Dechert LLP zealously represents homeless families through the City Bar Justice Center’s Legal Clinic for the Homeless.

Friday, February 22, 2008

  • City Bar Justice Center

Since 2005, attorneys from Dechert staff a monthly legal clinic at the Alexander Abraham Residence, a shelter operated by Women In Need, Inc. Ross Hirsch, an associate at Dechert, is the dedicated and active coordinator of the volunteer attorneys at Dechert who represent scores of homeless families at State fair hearings. The attorneys contest the City's denial or reduction of critically needed benefits, such as food stamps, cash public assistance, and Medicaid. Lisa Pearlstein, Director of the Legal Clinic for the Homeless, reported that last year Dechert's lawyers won over $20,000 in retroactive benefits for their homeless clients. "Dechert has an amazing team of pro bono lawyers who understand the importance of fighting hard and quickly for a safety net of support - cash assistance, food stamps and health insurance - for these vulnerable families."

Photo of Ross L. Hirsch
Ross said of the Legal Clinic for the Homeless, "Helping young women and families in need through the Legal Clinic for the Homeless has been a tremendously rewarding and profoundly moving experience. Over the past three years, the Dechert Team, under the dedicated leadership of Lisa Pearlstein of the City Bar Justice Center, has helped nearly 100 homeless women fight for the public assistance to which they are entitled. Every one of these women has a story that we will not soon forget."

The following Dechert attorneys also participate in the Legal Clinic for the Homeless: Richard Stieglitz, Scott Smedley, Valerie Diden-Moore, Alissa Rossman, Davin Hall, Jose Almonte, Thien-Vu Hoang, James Buino, Seth Schechtman, Olivier Strauch and Erika Gellert.

In addition to representing homeless families at State fair hearings, Dechert lawyer Rich Stieglitz leads a group of lawyers who challenge the New York City Housing Authority's denial of applications for public housing filed by homeless individuals and formerly incarcerated people. "As a result of Rich's work, a number of very vulnerable New Yorkers have a stable roof over their heads," Lisa says.

The Legal Clinic for the Homeless and the City Bar Justice Center is grateful for the continued support and hard work of the Dechert attorneys.