It is with great pleasure that Nassau/ Suffolk Law Services and the Volunteer Lawyers Project recognizes Mary T. Lucere as the most recent Pro Bono Attorney of the Month. Ms. Lucere has had a long history of service to the indigent in our community through her consistent participation in the Volunteer Lawyers Project. Since starting her solo general practice in 2004, she has simultaneously served the Nassau Suffolk Law Services (NSLS) Attorney of the Day Project and represented low-income defendants in complex contested matrimonial matters.
Ms Lucere is no stranger to multi-tasking. Starting her career as a legal secretary, she worked full-time while obtaining a Certificate in Paralegal Studies, then a Bachelor’s degree. While working in the corporate and real estate departments of the firm of Blodnick, Schultz & Abramowitz, she attended St. John’s Law School, from which she earned her J.D. in 1988. She was admitted to both the New York and New Jersey Bars in December, 1988.
The years of real-world work experience gave Ms. Lucere “valuable knowledge and skills which could not be taught in law school”. After several years of association with the firm of Wolfson & Grossman, she ultimately launched her solo practice, now located in Seaford. She focuses on real estate and commercial transactions, leasing, civil litigation, along with trusts and estates and family law. Seeing a Pro Bono Attorney of the Month award many years ago first sparked her interest in volunteering her professional services.
One of Ms. Lucere’s most rewarding volunteer experiences has been working in the Landlord Tenant Part of the Nassau District Court in the NSLS Attorney of the Day Project. With the guidance of Roberta Scoll, the supervising NSLS staff attorney, she has aided in delaying or preventing the evictions of many Nassau County residents who would otherwise be rendered homeless.
Ms. Lucere urges other attorneys to donate some of their time to the Volunteer Lawyers Project. “During these difficult economic times, I feel it is incumbent upon each attorney who is able to step up to the plate and offer their services to those who cannot afford legal counsel. So many people who do not have access to a lawyer could be helped if every attorney committed to taking even one case.”
Volunteering to handle matrimonial cases for the Volunteer Lawyers Project has enabled Ms. Lucere to broaden her skill set in family law. She recalls successfully negotiating a settlement in a child custody and relocation case, involving issues with which she had not had much previous experience. The case was also quite personally gratifying. Her client, who had been separated for over four years and considered divorce out of her financial reach, was immensely appreciative of the help she’d received and thrilled that she could finally move ahead with her life.
The Attorney of the Month honor was previously awarded to Ms. Lucere in September of 2008. The plaque now hangs on the bedroom wall of one of her two daughters, serving as inspiration for them as they reach adulthood.
In addition to her law practice, Pro Bono work and raising her two daughters, Ms. Lucere enjoys reading, watching movies, and entertaining friends. She is also an active member of the Seaford Chamber of Commerce.
Perhaps she is best known to the Volunteer Lawyers Project for her willingness to take on a challenge when most needed. For her persistent efforts to help indigent Long Island residents obtain access to legal services, along with her dedication and professionalism, we are proud to honor Mary T. Lucere as Pro Bono Attorney of the month.
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