Tina Luongo To Receive Hon. Thurgood S. Marshall Award for Outstanding Criminal Practitioner

Tina Luongo, Attorney-in-Charge of the Criminal Practice, will receive the 2017 Hon. Thurgood S. Marshall Award for Outstanding Criminal Practitioner from the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The award will be presented at the NYSACDl Foundation’s annual dinner on January 27, 2017.

Tina began her Legal Aid career in September 2002 as a staff attorney in the New York County trial office of the Criminal Defense Practice after graduating Brooklyn Law School. In 2007, she was promoted to Supervising Attorney in the same office where she continued to directly represent clients, as well as train and manage her team of attorneys, paralegals and investigators. During that time, she served as a member of an interdisciplinary task force at Legal Aid that worked closely with Davis, Polk, LLP to develop the analysis that ultimately lead to the groundbreaking case cap legislation.

In May 2011, Tina was named the Deputy Attorney-in-Charge of the Criminal Defense Practice, where she was responsible, along with the Practice’s Attorney-in-Charge, for the daily operation of the practice’s over 1200 dedicated staff representing over 230,000 indigent New Yorkers. After Seymour W. James, Jr was appointed the Society’s Attorney in Chief in July 2014, Tina was named the Society’s chief defender.

One key focus of her tenure as the Society’s chief defender is to fight for law and policy reform to stop the discriminatory policing of black and brown people and the need for transparency and accountability between the New York City Police Department and the public. Within the Society, she is dedicated to increasing the diversity of the public defense workforce and is integrally involved in The Legal Aid Society's diversity initiative which partners management and staff to improve staff diversity and provide cultural competency training both internally at the Society and to external stakeholders in the criminal justice system. She has been an active voice in the movement to foster best practices in public defense and continues to be involved in the dialogue about how public defenders can create systemic change, as well as be zealous advocates for their clients.

Tina was the Chair of the American Bar Association Task Force on Comprehensive Criminal Representation that analyzed best practices to address the complex, life altering consequences that clients face when they are charged with or convicted of crimes. She is a member of the ABA Criminal Justice Council, A member of the Board of Directors of the newly formed Chief Defender Association of New York, and a Steering Committee member of the National Association for Public Defense. She has also served as an Adjunct Professor in New York Law School's Criminal Defense Clinic. While at Brooklyn Law School she co-chaired LEGALS and was a member of the Moot Court Trial Team.