing People With Disabilities. She is also a contributing author of Benefits Management for Working People with Disabilities: An Advocate's Manual. Ms. Tarantino is admitted to practice in New York and the District of Columbia.  She is a frequent lecturer and trainer on Social Security and Supplemental Security Income issues.
Emilia Sicilia is the Director of Disability Benefits Advocacy at the Urban Justice Center’s Mental Health Project.  She represents individuals with mental illness in appealing the denial of disability benefits in their individual claims, and in impact litigation against the Social Security Administration.  She has served as co-counsel in the class action lawsuits Martinez v. Astrue, which challenged SSA’s policy of suspending and denying benefits based on an outstanding warrant, and Padro v. Astrue, which alleged bias by five administrative law judges in SSA’s Queens hearing office.  Prior to joining the Urban Justice Center, Ms. Sicilia worked at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.  She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School and Wesleyan University.
Michael Telfer has been a Staff Attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York’s Disability Advocacy Project since 2013.  From 2012 to 2013 he was an Associate Attorney with Olinsky Law Group.  He represents clients who have been denied Social Security disability benefits before ODAR, the Appeals Council, and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York.  He has also drafted briefs for clients appealing the denial of Social Security disability benefits in multiple federal district courts across the country as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  He is a graduate of the University at Albany and Albany Law School.  He is admitted to practice in New York State and before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York.  
Jennifer Karr is a staff attorney at the Empire Justice Center in the Rochester office. She represents clients appealing the denial of disability benefits before ODAR and the Appeals Council.  Prior to joining Empire Justice, she practiced disability law at the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York and worked for the New York State Department of Labor. She is admitted to practice in New York, and is a member of the state and women’s Bar Associations. She graduated from the David A. Clarke School of Law (UDC) and the George Washington University.

Using the ADA to Help Clients With Disabilities Get Improved Access to Public Benefits
1.5 Credits - Areas of Professional Practice
Panel Biographies:
Greg Bass:  As a Senior Attorney with the National Center for Law and Economic Justice, Greg Bass engages in civil rights litigation, policy advocacy, and training around the country on behalf of low-income clients, with an additional focus on disability rights involving access to public benefits.  Greg previously brought litigation in individual and class actions in state and federal court as a legal aid attorney in several programs for over 33 years, as well as engaging in legislative and administrative advocacy, in areas of civil rights, employment, public benefits, health, consumer, education, family, housing, and elder law.
Katie Kelleher is a staff attorney in The Legal Aid Society’s Civil Law Reform Unit where she focuses on disability and benefits issues. Katie helped lead Lovely H v. Eggleston, an ADA class action against the New York City Human Resources Administration resulting in a settlement which includes revised procedures to improve access to benefits for disabled New Yorkers.  Katie also works on legislative issues including recently-enacted legislation to reform punitive welfare sanction rules and serves as co-chair of a joint HRA/advocate committee tasked with improving delivery of services to public assistance applicants and recipients. 

Using Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Foreclosure Cases 
1 Credit - Areas of Professional Practice
Panel Bigraphies:
Peter M. Frank, Esq. is a Senior Staff Attorney at Legal Services of the Hudson Valley in the 
Kingston Office.  He presently represents tenants in landlord/tenant proceedings, but has been
representing homeowners in foreclosure long before the crisis hit, and long before any other 
legal services program.  When LSHV formed a Foreclosure Unit – Peter was the lead attorney
and mentor to the agency’s foreclosure attorneys.  LSHV was also one of the few legal services 
programs that utilized Chapter 13 Bankruptcy as part of their foreclosure practice.  He started his
legal career as an associate with Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in New York.  He then went 
into music management representing many popular musicians, and then private practice focusing
on entertainment and environmental law, before moving into the legal services realm.  His
expertise in litigation and bankruptcy make him a sought after speaker and mentor. Peter 
graduated with a BA in Philosophy & Government from Boston University, and a JD from the 
Harvard Law School.  
David J. Bryan, Esq. is the Program Director for the Consumer and Economic Advocacy
Program at Brooklyn Legal Services – Corporation A.  David has 15 years experience practicing
Law in the New York City area.  After admission to the NYS Bar, and prior to joining 
Brooklyn Legal Services – Corp A, Mr. Bryan worked at Sonin & Genis, and then Malapero & 
Prisco, two New York-based personal injury law firms.  In 2003, Mr. Bryan transitioned to
Brooklyn Legal Services – Corp A, becoming the Director of the Comprehensive Rights Unit, 
Which served persons living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.  In 2009, he became the 
Director of what is now the Consumer and Economic Advocacy Program at Brooklyn – Corp A,
Providing oversight of all aspects of litigation and mediation, as well as leading the development 
And implementation of strategic plans for effective litigation, case management and funding 
resources.  Brooklyn Legal Services – Corp A is leading the way to the use of Chapter 13
bankruptcy in foreclosure cases.  David J. Bryan received his JD from the University of North
Carolina School of Law.
Ndukwe Agwu, Esq. is a Senior Staff Attorney & Blackshear Fellow in the Consumer and Economic
Advocacy Program at Brooklyn Legal Services – Corporation A.  Following graduation from law school, 
Ndukwe worked as an in-house attorney for DHL, handling OSHA and Workers Compensation cases.  In 2008,
he accepted a position in the Mount Vernon Office of Legal Services of the Hudson Valley, handling landlord/
tenant, public benefits, unemployment, and social security benefits.  In 2010, Mr. Agwu moved into the
Foreclosure Prevention Unit and soon thereafter became one of the leading foreclosure attorneys in the agency.
Ndukwe is a graduate of the Max Gardner Bankruptcy Boot Camp and a member of the National Association
of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA).  He is on the Board of Directors for the Coalition for Debtor
Education at Fordham Law School, and an adjunct professor at SUNY Purchase, where he teaches Legal
Research & Writing, and The Nature and Function of Law.  He was recently named the Center for NYC
Neighborhoods city-wide Network Advisor for Bankruptcy for non-profit legal services providers that
provide foreclosure prevention services.  Mr. Agwu graduated with a BA in Political Science & Economics
from SUNY – Purchase, and a received a JD from Touro Law School.  
William Flynn, Esq. is the Managing Attorney of the Foreclosure Prevention Unit at the Brooklyn Bar 
Association Volunteer Lawyers Project.  Prior to coming to the VLP, Mr. Flynn served as the Regional 
Managing Attorney for the Upper Hudson Valley Region of Legal Services of the Hudson Valley and the 
Agency – wide coordinator of LSHV’s Foreclosure Practice, including Judge Lippman’s pilot Settlement
Conference representation project.  He had the pleasure to work with both Peter Frank and Ndukwe Agwu. 
Mr. Flynn previously served as a Staff Attorney in the Community Support Services Unit of LSHV, a general 
practice unit serving those living with mental disabilities.  He also served as a Staff Attorney at Gay Men’s
Health Crisis, Inc., handling HIV-based discrimination and consumer bankruptcy cases.  The VLP operates two
foreclosure clinics in the Kings County Supreme Court, and one at the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office at
Borough Hall.  Mr. Flynn holds a BA in Political Science from SUNY – New Paltz and a JD form CUNY
School of Law.  

Student Loan Debt Advocacy and Litigation Strategies for Defending Borrowers
1 Credit - Areas of Professional Practice; .5 Credit - Skills
Panel Biographies:
Maggie R. Robb is Staff Attorney at the Empire Justice Center in Rochester, New York, focusing on consumer issues.  Maggie joined Empire Justice in 2012 after several years in private practice where she focused on general civil litigation. Maggie works with low-income New Yorkers to resolve legal consumer issues. Following the sudden closure of Everest Institute’s Rochester, New York campus in 2015, Maggie represented numerous former Everest Institute students with student loan discharge issues. In addition, Maggie engages in community outreach on a variety of consumer issues including student loan debt, automobile transactions, utility disputes, and rent-to-own issues.  
She earned her bachelor of arts in 1995 from the State University of New York at Buffalo and is a 1998 graduate of the University of  Dayton School of Law. 
Johnson M. Tyler is a graduate of Yale College and CUNY Law School.  He has worked for 26 years at South Brooklyn Legal Services, focusing much of his work on protecting low income consumers from abusive collection and lending practices.  He has filed numerous suits against unscrupulous collectors, including two involving federal student loans.  Mr. Tyler has provided expert testimony on debt collection practices and debt relief scams to the U.S. Senate, the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Treasury and local lawmakers and agencies, as well as the New York Times, the CBS Evening News, and the Associated Press.  Over the last five years, Mr. Tyler has represented hundreds of student loan borrowers, many of whom are Veterans.    
Yan Cao is a Staff Attorney and Skadden Fellow at Brooklyn Legal Services.  She advises 
and  represents  low-income  clients  on  student  loan  issues  including  managing  unaffordable 
federal and private student loan debt, defending against predatory lending, and discharging debt 
from  schools  that  engage  in  fraudulent  practices.   Yan is a graduate of Stanford  University  and NYU  Law  School.
      
DAP Workshop #4 - Identifying Issues in Appeals: Analyzing the ALJ Decision for Appeals Council Review and Beyond
1 Credit - Areas of Professional Practice; .5 Credit - Skills
Panel Biographies: 
Catherine M. (Kate) Callery is the Disability Advocacy Project (DAP) Coordinator at the Empire Justice Center in Rochester, New York, focusing on Social Security and Supplemental Security Income disability issues. She is a graduate of Smith College and the University of Connecticut Law School. She is admitted to practice in Connecticut (1979) and New York (1983). Kate serves as coordinator of the Western New York DAP Task Force and has presented trainings for the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR), the New York State Bar Association, the Monroe County Bar Association and various DAP conferences.  She has represented numerous clients before the Social Security Administration and in federal court.
Michael D. Hampden has been with Partnership for Children’s Rights since February 2000, specializing in children’s SSI and special education law. A graduate of Haverford College (1962) and Harvard Law School (1965), he has 49 years’ experience representing low-income families in a broad range of civil legal issues in state and federal trial and appellate courts. He has previously served as Executive Director of Westchester/Putnam Legal Services (1989-1995), Project Director of Bronx Legal Services (1981-1985), Attorney-in-Charge of the New York Legal Aid Society Bronx trial office (1974-1978), and Assistant Attorney-in-Charge of the Legal Aid Society Civil Appeals Bureau.  He is the recipient of the Denison Ray Award from the New York State Bar Association (1999), and the Annual Legal Services Award from the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (2005). 
Carolyn A. Kubitschek, a member of the firm of Lansner & Kubitschek, has practiced Social Security law since 1983.  As a litigator, Ms. Kubitschek has handled or supervised numerous Social Security matters, including several hundred federal court cases in the District Courts and Courts of Appeals, class actions as well as individual claims for benefits.  Ms. Kubitschek started the first DAP program in 1983, in New York City.  The program was replicated statewide in 1984. Ms. Kubitschek is a co-author, with Jon Dubin, of Social Security Disability Law and Procedure in Federal Court, an 1100 page book published annually by West Publishing Company, most recently in February, 2015.  She has published numerous articles on Social Security law. Carolyn’s practice also includes advocating for children and families who are caught up in New York’s child welfare system, an organization which makes the Social Security Administration seem benevolent by contrast.
Montel A. Cherry is the Supervising Attorney of the Government Benefits Project at MFY Legal Services, Inc. GBP assists individuals with legal problems relating to Public Assistance, Food Stamps, Medicaid/Medicare, and Disability Benefits. This assistance includes representing clients in state and federal courts, and at administrative hearings, as well as assisting clients with the application process, and advocating for clients at the applicable government agency.  GBP conducts monthly on-site clinics with various community based organizations, and scheduled trainings for the community at large. GBP also serves Children with Mental Illness via its medical legal partnerships with Bellevue and Kings County Hospitals. GBP works on-site two days a week at Bellevue’s Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and one day a week at Kings County Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Services. GBP provides legal advice and representation to these children and their families in the areas of special education and government benefits. Representation includes impartial hearings, suspension hearings, fair hearings, and disability hearings, as well as appropriate appeals to state and federal courts.  
Prior to coming to MFY, Ms. Cherry was a Disability Law Specialist at Manhattan Legal Services, where she represented adults and children with physical and mental impairments in appealing their denial of disability benefits.  Initially she was hired at the former Harlem Legal Services, as a staff attorney for the government benefits unit specializing in both welfare and disability law.  She also worked as a decisions editor at the New York Law Journal. Ms. Cherry received her J.D. from CUNY School of Law and a B.A. in Sociology and African Studies from SUNY Stony Brook.   

Using Article 78 Proceedings to Get Far Reaching Results
1 Credit - Areas of Professional Practice; .5 Credit - Skills
Panel Biographies:
Lester Helfman is a Senior Staff Attorney in the Brooklyn Neighborhood Office of The Legal Aid’s Society’s Civil Practice where he represents clients in administrative proceedings, Article 78 proceedings and affirmative litigation in both state and federal courts, including state and federal class actions.  During his thirty-year career with The Legal Aid Society, Les has also specialized in housing law, health law and the rights of the elderly, and represented parolees in parole revocation proceedings and writs of habeas corpus.  From 1993–1997, he was Director of Litigation at Queens Legal Services Corp.  Les trains extensively on public benefits issues and administrative and judicial appeal rights.  He co-chairs a work group composed of legal service advocates and NYC Human Resources Administration program and legal staff, working to ensure the integrity of the Fair Hearing system and to establish alternative resolution modalities.  Les is a graduate of Herbert H. Lehman College and New York Law School.
Maryanne Joyce, a longtime legal services attorney, she recently started up a low-bono law practice, assisting low-income clients with public benefits issues, and focusing on Article 78 appeals. She also works with Part of the Solution in the Bronx, assisting with POTS’ weekly legal clinic. Before starting her own firm, Maryanne worked at Legal Services of the Hudson Valley where she supervised the benefits practice. Prior to that, Maryanne worked as a staff attorney at Legal Services NYC-Bronx from 1999 to 2012, where she focused on public assistance, food stamps/SNAP, and Medicaid issues, and represented clients at administrative hearings and in New York State Supreme Court. At LSNYC-Bronx, Maryanne litigated several Article 78 proceedings that resulted in state and city policy changes benefitting public assistance applicants and recipients. Maryanne has trained on public benefits issues including basic welfare budgeting, welfare fair hearings, welfare fraud/administrative disqualification hearings, and article 78s in public benefits practice. Maryanne received her undergraduate degree from Yale University, and has an M.A. in Counseling from N.Y.U. She received her J.D. from Columbia Law School.

How Bankruptcy Can Help Your Clients Deal with Debt, Student Loans, Losing Their Home and More
1 Credit - Areas of Professional Practice; .5 Credit - Skills
Panel Biographies:
Peter Barker-Huelster is a Senior Staff Attorney in the Low-Income Bankruptcy Project (LIBP) at MFY Legal Services, Inc., an independent non-profit civil legal services provider in New York City. In 2012 he received a Skadden Fellowship to establish LIBP, adding bankruptcy services to MFY’s existing consumer and foreclosure prevention practices. He has represented clients in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies, litigated in bankruptcy court, and contributed to amicus briefs and other advocacy on bankruptcy-related issues. He holds a B.A. in English literature from Kenyon College and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.
Ramona Morel is the Director of the Consumer Bankruptcy Project at the City Bar Justice Center. Ramona has worked with the Consumer Bankruptcy Project when it first launched in 2004.  She provides legal assistance with filing for bankruptcy relief to low income New Yorkers faced with mounting debts. In addition, Ramona trains, mentors, and supervises staff and volunteers to provide direct legal services to these clients. She works in this capacity for the City Bar Justice Center as well as other outside legal service organizations to help foster pro bono assistance to other New Yorkers in various boroughs. Previously, she served as Legal Counselor on the Legal Hotline of the New York City Bar Association. Ramona received a B.A. from New York University, and J.D. from Brooklyn Law School.
Mark H. Wattenberg is a graduate of Columbia Law School.   Almost his entire career has been spent with Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc., though he had a 10-year stint in private practice in Olean, NY.   He is an attorney at the Bath office of Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.   He has an active bankruptcy practice, including Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 proceedings.  He has represented clients in a variety of cases in bankruptcy court, including cases involving mortgage foreclosure, Truth in Lending Act violations, land contract issues, utility terminations, and evictions.  

Strategies for Opposing Termination of Subsidized Housing
1.5 Credits - Areas of Professional Practice
Panel Biographies:
John is a volunteer community organizer with the Greater Syracuse Tenants Network.  He began organizing in Project Based Section 8 Housing by joining the VISTA Affordable Housing Preservation Project for one year as an AmeriCorps VISTA and has continued to volunteer with the Tenants Network following completion of service on the project.  He has aided in empowering tenants by connecting them with local elected officials and national HUD officials to assure their voices are heard.  He is a graduate of Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa.
David Kagle has been a Staff Attorney with Legal Assistance of Western New York since 2013.  He was admitted to practice law in New York in 2009.  His practice is focused on housing law issues, including evictions, subsidized housing and land contracts.  David is also admitted to practice in the District Court for the Western District of New York, as well as the Bankruptcy Court of the same jurisdiction.  
Prior to working at LawNY, David was an attorney for the Chemung County Department of Social Services, where he practiced primarily in Child Support Law.  David is originally from the New York City Area, and now lives with his wife and two children in rural Caton, New York.

Coercive Control Dynamics and their Impact on Family Offense and Custody Matters
1 Credit - Areas of Professional Practice; .5 Credit - Skills
Panel Biographies:
Laura A. Russell is currently the Co-Citywide Supervising attorney of the Family Law/Domestic Violence Unit of The Legal Aid Society in New York City.  Formerly, she was the Matrimonial Director of Sanctuary for Families, Center for Battered Women’s Legal Services and prior to this, the Director of  SHIELD, a program of the New York City Bar’s Justice Center.  As a Supervising attorney, she supervises staff in family law, domestic violence and immigration matters, works on domestic violence policy issues and coordinates family law matters for the offices.   She has handled a variety of matrimonial and family law actions, including Contested Matrimonials, Orders of Protection, Abuse/Neglect matters and Custody/Visitation issues.  Ms. Russell is admitted in both New York and New Jersey, and has lectured on various family law topics, including equitable distribution, domestic violence and Orders of Protection, and also on consumer and tax issues, especially as they relate to domestic violence.  She sat on Judge Miller’s Matrimonial Commission, the NYC Bar’s Judiciary Committee, and the Lawyers Committee Against Domestic Violence’s Matrimonial Committee.  She currently sits on the Attorney for the Child Advisory Committee for the Second Department.  
Bryn Lovejoy-Grinnell is a senior attorney in the Domestic Violence Program at the Frank H. Hiscock Legal Aid Society in Syracuse. Bryn is also the President-Elect of the Central New York Women's Bar Association. She has trained fellow attorneys on family law, matrimonial law, and the intersection of real estate and matrimonial/family law. Before law school, Bryn was a domestic violence advocate at the Advocacy Center in Ithaca. Bryn graduated from Harvard University and Cornell Law School. 
Amanda Norejko is the Director of the Matrimonial and Economic Justice Project and Victoria J. Mastrobuono Economic Justice Fellow at the Center for Battered Women’s Legal Services at Sanctuary for Families.  She is an attorney specializing in representation of domestic violence and trafficking survivors. Ms. Norejko supervises a team of staff and pro bono attorneys in family and matrimonial, housing, and public benefits matters. She engages in legislative and policy advocacy aimed at combating violence against women and promoting women’s economic empowerment on the local, state, national, and international levels.  Ms. Norejko serves as a Senior Policy Advisor and UN Representative for the international NGO, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women. She is a member of several bar associations and serves on the Board of Directors of the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence as well as the New York Women’s Bar Association. She has been an active participant in the New York State Anti-Trafficking Coalition, the Maintenance Standards Coalition, and the Lawyers Committee Against Domestic Violence, which awarded her with the In the Trenches Award in 2014.  In 2016, City & State recognized Ms. Norejko’s work with its Above & Beyond award Honoring Women of Public and Civic Mind.  She is a 2001 graduate of New York University School of Law, which presented her with an Alumni Association award in 2011.


Denison Ray Awards Reception & Dinner

 The Denison Ray Civil Award is named in memory of career legal activist Denison (Denny) Ray, who led legal services programs in New York and other states. A total of four (4) awards will be presented. Two awards will be given to staff attorneys employed by nonprofit entities that provide free civil legal services to low-income clients. One award will be presented to a director of a civil legal services program or a director of a pro bono volunteer program.  An award also will be presented to a nonprofit organization that provides or facilitates the provision of civil legal services to low-income clients.  If the individual recipient is not a member of the New York State Bar Association s/he will be given a complimentary one-year membership.

CRITERIA

The Civil Legal Services Staff Attorney Awards recognize individual attorneys’ extraordinary commitment to:

  • The provision of creative, skilled, and zealous representation of low-income clients;
  • Collaboration with pro bono volunteer attorneys from the private bar to expand access to justice opportunities for low-income clients; and/or
  • Efforts to inspire, mentor, and support colleagues in the delivery of exceptional legal representation to low-income clients.

The Director Award recognizes outstanding leadership at a civil legal services or pro bono program by an executive director or legal director who inspires the kind of extraordinary commitment by staff and service to the community set forth in the above criteria.

The Nonprofit Organization Award recognizes extraordinary commitment to

  • Strengthening access to justice initiatives;
  • Delivering or facilitating the provision of civil legal services to low-income and/or disadvantaged clients;
  • Increasing the provision of pro bono services; and/or
  • Marshaling resources to maximize services to the community.

AWARDS COMMITTEE

Award recipients will be selected by a committee consisting of the chairs of the President’s Committee on Access to Justice, the Committee on Legal Aid, and the Pro Bono Coordinators Network, and the Director of the Department of Pro Bono Affairs. 




Conference Materials


To be posted as they become available.

Directions & Accommodations


Welcome to Albany!

The New York Bar Association is pleased to host the 2016 PArtnership Conference. The Conference is co-sponsored by the Committee on Legal Aid and the Department of Pro Bono Services of the New York State Bar Association. The theme of this year's Conference is "Justice rising." This 2 ½ day conference will feature 37 workshops of which 28 are MCLE accredited. The Workshops are in a plethora of different areas of law affecting disadvantaged populations and families.

The Conferenece has improved since 2014 and we wouyld like to extend our gratitude to all attendees for making this the premier legal services conference in New York.

Directions to the Albany Marriott
From North: I-87 South (Northway) to exit 4. At the end of the exit turn left onto Old Wolf Road. Continue on Old Wolf Road to the end and turn left onto Albany Shaker Road. At the next light turn right ointo Wolf road. Hotel is ahead 1/2 mile on the left. Dircectly across from the Olive Garden Resturant (on right)

From South: Travel I-87 (NYS Thruway) to Exit 24. Exit toll booth and continue for 100 yards and join I-87N (Northway) at Exit 1N. Follow I-87N for 3 miles to Exit 4 (WolfRoad-Albany airport). At the foot of the exit take a right at the light onto Wolf Road. The Albany Marriott will be 1/2 mile on the left. 

From East: Travel I-90 West to Exit B1 (alternate Route 90). Continue on I-90 for 15 miles to Exit 1N (I-87N) Exit 4 (Wolf Road). Bear right leaving the exit and turn right onto Wolf Road. Hotel is ahead 1/2 mile on the left.

From West: NYS Thruway (I-90 East) to Exit 24. Exit toll and join I-87N (Northway) Exit 1N. Continue on I-87N for 3 miles to Exit 4 (Wolf Road). Bear right leaving the exit and turn right onto Wolf Road. Hotel is ahead 1/2 mile on the left. 

From Albany County Airport: Bear Left at first light leaving terminal, turning onto Albany-Shaker Road. Proceed east to Wolf Road, turn right (5th light). hotel is 1/2 mile ahead on the left. Taxi service and rental cars are available at the airport, or use the courtesy phone at the baggage claim for complimentary shuttle service. 

From Amtrak Station: (Rensselaer) Leaving Terminal, bear left 3 times, following signs to I-787N to I-90 West to I-87 north Exit 4 (Wolf Road). Bear right leaving the exit and trun right onto Wolf Road. Hotel is ahead 1/2 mile on the left. Taxi Service is available at the train station. 



Other nearby hotels
Courtyard Albany Airport 
Address: 168 Wolf Rd, Albany NY 12205
Phone Number: (518) 482-8800
Website 

Red Roof Inn Albany Airport 
Address: 188 Wolf Rd, Albany NY 12205
Phone Number: (518) 459-1971
Website

Radisson Hotel Albany 
Address: 205 Wolf Rd, Albany NY 12205
Phone Number: (518) 458-7250
Website

Hampton Inn
Address: 10 Ulenski Drive, Albany NY 12205
Phone Number: (518) 438-2822
Website

Homewood Suites 
Address: 216 Wolf Rd, Albany NY 12205
Phone Number: (518) 438-4300
Website


Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities: NYSBA welcomes participation by individuals with disabilities. NYSBA is committed to complying with all applicable laws that prohibit discrimination against individuals on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of its goods, services, programs, activites, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations. To request auxiliary aids or services or if you have any questions regarding accessibility, please contact Eunice Bencke at ebencke@nysba.org




FAQs  

1) How do I register for the conference?  You can access registration information at www.nysba.org/partnership2016.


2) How much does it cost to register for the conference?  Member Price: $150.00; Non-Member Price:  $225.00.


3) Is there a group discount?  No, there is no group discount available.


4) May I submit a group registration online?  No – you must fax or mail this registration form, following the instructions found at www.nysba.org/partnership2016.


5) If I am a presenter, do I have to register?  If you are only presenting, and are not attending the rest of the conference, please contact Eunice Bencke at ebencke@nysba.orgor 518-487-5641.  If you are presenting and plan on attending the rest of the conference, you must register.


6) If I am only attending one of the Task Force or Affinity Group meetings on Wednesday, September 14th, do I need to register?  If you are only attending a Wednesday meeting, and are not attending the rest of the conference, please contact Eunice Bencke at ebencke@nysba.orgor 518-487-5641.  If you are attending a Wednesday meeting and plan on attending the rest of the conference, you must register.


7) Who do I contact to confirm or change my registration?  Please call the Member Resource Center at 800-582-2452.


8) Who do I contact with other questions about the conference?  Call or email the Pro Bono Services Department at 518-487-5641 or ebencke@nysba.org.


9) When do I check into the Conference?  You can check into the conference at the hotel either Wednesday evening or Thursday morning during breakfast.


10) Are the sponsorship opportunities?  Yes, if you are interested in sponsoring the conference, please call or email Kristen Wagner at 518-487-5640 or kwagner@nysba.org