The Nassau/Suffolk Law Services Volunteer Lawyer Project (VLP) recently honored John Stellakis. Since 2014, Mr. Stellakis has volunteered for the VLP Landlord/Tenant Attorney of the Day Project, providing tenants with representation which they could not otherwise afford. He has devoted over 50 hours in the past year assisting tenants with their disputes, helping many facing eviction to remain in their residences, and thus to avoid being rendered homeless.
Mr. Stellakis is able to assist tenants who are not conversant with the laws that protect them and who cannot navigate our confusing legal system. Having legal representation in landlord tenant court can make all the difference in preserving stable housing.
Mr. Stellakis believes providing pro bono legal services allows young lawyers to gain valuable experience in interacting with clients, attending a court conference, presenting a case before the judge, and handling a case from intake to disposition. He feels that even though an attorney will not receive financial compensation, the reward of helping another person in their time of need is tremendous. “While providing [pro bono] assistance may involve some personal sacrifice, the benefits to the attorney as well as the client are great… if attorneys can spare their time to help others in need, then they certainly should.” Roberta D. Scoll, Staff Attorney and Coordinator for the Attorney of the Day Project states: “Every last Wednesday of each month, John faithfully arrives in room 277 in District Court in Hempstead. Always with a smile and an eagerness to help those less fortunate, John settles their cases in the best way possible for the clients. Stellakis plays an integral role in the success of the program.”
The VLP is truly proud to honor John Stellakis as Pro Bono Attorney of the Month for his tremendous work ethic and dedication to aiding clients with their landlord-tenant disputes.