Our 2022 Summer Newsletter is here!

The Access Justice Brooklyn 2022 Summer Newsletter is here! Click here to read the latest edition!

In this edition you will find:

An update from Heidi Lee Henderson, President & Chief Executive Officer: Read about rebrand, renewed mission, and how you can take action

Homeowner Assistance New Addition: Welcome Aaron Scheinwald, Staff Attorney, to the Access Justice Brooklyn team

Meet our Dynamic Summer Interns: Meet our new interns and hear why they are excited to be joining us this summer 

Summer Events Series: Discover how we are advancing legal education opportunities for both volunteers and Brooklyn seniors 

Be sure to sign-up for our newsletter and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to stay connected!

Homeowner Assistance New Addition

We are excited to introduce Aaron Scheinwald, an experienced public interest attorney, who we welcomed to the Access Justice Brooklyn team in April 2022 as a Staff Attorney for our Homeowner Assistance program. Aaron joins us following years with NYLAG, serving most recently as the Acting Director in their Storm Response Unit.

Aaron Scheinwald

Aaron Scheinwald, Staff Attorney
“I’m excited to join an organization that is unafraid to take hard cases, and that focuses its mission as much on community education and maximizing access to justice as its does core legal services. Access Justice Brooklyn is that place: we work to help the more vulnerable members of the community achieve justice in a frequently unfriendly system by meeting clients and their legal problems where they are, by sharing critical information and tools throughout the borough, and by taking the time to form community and pro bono relationships to expand our impact. I am proud to join Access Justice Brooklyn, to serve Brooklyn and to achieve a more just society.”

As Staff Attorney for Access Justice Brooklyn, Aaron will help lead our foreclosure prevention work which delivers critical advice and representation to hundreds of Brooklyn homeowners facing foreclosure every year. To learn more about the services we provide through our Homeowner Assistance program, click here.

Highlighting Access Justice Brooklyn’s Summer Interns on National Intern Day

National Intern Day is July 28, 2022, and to celebrate we are delighted to introduce, highlight, and celebrate Access Justice Brooklyn’s Summer Interns! As an organization operating with a full-time staff of eleven, our interns play an especially critical role in our day-to-day work, programming, and impact.

Tenzin Chimi, Rising 2L, Brooklyn Law School
“I was interested in interning with Access Justice Brooklyn because of the organizations values and its mission to provide accessible legal services to financially burdened communities. Throughout this summer, I look forward to gaining skills that are invaluable to my legal career while being able to advocate for marginalized individuals!”

Rigel Morin, Rising 3L, Brooklyn Law School
“What interested me in interning with Access Justice Brooklyn was the opportunity to assist members of the Brooklyn community in a real way. I hope to gain first-hand experience in the way our court and legal systems operate and to learn how to best interact with and assist clients by the end of my internship with Access Justice Brooklyn.”

Lucas Pozzuto, Rising 2L and Carswell Scholarship recipient, Brooklyn Law School
“I was drawn to Access Justice Brooklyn because of the opportunity to work hands-on within my immediate community. While things like legal research and writing can be effectively supplemented through internships, there is no classroom substitute for working with everyday people to help them resolve legal issues they likely wouldn’t be able to resolve on their own. I look forward to continuing to improve upon my public speaking skills, communication skills, and I’m hoping to continue to hone my legal research and writing skills while doing so.”

Brendan Tetro, Rising 2L, Brooklyn Law School
“I am so excited to spend the summer with the Access Justice Brooklyn team to learn from my staff mentors and grow my skills as a legal professional while supporting the Brooklyn community!”

From conducting intake to staffing legal clinics and representing clients on civil legal matters, our interns are making a long-lasting difference in the lives of those who are often overlooked and underserved.

We are incredibly grateful and proud of their compassion and dedication to Access Justice Brooklyn and those we serve! For more information about volunteering with Access Justice Brooklyn, click here.

Access Justice Brooklyn Launch Party hosted by Board Member Jeffrey B. Gewirtz, BSE Global

On July 13, 2022, we celebrated Access Justice Brooklyn and the launch of our new name, new brand, and renewed mission. The celebration took place at the Crown Club at Barclays Center and was hosted by Access Justice Brooklyn Board Member Jeffrey B. Gewirtz, Executive Vice President & General Counsel, BSE Global.

Founded in 1990 to help close the gap in legal resources and representation in the borough, we have been a pioneer of contemporary pro bono models and a progressive force in the community. We believe that broad, sustainable systems change requires a holistic approach, and our new brand is a more accurate reflection of who we are today and our vision for the future. Read the press release here.

Thank you to Jeff Gewirtz for his leadership, support and generosity and for providing us with a night to remember at the Barclays Center.

A special thank you to Access Justice Brooklyn Board Members, Young Professionals Board Members, and our dedicated staff without whom this rebrand, and launch would not be possible!

For more photos of the evening, visit our Instagram and Facebook page.

Photography by Reuben Kleiner.

BK Reader: Meet the Lawyers Helping Brooklyn’s Neediest Residents—For Free!

Access Justice Brooklyn was featured in “Meet the Lawyers Helping Brooklyn’s Neediest Residents—For Free!” by Jessy Edwards published on July 1, 2022 in the BK Reader.

We are excited to reintroduce ourselves to the community as Access Justice Brooklyn as well as highlight our holistic programming and share our clients’ victories! Thank you to Jessy Edwards for profiling us!

To read the article, click here.

Access Justice Brooklyn partners with AXA XL on Annual Global Day of Giving

We partnered with volunteers at AXA XL in celebration of their Annual Global Day of Giving. The AXA XL Global Day of Giving allows AXA XL staff the opportunity to donate their time and skills to organizations in the communities they work and live in.

On June 24, 2022, Access Justice Brooklyn hosted an in-person clinic for eight AXA XL volunteers who generously donated their time in support of our Advanced Life Planning services. Volunteers assisted our clients in need of help preparing healthcare proxies and power of attorney documents.

Thank you to Steve Agosta, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, U.S. Reinsurance, H. Matthew Crusey, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Reinsurance and Global Corporate, Johana Guerrero, Underwriter, Subcontractor Default Insurance, Matthew Murabito, General Counsel, Investments, and Lian Phua, Head of Americas, Political Risk, Credit and Bond, for their participation last week.

A special thank you to event organizer Dana Rosenbaum, Senior Legal Counsel, Investments and Pro Bono Committee Chair. Dana shared, “We were honored to volunteer with Access Justice Brooklyn as part of AXA XL’s annual Global Day of Giving (GDoG). Since the inception of the GDoG in 2006, AXA XL colleagues have performed approximately 375,000 hours of community service for hundreds of non-profits worldwide. We have partnered with Access Justice Brooklyn on several legal clinics throughout the years and always find the work meaningful. Our volunteers appreciate the opportunity to assist New Yorkers in need“.

For more information about pro bono partnership opportunities with Access Justice Brooklyn, please contact Anne O’Grady, Pro Bono Director.

For a list of our current Pro Bono Partners, click here.

New Name, New Brand, Renewed Mission

We are excited to announce we’ve changed our name and look to better reflect our mission and vision for the future. The Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project is now Access Justice Brooklyn!

Founded in 1990 to help close the gap in legal resources and representation in the borough, the Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project has always been — and always will be — a pioneer of contemporary pro bono models and a progressive force in the community. Our small staff and dedicated volunteers have been helping neighbors for more than 32 years, and the impact of our work can be seen in the legal results achieved.

Still, systemic barriers to the legal process remain, leaving neighbors with low incomes — especially in marginalized communities — to face legal challenges alone. This, in part, is why the Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project is now Access Justice Brooklyn. We believe that broad, sustainable systems change will require a holistic approach, and our new brand is a more accurate reflection of where we’re heading as an organization and a force for change.

Click here to learn more about our rebrand!

Click here to read our official press release.

We’re Hiring!

Access Justice Brooklyn has an exciting opportunity for an attorney to serve as a staff attorney for its consumer law practice.

The staff attorney will oversee all aspects of our Volunteer Lawyer for the Day Consumer Debt Program (VLFD) program in Kings County Civil Court, and will work with our director of legal services and staff to strengthen our consumer debt practice, including Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act practice, and The Civil Legal Advice and Resource Office (CLARO), which delivers critical advice and representation to hundreds of litigants a year.

The staff attorney will have the unique opportunity to shape Access Justice Brooklyn’s work and leadership in an evolving practice area as the economic crisis continues, requiring innovative and coordinated responses. Click here to view the job posting!

2022 Volunteer Recognition Event

Tuesday, April 19, 2022 | 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM (ET) | Virtual Event via Zoom

Honoring all our 2021 volunteers and the following with special awards:

Christopher Slattery
Young Professional Award Recipient
Julianne Mulhall
Chief Compliance Officer
Edgewood Management LLC

Liz Padilla Excellence in
Public Service Award Recipient
Peter De Vries
Law Office of Peter De Vries PLLC

Pro Bono Leadership
Award Recipient
Carolyn D. Rosenthal
Director, Pro Bono
Goodwin Procter LLP

Pro Bono Leadership
Award Recipient
Rena A. Kramer
Goodwin Procter LLP

Program and Award Presentation

Welcoming Remarks – Heidi Lee Henderson, Access Justice Brooklyn President and CEO

Presentation of the Christopher Slattery Young Professional Award to Julianne Mulhall – James Slattery, Access Justice Brooklyn Emeritus Board Member

Presentation of the Liz Padilla Excellence in Public Service Award to Peter De Vries – Kathy and David Padilla

Presentation of the Pro Bono Leadership Award to Carolyn D. Rosenthal and Rena A. Kramer – Anne O’Grady, Access Justice Brooklyn Pro Bono Director

Closing Remarks – Sidney Cherubin, Access Justice Brooklyn Director of Legal Services

Thank you to all 2021 Access Justice Brooklyn Volunteers for your generosity of time, compassion, and commitment to our mission.

Sarah Abel
Alexander Appugliese
Michael Arsiotis
Marc Avila
Aissatou Bah-Diarra
Jordan Baker
Sophia Barclay
Rajesh Barua
Margie Bechara
Robert Christopher Beckford
Shani Bell
Lesley Benjamin
Douglas Berman
Rachel Blumenfeld
Shoshana Brenenson
Jean-Phillipe Bruno
Valerie Budzik
Ivanka Canzius
Kelly Carr
Liesel Carvajal
Kathryn Caudill
Peter Cedeno
Tiffanni Chelpaty
Bayti Chen
Isa Clarke
Catherine Cognetti
Charles Coleman
Lauren Connell
Melnia Cordis
Dale David
Tina Davis
Natasha Demosthene
Nicole Doppelt
Cyrus Dugger
Leah Edwards
Mary Jo Eyster

Dionne Fabiatos
Gina Faldetta
Aviva Farkas
Rachelle Fernandes
Faye Finisterre
Fern Finkel
Lana Fitzsimons
Arvind Galabya
Annie Garvin
Daniel Gershburg
Sara Ginsberg
Jessica Gonzalez
Shayshana Gourdine
Alexander Gutierrez
Donneshia Hall
Peter Hanschke
Elizabeth Harris
Melanie Headley
Steven Henderson
Wendy Hernandez
Caitlin Hickey
Yvette Hinds-Wills
Alexandra Hyken
Cassandra Hyppolite
Sanaa Jain
Simone Kaliko
Adam Kalish
Rachel Kaylie
Janet Keller
Emma Kelly
Renee Kendall
Christine Kirkland
Kristi Kirksey
Kimberly Kramer
Rena A. Kramer
Richard Kubiak
Stacey Kushlefsky

Thomas Kwon
Tanya Lambert
Alexander Landivar
Christine Laurent
Joan Lenihan
Roger Levy
Matthew Lewis
Noah Lingwall
Kathleen Linnane
Michelle Lubetzki
James Maleady
Mehvish Maqbool
Natisha Matthews
Margaret Mayora
Andrew McDonough
Valerie McLaughlin
Kailee McMahon
Brennan Meier
Gregory Messer
Jolevette Mitchell
Eva Monteiro
Julianne Mulhall
Jessica Mullen
Robert Nadel
Enealia Nau
Alice Nicholson
Daniel Nussbaum
Yolanda Obonna
Kelsey O’Donnell
James O’Gara
Malvina Palloj
Brynn Peltz
Charles Pérez
Ari Peterson
Michelle Rae Pinzon
Melinda Yvette Pollard
David J. Posner

Irwin Reiter
Dana Rosenbaum
Carolyn D. Rosenthal
Lorraine Sabalja
Ilana Saltz
Eric Saparli
Katherine Schroeder
Rachel Schwartz
Ilana Schwitzer
John Scillieri
Benedict See
Tatyana Segal
Marc A. Silverman
Martin Simiyu
James P. Slattery
Seth D. Slotkin
Deborah Stern
Brittania Stewart
Zvi Storch
George Swoyer
Ximeng (Sammie) Tang
Libby Tatum
Uzoma Ubanii
Jeanne Marie Vahdat
Nicole Vescova
Maria Vizdoaga
Peter De Vries
Xiumei Wang
Bruce Weiner
Joshua Wexler
Earl Wilson
Andrew Windsor
Andrew Wong
Janice Zelmati
Jesus Zeno
Chris E. Zhao
Kim Zinke

If you are interested in volunteering with us or learning more about our programs, click here.

Press Release: New Board Member Appointment

Access Justice Brooklyn announces the appointment of one new member to its Board of Directors following election at the organization’s meeting held on March 9, 2022. Joining the Board of Directors is Samuel O. Maduegbuna, Founding Partner at Maduegbuna Cooper LLP. Upon his election, Mr. Maduegbuna shared the following:

“I am incredibly excited to join in the most important and sorely needed work the VLP Board is doing – providing access to justice to underserved citizens of Brooklyn and the greater New York City. I look forward to contributing in the VLP’s mission, particularly as it assists and aids the ever-growing recent immigrant members of this most important city in the world.”

Please see the official press release here.