It is with great pleasure that Nassau/Suffolk Law Services’ Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP) and the Nassau County Bar Association recognize Seth Koslow as our most recent Pro Bono Attorney of the Month. Mr. Koslow, a solo practitioner in Mineola, New York, specializes predominantly in criminal defense and family court matters. We honor him this month for his dedication to providing legal services in matrimonial matters to indigent and disabled members of our community. Since he first volunteered with the VLP in 2016, Mr. Koslow has donated over 73 hours of his time assisting these clients obtain fair divorce resolutions and a fresh start in life.
Mr. Koslow studied Business Administration at The American University, and graduated from Touro Law School in 2013. He was admitted in New York, and the Southern and Eastern Districts of the US Federal Court in 2014. Upon admission, he spent three years with the Queens District Attorney’s Office, honing his litigation skills. After departing the District Attorney’s Office, he set up his own practice where he handles both civil and criminal matters.
Although Mr. Koslow did not have any experience in matrimonial litigation when he approached the VLP seeking to volunteer, he did not hesitate when asked to assist on an uncontested matrimonial matter. Throughout his life, he has been dedicated to giving back to his community through volunteering at local youth groups and the Ronald McDonald House. Once he became an attorney, accepting a case at the Volunteer Lawyers Project was a natural decision.
Mr. Koslow credits his mentor Wendy Hamburger, Esq. for guiding him through his initial cases. Ms. Hamberger helped create an uncontested matrimonial law initiative in 2014. The immediate goal was to reduce the substantial waiting list of qualifying low-income plaintiffs. These individuals had been unable to navigate the complicated process of an uncontested divorce pro se, and could not move forward with their lives without legal representation. Ms. Hamberger was able to enlist the assistance of several other attorneys who were enthusiastic about pro bono and interested in developing additional legal skills. Her commitment to mentorship allowed Mr. Koslow to develop the necessary skills to represent his client successfully, despite his inexperience with matrimonial law.
He believes that Ms. Hamburger’s mentorship was crucial in his success at VLP, as it alleviated many of the stressors that come with embarking into an unfamiliar area of the law. Mr. Koslow enjoys having the opportunity to strategize with Ms. Hamburger, which allows each case to become an invaluable learning experience. He now feels comfortable representing clients with more complicated matters.
Mr. Koslow recognizes that volunteering with the VLP has allowed him to assist individuals with whom he ordinarily would not have the opportunity to work. He enjoys building a relationship with each individual. In fact, he and one of his grateful VLP clients still keep in touch long after the matter settled. He finds it incredibly satisfying to see that his pro bono work leaves a meaningful impression on his clients.
Mr. Koslow emphasizes that the greatest reward associated with providing pro bono service is the unique opportunity to help members of the community gain access to justice. He notes: “If you are feeling unsure about providing pro bono services, I really urge you to take the plunge. The Volunteer Lawyers Project has allowed me to venture into areas I may not have had the confidence to try. I look forward to becoming a mentor for other attorneys so that they can also help to close the justice gap.”
Susan Biller, Pro Bono Coordinator of the Volunteer Lawyers Project, states: “We are so grateful to Seth for his enthusiastic dedication to our program. He has such a vested interest in public service, and brings sound legal advice and guidance into all of his cases. He is someone we know we can count on.”
In addition to his practice of law, Mr. Koslow has recently contributed an article to the Nassau Lawyer entitled: “Sealing of Criminal Records: Apply Alone, at Your Own Risk.” (November, 2017) He also enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, cooking, and is an avid sports fan. He is looking forward to the arrival of his third child in January of 2019.
The Volunteer Lawyers Project and the Nassau County Bar Association are truly fortunate to have Seth Koslow on board and honor him as our most recent Attorney of the Month.
The Volunteer Lawyers Project is a joint effort of Nassau Suffolk Law Services and the Nassau County Bar Association, who, for many years, have joined resources toward the goal of providing free legal assistance to Nassau County residents who are dealing with economic hardship. Nassau Suffolk Law Services is a non profit civil legal services agency, receiving federal, state and local funding to provide free legal assistance to Long Islanders, primarily in the areas of benefits advocacy, homelessness prevention (foreclosure and eviction defense), access to health care, and services to special populations such as domestic violence victims, disabled, and adult home residents. The provision of free services is prioritized based on financial need and funding is often inadequate in these areas. Furthermore, there is no funding for the general provision of matrimonial or bankruptcy representation, therefore the demand for pro bono assistance is the greatest in these areas. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Susan Biller, Esq. 516-292-8100, ext. 3136.