The Suffolk Pro Bono Project is pleased to honor Thomas Persichilli once again as its Pro Bono Attorney of the Month. This is Mr. Persichilli's fourth time receiving this honor! He has been doing pro bono work through the Project for over twenty years, with most of the work consisting of Chapter 7 bankruptcies. It is his recent bankruptcy work that has earned him this distinction once again.
The clients that the Project refer to Thomas Persichilli are quite fortunate, given the depth and breadth of his knowledge acquired during his 33 years of legal practice. For most of these years, he has operated a solo general practice in Deer Park. Today, his practice includes real estate law (commercial and residential), family law, collections, and debtor-creditor work. Mr. Persichilli sits on Nassau County’s 18b panel and Law Guardian panel through which he represents parents and children in custody, neglect and family offense proceedings.
Mr. Persichilli attended Boston College in 1975. In 1978, he graduated from New York Law School, and immediately began working for Jericho attorney Marshall Stein. The two soon became partners. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Persichilli decided to set up his own practice.
It was about twenty years ago that Mr. Persichilli said “yes” to taking his first Pro Bono Project case, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. That led to one more, then another and in just the past ten years, he has accepted nearly 60 referrals, making Mr. Perischilli one of the largest contributors to the Project! When asked if this substantial amount of pro bono work interferes with the rest of his solo practice, he responded, “No. Not at all. I really don’t find it to be a drag on my practice.” Moreover, he thinks his pro bono work enhances his practice by exposing him to factual scenarios and legal issues that he would not otherwise come across. But what really motivates Tom Perischilli to do pro bono work is the satisfaction that comes from helping those in need. “It feels good to step in and represent people who do not have legal counsel. We’re really helping people.”
Maria Dosso, Nassau Suffolk Law Services' Director of Communications and Volunteer Services, considers Mr. Persichilli to be part of the bedrock of the Project. “He’s one of those attorneys who’s been there for us year after year. He never declines a referral making it easier for us meet our goal to provide access to justice to those less fortunate.”
A resident of Kings Park, Mr. Persichilli and his wife, Darlene Persichilli, raised four children and now have a grandchild. He is very proud of his children: the oldest child is a conductor with the Long Island Railroad, two children are graphic designers and a fourth is working toward a degree in nutrition after a previous career as a video coordinator for the Cincinnati Reds’ minor league program. In his free time, Mr. Persichilli loves to play golf.
The Pro Bono Project is most grateful for Mr. Persichilli’s long-standing generosity and the skilled advocacy he has provided to every referred client. For this reason, it is with great pleasure that we honor him again as the 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.