Justine M. Luongo, known as Tina to all, has been appointed Deputy Attorney-in-Charge of the Criminal Practice of The Legal Aid Society. Tina began her Legal Aid career in September 2002 as a staff attorney in the New York County office of the Criminal Practice. In 2007, she was promoted to Supervising Attorney where she continued to directly represent clients, as well as manage the daily operation of her complex of attorneys, paralegals and investigators.
Tina has been integrally involved in the development of numerous training programs at the Society, including the Criminal Defense Project which trained law firm externs, Felony Training in New York County, New Attorney and Department of Probation trainings on LGBTQ cultural competency and a host of other client centered practice methods.
In addition to her responsibilities as a supervising attorney, Tina has participated in the LAS Task Force that made the case for the case cap standard set by the Chief Administrative Judge. She continues to work with this group of staff attorneys, social workers, investigators, managers and Davis Polk & Wardwell attorneys seeking to demonstrate the need for additional staffing.
A graduate of Brooklyn Law School where she was a member of the Moot Court Trial Team, in 2010, Tina was named Chair of the American Bar Association Task Force on Comprehensive Criminal Representation that has analyzed best practices to address the complex, life altering consequences that clients face when they are charged with or convicted of crimes. The Task Force is in the process of advocating for a new ABA policy that will call upon funders to support comprehensive approaches to criminal defense. In June 2011 the Task Force joined with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the National Legal Aid and Defender Association in hosting a convening of criminal defense experts at Cardozo Law School that discussed ways to broaden and enhance criminal defense practice.
Tina is a member of the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section, the New York City Bar Criminal Justice Council and the National Legal Aid and Defender Association's Defender Research, Data and Analysis Advisory Committee (RDC). She has also served as an Adjunct Professor in New York Law School's Criminal Defense Clinic.
Prior to joining the Society, Tina served for over a decade as the Vice President of Council for Unity, Inc. a national nonprofit organization that implemented community based gang prevention and intervention programs nationwide. In her role with the Council for Unity, she worked directly with state education systems to build community partnerships with nonprofit organizations, police departments and other entities to assist in reclaiming young people from gang violence and gang involvement. As the Vice President of Operations she managed all the finance, development and public relations/marketing for the organization.
Tina has spoken at various forums around the country on stemming gang violence by implementing alternatives to incarceration programs and has visited drug treatment centers to give talks on the implementation of the new drug laws and judicial diversion.