Nassau Suffolk Law Services is privileged to honor H. Lee Blumberg as Pro Bono Attorney of the Month for his service to the underprivileged of Long Island since the inception of the Suffolk Pro Bono Project in 1980. He was previously honored as Pro Bono Attorney of the Month in May of 1999 and his firm, Blumberg, Cherkoss, Fitz Gibbons & Blumberg located in Amityville, N.Y., was also honored in 2006 for its pro bono work.
Mr. Blumberg usually devotes about 5-6 pro bono hours per week, by accepting matrimonial and other cases through the Pro Bono Project, and often does additional pro bono cases on his own. When asked what attracts him to this type of work he explains, “Not everyone likes to do matrimonial work, but there is satisfaction in alleviating spousal or child abuse, or preventing one party from getting the better of the other. You can tell it was a good settlement if nobody is either elated or upset when it is all over.” He believes that short of being a mental health professional, the most satisfying aspect of this work is the opportunity to educate clients and give them a realistic idea about what to expect. Mr. Blumberg acknowledges, “The world lawyers live in today proves that the Law is a jealous mistress.” He and his firm pay attention to all their cases because, “with each case there are always different nuances. A good attorney is able to pick out the one situation in ten that has some unique twist and gives those matters the special attention required.”
Lee’s firm was founded by his father, Eugene, over 75 years ago. The youngest of his three sons, Joshua, joined him in the practice, and was also recently honored as Pro Bono Attorney of the Month, following in the family tradition. While the firm specializes in many areas of law, including Trusts and Estates, Landlord/Tenant, Criminal Law, Litigation and general practice, Mr. Blumberg felt that it was in the area of Matrimonial Law that there was the most need for pro bono assistance. Maria Dosso, Esq. who oversees the Pro Bono Project at Nassau Suffolk Law Services agrees. “We can barely keep up with the applications for pro bono divorce representation on behalf of defendants. Our plaintiff waiting list is currently closed due to the long wait. Pro bono attorneys like Lee Blumberg are in great demand. His cooperation and consistent generosity is much appreciated, and a great value to the community.”
Interestingly enough, the law was not necessarily Mr. Blumberg’s first career choice. Originally he thought of practicing accounting, but found that it was too dry. Becoming a physician was not an option, since he soon learned he didn’t like the sight of blood. So, following in his father’s footsteps, he became a lawyer after graduating with his B.A and his J.D. from the University of Michigan, and was admitted in New York in 1964. He has been married almost 48 years to Jo Ann and has 3 sons, (David, Daniel and Joshua) and 7 grandchildren (Benjamin, Justin, Skyler, Brittany, Maceo, Noah and Ryder). His hobbies include boating, traveling, hiking, and snorkeling, and he loves to drive “Leegalee”, his Corvette, his well known vehicles of choice since the 1970’s.
Lee says there are good reasons for accepting pro bono cases. “It is personally gratifying and it benefits the legal system. We all have the drive and ability that lead us to become good lawyers and to make a good living, and we should give back to those who are less fortunate.”
For his many years of serving the indigent community of Suffolk County and exemplifying the ideal of community service, it is once again our privilege to name H. Lee Blumberg, Esq. Pro Bono Attorney of the Month!
Nancy Zukowski is a volunteer paralegal at Nassau Suffolk Law Services with a paralegal certificate from Suffolk Community College. Ms. Zukowski is also a freelance writer and has extensive professional experience in health insurance claims and health care advocacy and has also interned at Nassau Suffolk Law Services, Queens Housing Court, and at private law offices in Suffolk. She is also a member of the Self Advocacy Association of New York.