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October Feature Volunteer: The City Bar Justice Center Honors Merrill Lynch and Julie Fendo-Lauck for Continued Support of the Legal Clinic for the Homeless

The City Bar Justice Center is delighted to honor Julie Fendo-Lauck, Director of GMI Litigation at Merrill Lynch, for her outstanding work with the Legal Clinic for the Homeless. Julie recruits attorneys from Merrill Lynch as well as from Skadden, Arps to represent homeless families residing at the Arbor Inn and St. Johns Place Family Center, two shelters serving some of the neediest families in New York City.

Julie is also committed to advocating on behalf of her own clients, and recently had an exciting win. When Julie met Ms. B and her infant daughter, they had repeatedly been denied public assistance, food stamps, and Medicaid. Julie guided Ms. B through the intake process, carefully listening to her story and walking her through her legal rights. Julie prepared a case against the Agency's application denial, explained the defense to her client, and won Ms. B's fair hearing before a state administrative law judge. As a result of the decision, Ms. B was awarded over $500 in retroactive benefits; a win that empowered Ms. B to stand up for her rights and secured the benefits she needed during a crisis in her life.

Lisa Pearlstein, Director of the Legal Clinic for the Homeless, raves about Julie and her commitment to work with the homeless. "She is a pro bono coordinator's dream come true," says Lisa. "Not only did she organize the lawyers and paralegals at her own corporate legal department…but reached out to lawyers at Skadden, Arps and got them on board as well. As a result of Julie's organizing efforts, the City Bar Justice Center's Legal Clinic for the Homeless has been able to expand its outreach from seven shelters to nine."

Julie speaks just as highly of the Legal Clinic for the Homeless. "I highly recommend [it] to in-house legal departments," she says. "Not only is the program incredibly rewarding, but it provides paralegals and attorneys the opportunity to appear before an administrative law judge. The director of the program, Lisa Pearlstein, and her team are terrific partners who provide first-rate support and guidance to all participants."

Congratulations to Julie on her win and for her outstanding support of the Legal Clinic for the Homeless. "I thoroughly enjoyed my first representation through the program," she says, "and left the fair hearing thinking that I couldn't wait for the next one." The Clinic can't wait for her next representation either.

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