Law Services Updates - Fall 2020

Updated: Nov 4, 2020

Staff Spotlight

Re-Entry Attorney Ray DeLeo Named Nassau Young Attorney of the Year

The Nassau County Legislature named Re-Entry Project staff attorney Ray DeLeo "Young Attorney of the Year" for his "exemplary service" to the community. The Legislature cited DeLeo's "leadership and dedication to enriching the lives of others" in giving the award.

NSLS is on the Move Amid Coronavirus!

Law Services staff have remained active in the community during the pandemic.

On July 29, 2020, Carly Sommers, Staff Attorney in the Re-Entry Project gave a webinar sponsored by the Suffolk County Legal Aid Society. Sommers discussed housing discrimination based on arrest record and criminal history. The webinar was well attended by Suffolk County Legal Aid attorneys and social workers.

On July 24, 2020, Larry Tuthill, Staff Attorney in the Domestic Violence Unit and Victoria Davies, Staff Attorney in the Child Support Unit gave a webinar on Family Law Basics. Advocates learned about custody, visitation and child support petitions, and what to expect in family court. Tuthill also gave a webinar on May 12th to staff of The Retreat regarding custody issues arising due to COVID-19 as well as how those cases were then being handled in Family Court.

Marissa Luchs Kindler, Supervising Attorney of the Suffolk Civil Unit gave a webinar on the 2019 Landlord Tenant Amendments on June 19th. In addition to discussing how the recent amendments have been implemented, Luchs Kindler also discussed the status of the COVID- 19 Moratoria and the impact on evictions.

Raymond DeLeo, Staff Attorney of the Re-Entry Project presented in a webinar sponsored by the Nassau County Re-Entry Task Force on June 11, 2020. The presentation was given to staff members of the Nassau County Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, the Nassau County Department Probation Department, New Horizons Counseling Center and Nassau County EAC. DeLeo reviewed the services the Re-Entry Project offers and eligibility requirements. He also reviewed the process of sealing a criminal record in New York State. On April 29, 2020, Dan Okrent, Staff Attorney in the Senior Citizen’s Project gave a webinar on Advance Directives to The Alzheimer’s Association.

Welcome to Our Team!

Maria Beller is our new Social Worker. Maria is a 2020 Fordham MSW graduate with deep experience in the mental health field. Beller is passionate about advocating for people in need and looks forward to the new challenge of working on behalf of our clients.

Kimberly Bolk, Law Graduate from CUNY Law School joined the Independent Consumer Advocacy Network (ICAN) unit. Bolk participated in CUNY's health law clinic and is excited to be working to expand healthcare access on Long Island.

Ann Marie Fitzpatrick, Education and Disability Rights Project Disability Advocate is a graduate of the Council of Special Education Advocates and Attorneys Special Education Advocate Training (SEAT) program.

Attorney Zachary Randall joined the Behavioral Health Law Project. Randall graduated from Pace Law School this year after completing the Pro Bono Scholars program with Legal Services of the Hudson Valley.

Goodbyes & Farewells

Marcia Vogel, longtime Disability Advocate in the Education and Disability Rights Project, retired from Nassau Suffolk Law Services in February, 2020. During her time at NSLS, Vogel was a tireless and effective advocate on behalf of students and adults with disabilities. She will be sorely missed by her clients and NSLS staff. After 20 years at Law Services, and even more as a Social Worker, Angela Lampe has retired to Florida to be closer to family. Her tireless passion for, and dedication to, advocating for her clients will surely be missed by Law Services’ staff and, of course, her clients.  Senior Staff Attorney Beth Zweig left NSLS in August. Zweig was the supervising attorney in the Public Benefits unit. Her leadership and vision for the long-term future of the unit will be missed. We wish them all the very best!

NSLS Mourns the Loss of Don Friedman

Former Empire Justice Center attorney Don Friedman passed away unexpectedly in August 2020. Friedman was a longtime public interest lawyer who trained generations of public benefits attorneys and led New York's welfare task force. The legal services community will miss Friedman's leadership and vision.

A Message from the Executive Director

We are living in a time of great uncertainty. The legal framework around the issues our clients face can change from day to day. Whereas in the past regulations and law might evolve from year to year, now legal guidance from just weeks earlier may have become entirely obsolete. Our community needs Nassau Suffolk Law Services more than ever to navigate these changing tides. We are dedicated to meeting our clients' needs as Long Island reopens its economy and rebuilds disrupted lives.

At the same time, state and local budgets that support all of the services our clients rely on are under enormous strain. We will do everything in our power to secure adequate funding to avoid any reductions in services. I am hopeful that Nassau Suffolk Law Services will receive the resources needed to meet these needs. Because of the pandemic we have replaced our in-person fundraising event with a virtual campaign. Please consider supporting our fall Commitment to Justice Campaign with a donation in any amount. 

This website is designed for general information only.  The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.