The Suffolk Pro Bono Project is very happy to honor Alan Finkel as its Pro Bono Attorney of the Month. Mr. Finkel is one of the Pro Bono Project’s most inspiring matrimonial attorneys. After litigating matrimonial cases for thirty years, he has recently left his litigation practice to focus entirely on mediation.
In the last three years, Mr. Finkel has handled three divorces and successfully defended the divorce of one of the clients who did not want the divorce. The client’s husband was proceeding pro se and was planning to move to Texas with his new girlfriend and child. The husband repeatedly came to Court without providing his Net Worth Statement and after the third failure to prepare this document, Mr. Finkel got the divorce action dismissed. He obtained the desired outcome for her, and also secured a support order from the husband.
In several of Mr. Finkel’s recent pro bono cases, he was able to fashion a settlement that was acceptable to both parties. In one of the cases, the opposing party was proceeding pro se. It is this ability to find and develop common ground that makes Mr. Finkel’s mediation practice so successful. .
Mr. Finkel, the son of a lawyer, received his B.A. and a Master’s degree in Education from Fairleigh Dickinson University, where he majored in history and drama. Mr. Finkel went to work after graduating as a salesman. He attend law school at Touro Law Center as a night student, and obtained his J.D. in 1984. After graduation, he started taking on the matrimonial cases from his father’s firm and continued his sales job as well. Mr. Finkel opened his own successful law firm in 1987 and credits his success to his lovely and talented wife, Michelle, who works with him. He believes that his life turned around when he met her. They both enjoy working together and are an incredibly effective team
The Finkels are very proud, loving parents to 4 children and to 5 grandchildren. Not only a successful attorney, Mr. Finkel is also a talented musician. Mr. Finkel plays bass guitar in a six-piece rock band, named “Malpractice,” which has played concerts in the past, and now plays every week for their own entertainment.
When asked what it is about pro bono work that has been most gratifying to him, Mr. Finkel responded, “I like to give back to the community. I’m always impressed by the hard-working members of the community and I’m happy to help them if they need a divorce. ” The Pro Bono Project is grateful for Mr. Finkel’s dedication to helping the less fortunate on Long Island. We are delighted to honor him as Pro Bono Attorney of the Month.
The Suffolk Pro Bono Project is a joint effort of Nassau Suffolk Law Services, the Suffolk County Bar Association and the Suffolk County Pro Bono Foundation, who, for many years, have joined resources toward the goal of providing free legal assistance to Suffolk County residents who are dealing with economic hardship. Nassau Suffolk Law Services is a non-profit civil legal services agency, providing 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 resident. 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 Ellen Krakow, Esq. 631 232-2400 x 3323.