October 2017 Volunteer Spotlight: Melinda Roberts

When Melinda Roberts wanted to get back into practicing law after a ten year break, she reached out to The Legal Aid Society. Now, three days a week, she volunteers with The Legal Aid Society’s Employment Law Unit, helping to ensure that low income New Yorkers have good representation in labor disputes.

Melinda’s favorite part of working at The Legal Aid Society is that several units are able to work together to-ward a solution when a client is facing a multifaceted legal problem. For example, Melinda is currently representing a live-in superintendent in the Bronx in a wage claim. The client’s situation became more complicated when his employer and landlord sued to evict him after the wage claim was filed. Fortunately, there was a team of Legal Aid lawyers in the Bronx ready to step in to handle the landlord/tenant portion of his dispute, while Melinda continued her work to assist the client on the Employment matter.

This is Melinda’s first experience practicing labor law, and she feels that Legal Aid provides plenty of support for her to become an effective labor lawyer. She enjoys the structured environment and likes that she can provide help to people who truly need assistance while receiving guidance and backup from experienced labor law lawyers. She says that “every single time I’ve asked for help from the Legal Aid Attorneys, they have always been there with a guiding hand.”

Before she joined The Legal Aid Society, Melinda had a long career at two major law firms, Hughes Hubbard & Reed and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. She earned her BA from Smith College and then graduated from Fordham Law School.

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