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Paralegal returns to high school to “pay it forward”

Posted on March 28, 2012

LSHV paralegal E’Shondra McClendon is all about paying it forward. She met recently with over 60 students at Roosevelt High School in Yonkers to inspire them to stay focused on their schoolwork and not let hardships stand in the way of their goals. E’Shondra explained the work she does as a paralegal and talked about the challenges she overcame as a young student in order to attend college.

“I told the students, ‘I was once you,’” she said. “You have to work hard, but you have to understand that you have options – there are resources, and you have a way out.”

E’Shondra was a straight-A student while at Roosevelt, but endured multiple challenges in her home life as a teen. At 15, she took the extraordinary step of becoming legally emancipated from her parents. “I’m the product of a village,” said E’Shondra. “Throughout high school all the counselors and teachers at Roosevelt believed in me. They were compassionate and cared about me.”

Scholarships from Grace Church Community Center and the Jandon Foundation enabled E’Shondra to attend John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Now she plans to continue on to law school.  “I encouraged the students to focus on what they have control over: their grades, their education. I told them to go after scholarships and work to get their credentials.”

An LSHV paralegal since 2008, E’Shondra assists our attorneys and works directly with our clients on eviction prevention and unemployment cases. “I enjoy all aspects of working at Legal Services, but I especially enjoy assisting clients with emergency evictions and unemployment hearings,” she said. “Evictions and denial of government benefits are prevalent issues and I am thankful that I can be helpful to our clients during their hardships.

“My goal with the students at Roosevelt was to express the fulfillment I experience as a paralegal in the public interest field.   I want them to strive for success and know that they too can accomplish their goals.”




John Flannery has joined our Board of Directors

Posted on March 23, 2012

John Flannery, partner in the New York Metro offices of Wilson Elser and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee, has been named to the Board of Directors of Legal Services of the Hudson Valley.

Flannery was the Wilson Elser representative on the Westchester County Association, where he was appointed to the Economic Development Task Force and the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Health Care Reform by the association’s Executive Director.  

A twenty-one year resident of Westchester County, Flannery served for twelve years on the Board of Trustees of the New York State Interest on Lawyer Account Fund (IOLA). During his tenure at IOLA, John became acquainted with the work of Legal Services of the Hudson Valley.

“I am honored to serve on the Board of Legal Services of the Hudson Valley and to have the opportunity to give back to the community where my wife and I are raising our two children,” said Flannery. “This opportunity brings to mind something Winston Churchill said: ‘We make a living by what we do, but we make a life by what we give.’”




Jill Faber, Esq. joins Children’s Advocacy Unit

Posted on March 20, 2012

We welcome attorney Jill F. Faber to our Children’s Advocacy Unit in White Plains. Jill comes to LSHV from Frishman & Faber, a firm she co-founded, which focused on special education advocacy.

“I am absolutely thrilled that Jill has joined the organization,” said White Plains Managing Attorney Cynthia Knox. “And I am excited for our clients, who will benefit from Jill’s expertise and sensitivity.”

An alumna of Wellesley College, Faber earned her J.D. at Northeastern University. She also holds a Masters degree in education from Harvard University and has experience teaching elementary and middle school students with special needs.  She lectures frequently on special education law topics.

“I am looking forward to working with parents, educating them about their childrens’ rights to a free and appropriate education, and representing them in securing these rights” said Faber. “There is a very significant need for advocacy on behalf of impoverished students in Westchester whose families cannot afford access to private attorneys. I hope to spread the word, through community outreach, that LSHV is here to assist these families in navigating the special education system.”




Managing Attorney Discusses Public Law Careers with College Students

Posted on February 17, 2012

Our Managing Attorney William Flynn met recently with students at Sarah Lawrence College to discuss career options in public interest law. Bill shared his own background and told how his desire to become an attorney began at a very young age; his inspiration was Atticus Finch.  Bill said he chose C.U.N.Y Law School because of the diversity of the student population there.

Bill took questions from the students and offered advice about internships, choosing a law school, coping with the first-year law school workload, the economic trade-offs of a public interest career, and ways that attorneys in private firms can donate their services to those in need.

The son of two Freedom Riders, Bill grew up with a strong sense of social responsibility. Today, at Legal Services of the Hudson Valley, he puts his ideals into action by working to provide equal access to justice for those who cannot afford an attorney.

If you would like to schedule one of our attorneys as a speaker for your school or community group, please contact us.

 

LSHV’s Bill Flynn pictured with some of the Sarah Lawrence students who attended his presentation.




Help for Cancer Patients and Training for Advocates

Posted on February 10, 2012

Our attorney Patricia Angley and Nurse Practitioner Maura Del Bene of Lawrence Hospital Center joined forces recently at Gilda’s Club of Westchester  to present information on The Family Health Care Decisions Act, The Palliative Care Access Act and The Palliative Care Information Act.  The program was sponsored by the Cancer Coalition of Westchester. 

In addition to heading our Medical-Legal Partnership Program at White Plains Hospital and managing her own caseload, Pat  frequently conducts training sessions for cancer advocate groups including the Cancer Support Team  in Mamaroneck, Support Connection in Yorktown Heights, and the American Cancer Society. She has also conducted a training session for the White Plains Hospital social work staff on The Family Health Care Decisions Act.

 ”Laws such as the Family Health Care Decisions Act are quite complex.” said Angley. ” Helping the patient advocates to understand these laws means even more patients will receive appropriate and accurate information.”

Pat also helps cancer patients directly with issues regarding their health care benefits, end of life planning, health care proxies, living wills, simple wills and stand-by guardianships.  “Assisting patients with their legal issues is so gratifying for me because it means the patients can focus on getting well.”

If you have questions about your legal rights as they pertain to a medical condition, call us:1-877-574-8529.