Liliana Vaamonde To Receive 2014 New York County Lawyers' Association Public Service Award Tonight

Liliana Vaamonde, Director of Training for the Civil Practice, is the recipient of the 2014 New York County Lawyers' Association Public Service Award honoring attorneys who have distinguished themselves in the public sector. The award will be presented at the Association's Public Service Award Reception tonight at 6 p.m. at 14 Vesey Street.

The special guest speaker at the NYCLA reception is Zachary W. Carter, Corporation Counsel of The City of New York. Other awardees include Arlo Devlin-Brown, Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District Of New York; Catherine M. Mirabile, Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District Of New York; Rachel Tiven, Executive Director, Immigrant Justice Corps; Mark Zeno, Assistant Attorney-in-Charge, Center for Appellate Litigation.

The Criminal Justice Section's Public Service Fellowship Winners included Brian Baum, Staff Attorney in the Manhattan Office of the Juvenile Rights Practice; and Yuval Simchi-Levi, Assistant District Attorney, New York County District Attorney's Office.

Lily has committed her entire legal career to civil legal services. She joined The Legal Aid Society, Civil Practice in 1993 as a housing attorney in the Bronx Neighborhood Office Housing Unit, later moved into the Bronx Government Benefits Unit, and in January 2001, Lily moved to the citywide Health Law Unit. In January 2005, Lily joined the Community Service Society as the Program Director of the New York City Managed Care Consumer Assistance Program (MCCAP) were she managed all aspects of a consumer assistance program network of 25 community-based organizations. In 2007, Lily joined the New York Legal Assistance Group as part of Legal Health where, among other litigation and advocacy duties, she participated in an ad hoc Immigrant Eligibility for Medicaid working group addressing changes in the NYS Department of Health policies affecting newcomers and immigrants in transitional status. In 2009 Lily returned to The Legal Aid Society as the Director of Training for the Civil Practice where she provides, develops and administers training programs for Civil Practice staff; develops cross practice initiatives with peer directors in the Criminal Defense and Juvenile Practices; and collaborates on training initiatives with peer legal services and advocacy organizations.

Lily's contribution to the Civil Practice has been tremendous. Her steadfast commitment to The Legal Aid Society is demonstrated daily. Lily is the ultimate team player – always ready to provide assistance, mentor staff or assist in a program innovation without asking whether it’s in her job description to do so. Often she juggles her own job and fills supervisory gaps when other practice areas need assistance, and does so with intelligence, humor and humility. Lily has established herself as a well respected “legal generalist” with a wide knowledge and ability to mentor in a number of civil practice areas. While in her capacity as Training Director, Lily combined her various duties serving as the Acting Supervising Attorney of the Health Law Unit for more than one year; supporting the contracts and grants management of our foreclosure and civil legal services work during transition; helping to establish the Access to Benefits (A2B) Helpline and later converting it to the Disaster Relief Helpline to provide immediate assistance to Hurricane Sandy survivors, as well serve as a reservoir of information for the advocates and volunteers in the field; and convening a legal services conference one year after Hurricane Sandy entitled Disaster Lawyering: Delivering Legal Aid Post-Sandy in partnership with The City Bar Justice Center and Pro Bono Net. Most recently, Lily initially coordinated the implementation of a federal class action settlement for low income New York City tenants with Legal Services NYC. The settlement provides redress for the alleged illegal behavior and harassment of the defendant landlord with buildings in all five boroughs of New York City impacting an estimated tenant class of approximately 20,000 tenants.