Legal Aid Criminal Defense Leaders, Staff And Clients Featured At National Community Oriented Defender Conference

The Legal Aid Society led a key panel at the Brennan Center for Justice's recent annual Community Oriented Defender Conference entitled "Client Empowerment: Having Clients Tell Their Own Stories." The panel discussed The Legal Aid Society's comprehensive approach to empowering and supporting clients in presenting their own stories and experiences. Panelists included Bronx Trial Office Staff Attorney Joshua Norkin, Supervising Attorney Kate Mogulescu, and Director of Social Work Juli Kempner as well as Lynnae Brown, Coordinator of Education and Training at the Howie the Harp Advocacy Center, and Noche Diaz of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and Revolution Club. The panel was moderated by Tina Luongo, the Deputy Attorney-in-Charge of The Legal Aid Society's Criminal Defense Practice. The panelists focused on ways to enable clients to safely tell their stories to various criminal justice stakeholders.

At this national conference, Seymour James, the Attorney-in-Charge of the Society's Criminal Practice, was a panelist for a presentation entitled "State Strategies for Reform." He discussed The Legal Aid Society's landmark work on criminal defense caseload reform in New York State that has significantly enhanced client services as well as the need for increased resources to support public defense in the federal and State courts. This panel was also sponsored by the American Council of Chief Defenders of the National Legal Aid and Defender Association in which James has been a leader.