2008 Greenberg Traurig Fellowship Recipient Launches Family Court Appellate Project to Assist Low-Income New Yorkers

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The Project Exemplifies the Continuing Success of the Fellowship Program

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Making an impact in Family Court, and improving the administration of justice for thousands of low-income New Yorkers who rely on this Court for the safety and security of their families are high priorities at our firm

Anya Emerson, a 2008 Equal Justice Works Fellow sponsored by the Greenberg Traurig Fellowship Foundation , has begun a two-year project with the New York Legal Assistance Group that provides appellate representation for low-income New Yorkers and their children on appeals from the New York City Family Courts to the Appellate Division. Emerson, a graduate of Columbia Law School, comes to the fellowship after clerking for Senior Judge Jack B. Weinstein of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

Through such appeals, Emerson aims to establish valuable legal precedent and improve implementation of legislative protections for low-income New Yorkers. Initially, Emerson will gain trial-level experience in the Family and Integrated Domestic Violence Courts. Subsequently she will represent domestic violence victims on appeal, help train other trial and appellate attorneys, and establish an appellate counsel electronic briefbank. Expanding access to appellate attorneys with experience in the area of domestic violence and establishing a culture of appeals in the Family Court is a goal of the fellowship and is consistent with goals of other Greenberg Traurig pro bono projects. Ultimately, Emerson will team up with major law firms in New York City to match pro bono appeals with attorneys.

Her work is made possible by the Greenberg Traurig Fellowship Foundation, which sponsors Equal Justice Works to support legal fellows across the country for the provision of pro bono legal services to community programs. These public interest law fellowships begin each September and run for two years. In addition to supporting them financially, the firm maintains an active relationship with the attorneys and many Greenberg Traurig lawyers perform pro bono work referred through these fellowships. Greenberg Traurig is currently sponsoring 19 fellowships.

Another fellow, Amy Roehl, continues to work with MFY Legal Services, Inc. Her project began when she received the fellowship in 2007. She is focused on bringing greater permanency to the lives of children being raised by their grandparents or other relatives by connecting families that provide kinship care with pro bono private attorneys who represent them in custody, guardianship and adoption matters in all five boroughs of New York City.

"Making an impact in Family Court, and improving the administration of justice for thousands of low-income New Yorkers who rely on this Court for the safety and security of their families are high priorities at our firm," said Bill Silverman , leader of the Pro Bono Program in Greenberg Traurig's New York office and a Shareholder in the litigation practice. "Our sustained commitment in the area of pro bono has led to the success of our fellowship program, as well as other endeavors such as our Family Court Legal Services Project."

The Greenberg Traurig Fellowship Foundation was established in 1999. Since then, Greenberg Traurig has sponsored, in whole or in part, more than 75 fellows who have worked on public interest projects in many of the communities in which the firm practices. Through Equal Justice Works, the Greenberg Traurig Fellowships offer salary and loan repayment assistance, a national training and leadership development program, and other forms of support.

The Family Court Legal Services Project is a separate pro bono program where attorneys from law firms and corporations provide advice and counsel during 30-minute one-on-one sessions to pro se litigants who come to Family Court on matters involving child support, visitation, custody, guardianship and paternity. Greenberg Traurig helped spearhead the New York City Family Court Legal Services Project, which provides low-income litigants in family court with free legal advice. Emerson will also participate in this Project and bring the family law experience she gains at NYLAG to the pro bono attorneys.

NYLAG is a not-for-profit law firm, founded in 1990, which provides free civil legal assistance to New York's most at-risk, low-income populations. NYLAG focuses on direct legal services, advocacy through impact litigation, community legal education, and volunteer programs for attorneys, law graduates, and students.

About Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Greenberg Traurig, LLP is an international, full-service law firm with more than 1,800 attorneys and governmental affairs professionals in the United States, Europe and Asia. The firm was selected as the 2007 USA Law Firm of the Year by Chambers and Partners.

For additional information, please visit the firm's Web site at http://www.gtlaw.com.

Joey Kaiser
Greenberg Traurig, LLP
(212) 801-6983
kaiserj @ gtlaw.com

Katherine Ragsdale
Rubenstein Associates
kragsdale @ rubenstein.com

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Katherine Ragsdale
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