Randye Retkin
Director and Founder, LegalHealth

Randye Retkin, Esq., is the Director and Founder of LegalHealth, a division of the New York Legal Assistance Group. She has been developing and running legal programs that serve low-income individuals for over 25 years. LegalHealth provides free legal services to individuals with chronic and serious illnesses through partnerships with hospitals and community groups. In addition to providing free legal services, LegalHealth offers an innovative legal education curriculum to doctors, social workers, and other health care professionals. LegalHealth provides legal services at 25 hospital sites across New York City and Long Island, and is the largest Medical-Legal Partnership in the country.

Prior to joining NYLAG, Randye served as Director of Legal Services for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. She has provided consulting on projects addressing the needs of people with breast cancer, multiple sclerosis, asthma, and other chronic illnesses. Randye served as a staff attorney with New York Lawyers for the Public Interest and Volunteers of Legal Service (VOLS) where she established the VOLS Immigrants’ Rights Project. She is a founder of the New York Immigration Coalition, the National Network of Cancer Legal Services Providers and a co-founder of the New York State Coalition of Medical-Legal Partnerships. She is a co-author of New York’s Standby Guardianship law and New York’s Health-Related Legal Services Program Law.

Randye is nationally recognized for building collaborations between professionals working with the chronically ill and for ensuring the well-being of this population by helping them access medical and legal systems.  She is a co-author of one of the first significant articles on collaborative care for the chronically ill: “Attorneys and Social Workers Collaborating in HIV Care: Breaking New Ground,” Fordham Urban Law Journal (1997).  She also co-authored “Complexities in HIV Consent in Adolescents,” Clinical Pediatrics (2005), “The Attorney As the Newest Member of the Cancer Treatment Team,” Journal of Clinical Oncology (May 2006), “Lawyers and Doctors Working Together-A Formidable team,” ABA Health Lawyer (2007), “Public Health Legal Services: A New and Powerful Vision,” Georgetown Journal of Poverty Law and Policy (2008), “How Bioethics Can Enrich Medical-Legal Partnerships,” The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics (2010), “Legal Services: A Necessary Component of Patient Navigation”, Seminars in Oncology Nursing (2013), and most recently “The Long Road to State Endorsement of Medical-Legal Partnerships in New York” Clearinghouse Review, (2014).

In 2008, Randye and LegalHealth were awarded the prestigious E. Lee Walker award from the Live Strong Foundation for work on behalf of people with cancer. In 2010, Randye was the recipient of the New York City Bar’s Twenty-first Annual Legal Services Honorees Award. This award recognizes attorneys who have, for an extended period, devoted themselves full time to the direct provision of free civil legal services to indigent persons. LegalHealth was the recipient of the 2010 Denison Ray award from the New York State Bar Association, the 2011 “Outstanding MLP Award” from the National Center on Medical Legal Partnerships and most recently the 2012 Joan Tisch Community Health Prize. Randye is a frequent speaker at national legal and medical conferences and taught a health law class at Fordham Law School during the fall of 2015.

Julie Brandfield
Associate Director, LegalHealth

Julie is the Associate Director of LegalHealth. She coordinates the training curriculum for hospital partners, establishes new clinics, and supervises LegalHealth’s staff attorneys. Julie has extensive experience in employment and insurance law, key focuses of her LegalHealth practice. Julie has spoken at numerous conferences on partnering with healthcare professionals. In 2013, Julie was the recipient of the New York City Bar’s 24th Annual Legal Services Award.  She co-authored “Environmental Improvements Brought by the Legal Interventions in the Homes of Poorly Controlled Inner-city Adult Asthmatic Patients:  A Proof of Concept Study,” Journal of Asthma. (2012); “Medical-Legal Partnership: Collaborating with Lawyers to Identify and Address Health Disparities,” Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2010; 25(Suppl 2): 136-9; “Medical Legal Partnerships: A Key Strategy for Mitigating the Negative Health Impacts of the Recession,” ABA Health Lawyer, (2009); “Lawyers and Doctors Working Together – A Formidable Team,” ABA Health Law Journal (October 2007); ”The Attorney as the Newest Member of the Cancer Treatment Team,” Journal of Clinical Oncology (May 2006); and “Complexities in HIV Consent in Adolescents,” Clinical Pediatrics (July/August 2005).. Before joining LegalHealth in 2002, Julie was an associate at Debevoise & Plimpton in New York. She clerked for the Honorable Alfred J. Lechner of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. Julie served as secretary of the Federal Courts Committee of the New York City Bar Association from 1995 to 1998 and contributed to Trial Ready: A Manual for Pro Se Litigants Appearing in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (1997). She graduated from the University of Chicago and Fordham University School of Law.

Christian Abbott
Paralegal, LegalHealth

Christian Abbott works as a paralegal and case handler for the SSI Application Assistance Project. Prior to joining LegalHealth, he worked with the New York City Law Department as part of their paralegal team over at the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Christian graduated magna cum laude from John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY) in the fall of 2014 with a B.A. in Humanities and Justice Studies and a double minor in English (Literature) and History.

Sumaiya Ahmed
Staff Attorney, Legalhealth

Sumaiya staffs the immigration legal clinics at Elmhurst and Lincoln hospitals. Prior to joining NYLAG, Sumaiya was a litigation associate at Chadbourne & Parke LLP. Before law school, Sumaiya worked as the intake paralegal at African Services Committee, where she advocated for clients in asylum, public benefits, and landlord-tenant matters. Sumaiya received her B.A. in History from Columbia College, Columbia University, her M.A. in Economic Law from Sciences Po École de droit, and her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.

Domna Antoniadis
Senior Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Domna is a senior staff attorney with NYLAG’s LegalHealth Unit, conducting legal clinics at Bellevue Hospital Cancer Center and as part of the Avon Metastatic Breast Cancer Project. She received her undergraduate degree from Fordham University and her J.D. from Fordham University School of Law. While in law school Domna founded Fordham HEALS (Health, Education, Advocacy and Law Society), the school’s first public interest group to specialize in health law advocacy, for which she received the Public Service 1L Student of the Year Award. Upon graduation Domna was awarded a Public Interest Resource Center Leadership Award and the Archibald R. Murray Service Award. She has co-authored and presented a number of papers on legal services, medical legal partnerships and public health.

Julie Babayeva
Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Julie is a staff attorney with NYLAG’s LegalHealth Unit. She conducts legal clinics at Coney Island Hospital and Maimonides Medical Center. Prior to joining LegalHealth, Julie was a volunteer attorney at Catholic Charities of Archdiocese of New York where she worked on various immigration related cases.  She graduated magna cum laude from Pace University and earned her law degree from St. John’s University School of Law, where she received CALI Awards for Excellence for Immigration Law, Pre-trial Advocacy and Bread & Life: Bridge to Justice legal clinic.

Sirikit Benja-Athonsirikul
Senior Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Sirikit is a part of LegalHealth’s ActionNYC program, a partnership with NYC Health + Hospitals and the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. Under this program, she staffs the immigration legal clinic at Elmhurst Hospital. Sirikit previously staffed the legal clinics at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center and Queens Hospital Center. Before joining NYLAG in 2014, Sirikit was a staff attorney at The Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County, Inc., primarily representing children in a wide range of family court matters. Sirikit received her B.A. in Art History and Asian Studies from Colgate University. Sirikit received her J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law where she was the recipient of the CALI Excellence for the Future Award 2011 and the Gold Pro Bono Service Award 2011 for her dedication to public service.

Beth Breslin
Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Beth staffs the LegalHealth clinic at CancerCare, a national cancer support organization.  Additionally, Beth works to further LegalHealth’s goals by engaging in healthcare and Medicaid reform efforts, with a current focus on navigating the intricacies of the NY State Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) Program.  Prior to joining NYLAG, she practiced civil litigation, representing clients in a variety of fields, including complex pharmaceutical litigation, criminal defense, sports law, and employment discrimination matters.  Beth received her B.S. from Boston College and her law degree from Syracuse University College of Law, where she was the co-founder and managing editor of Impunity Watch, an online law journal focusing on human rights and impunity issues.

Alexander Bush
Grants and Data Coordinator, LegalHealth

Alex is the Grants and Data Coordinator with NYLAG’s LegalHealth unit. He has a background in Federal contracting and international development. Before graduate school, Alex was a Peace Corps volunteer in Kyrgyzstan and Uganda. He received his M.P.A. from American University School of Public Affairs and his B.A. from Eckerd College.

Maria S. Campigotto
Supervising Attorney, LegalHealth Unit

Maria is responsible for the LegalHealth clinics at Bellevue Hospital and Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center. A magna cum laude graduate of Ohio State University, Maria received her law degree from New York University where she was also a student advocate at the institution’s employment and housing discrimination clinic. She is admitted to practice in both New York and New Jersey. Maria has served in internship and research programs in South Africa and Ireland on human rights issues.

Lia Capri Minkoff
Senior Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Lia C. Minkoff staffs the legal clinics at Elmhurst Hospital. Lia is a graduate from Boston University and received her law degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Prior to joining LegalHealth, Lia gained experience working in immigration in the public and private sectors and has volunteered with a number of charitable organizations including The Door.

Regina Chessari
Senior Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Regina runs the legal clinic at Kings County Hospital.  Before joining LegalHealth in 2012, Regina volunteered with the Legal Aid Society of San Bernardino and clerked with the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.  She graduated from California State University, San Bernardino and received her law degree from Chapman University School of Law, where she was a Dean’s Merit Scholar, Shropshire Group Scholar, and Chapman Law Public Interest Scholar.

Lilias Evans
Paralegal, LegalHealth

Lily is a Disability Advocacy paralegal at LegalHealth. Prior to joining NYLAG, spent two years serving as an AmeriCorps member in Vermont, developing a food access program at local hospitals. Lily earned her bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and has additional experience working in communications and program coordination.

Sarah Fine
Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Sarah staffs the legal clinics at Montefiore Medical Center. Before joining LegalHealth, Sarah worked at a small elder law practice focusing on Medicaid homecare. During law school Sarah interned with NYC HRA, focusing on Medicaid. Sarah graduated from Brandeis University and CUNY School of Law.

Stephanie Graveron
Paralegal, LegalHealth

Stephanie works as a paralegal for LegalHealth. She focuses 50% on the Mount Sinai clinic. Prior to joining LegalHealth, she worked for an immigration law firm in Paris. She graduated from Bordeaux IV University with a Master’s in International Law.

Eric Hassell
Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Eric staffs the legal clinics at Queens Hospital Center and Mount Sinai St. Luke’s. Before joining LegalHealth, Eric worked as an associate at a private law firm focusing on Social Security Disability, Immigration, Trust and Estates and Guardianship matters. During law school Eric interned with the Innocence Project and participated in Cardozo’s Criminal Defense Clinic in partnership with the Legal Aid Society. Eric graduated from The University of Texas at Austin and Cardozo Law School.

Adam Herron
Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Adam staffs the legal clinics at Harlem Hospital and Metropolitan Hospital. Before joining LegalHealth, Adam was a staff attorney at NMIC Legal Services, where he focused mainly on housing issues. Adam received his JD from Georgetown University Law Center and his LL.M. in Environmental Law from NYU School of Law. He received his B.A. from the University of Minnesota-Duluth where he majored in biology. Prior to law school, Adam worked at the Mayo Clinic and has over a decade of experience as a clinical laboratory technologist, primarily in the area of cancer genetics.

Brian Hilburn
Senior Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Brian, a senior staff attorney with NYLAG’s LegalHealth Unit, runs the legal clinics at Harlem Hospital and Metropolitan Hospital Center. Prior to joining NYLAG, he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay. While in law school, he interned for the Honorable Robert B. Collings of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the San Francisco County Public Defender’s Office, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, and South Brooklyn Legal Services (SBLS). Brian did a post-graduate fellowship at SBLS focusing on unemployment law and foreclosure prevention. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Arkansas Tech University and his Juris Doctorate from Northeastern University School of Law.

Keith Hoffmann
Coordinating Attorney, LegalHealth

Keith is a Coordinating Attorney in LegalHealth’s Veterans Initiative. He was formerly a Staff Attorney and an Equal Justice Works Fellow sponsored by Latham & Watkins in LegalHealth. Keith helps to coordinate LegalHealth’s VA medical-legal partnerships at the VA medical centers in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Northport, Long Island, and also staffs a legal clinic at the James J. Peters VA medical center in the Bronx. Keith earned his B.A. at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with honors from Fordham Law School. During law school, he interned in the appellate unit of the Rhode Island Department of the Attorney General and served as a law clerk in the office of Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado.

Christina Holder
Senior Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Christina staffs the legal clinics at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. Prior to joining LegalHealth, Christina was an associate in the Health Care and Not-for-Profit Group of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP for seven years, where she also maintained a substantial pro bono practice. She earned her J.D., magna cum laude, from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and her B.A., summa cum laude, from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She was named a Rising Star in the area of Health Care in the New York Super Lawyers guide from 2014 to 2017. In her free time, Christina is pursuing an LL.M. at NYU with a focus on the advancement of economic, social and cultural rights in the U.S. and globally.

Abby Jordan
Paralegal, LegalHealth

Abby is an immigration paralegal at LegalHealth. Prior to working at NYLAG, Abby completed a federal AmeriCorps service year with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) as a community organizer on MOIA’s outreach team. She is also a consultant for the NYC Office of Emergency Management (NYCEM), working as a Ready NY Kids program presenter. Abby graduated magna cum laude from CUNY Hunter College with a B.A. in Political Science.

William Kirkland
Paralegal, LegalHealth

Will is an immigration paralegal at LegalHealth. Prior to working at NYLAG, Will organized on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and interned in the U.S. Senate, where he worked on immigration and criminal justice policy issues. He also interned at the Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Defense Practice in Manhattan. Will graduated magna cum laude from Northwestern University with a B.A. in History and Political Science.

Samantha Kubek
Equal Justice Works Fellow, LegalHealth

Samantha is an Equal Justice Works Fellow, sponsored by Greystone & Co., Inc. and Greenberg Traurig, LLP, in NYLAG’s LegalHealth Division. Samantha’s fellowship project will help female veterans access VA and social security benefits, obtain discharge upgrades, and address their family law problems through legal clinics in VA medical centers in the Bronx and Manhattan. During law school, she interned in NYLAG’s Family Law Unit and the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project, as well as serving as a New York City Women’s Bar Fellow at Her Justice. Samantha received her J.D. from the New York University School of Law and earned her B.A. at Georgetown University.

Mara A Kuns
Senior Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Mara staffs the legal clinic at Mount Sinai Hospital. Before joining LegalHealth in 2016, Mara worked at the Urban Justice Center’s Mental Health Project for 7 years, where she worked on disability rights and eviction prevention cases.  Mara graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School and  received her A.B. from Washington University in St. Louis. She also has an M.S. in mental health counseling from Nova Southeastern University.

Melina Lito
Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Melina staffs the immigration legal clinics at Elmhurst, Gouverneur and Lincoln. Prior to NYLAG, Melina was a staff attorney at various legal service providers assisting communities in New York in immigration matters. Melina has also worked in the international law, human rights and international security field. Melina received her BA in International Relations with a Muslim Studies Specialization at Michigan State University and her JD at Wayne State University Law School in Detroit, Michigan.

Louisa McIntyre
Paralegal, LegalHealth

Louisa is a Social Security Assistance paralegal at LegalHealth. Prior to joining LegalHealth, she interned at the Volunteer Lawyers Project in the Housing Unit in Boston, MA. She also interned for the public defender’s office in Roxbury, MA. Louisa earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Harvard University with a concentration in Philosophy.

Simone Meyer
Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Simone staffs the legal clinics at Jacobi Medical Center and North Central Bronx Hospital. Before joining LegalHealth, Simone worked as a Staff Attorney with the court-house based Housing Help Program at the Legal Aid Society in the Bronx, focusing on eviction prevention and tenant’s rights. She has worked in both criminal and civil public interest practices and assisted individuals affected by the 9/11 attacks with obtaining medical assistance and compensation. Simone hails from Chicago where she earned her J.D. from DePaul University and received her B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she graduated with honors.

Sylvia Miller
Senior Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Sylvia staffs the Victims Services Immigration Clinic at Bellevue Hospital and works on LegalHealth’s Immigrant Health Initiative, a partnership with New York City public hospitals that is funded by a grant from the New York City Council. She also staffed NYLAG’s legal clinics at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens and Coler Specialty Hospital on Roosevelt Island. Prior to working at LegalHealth, Sylvia was a Judicial Law Clerk at the New York Immigration Court through the Department of Justice Honors Program. She received her J.D. from George Washington Law School, and as a law student she represented asylum seekers and victims of forced labor and human trafficking.

Pedro Moreno
Senior Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Pedro staffs the immigration legal clinic at Elmhurst. Pedro received his LL.B from the University of Havana and his LL.M from the University of Miami. Prior to joining NYLAG, Pedro was a solo practitioner. Previously, he was litigation associate at a NYC private law firm.

Mariana Munera
Paralegal, LegalHealth

Mariana is an immigration paralegal at LegalHealth. Prior to working at NYLAG, Mariana worked at Sanctuary for Families and as an intern at the Rhode Island Center for Justice addressing the justice gap for monolingual Spanish-speaking families. Mariana earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Hispanic Studies from Brown University.

Ira Needleman
Senior Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Ira staffs the legal clinic at Woodhull Hospital’s Geriatric Wellness Center.  Prior to joining LegalHealth, Ira represented clients including victims of domestic violence, children and youth, and persons afflicted with HIV and AIDS at several non-profits. Ira graduated from S.U.N.Y.   College at Old Westbury, and also has a M.A. in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.  He received his JD from C.U.N.Y. School of Law.  In the Fall of 2013, Ira was featured in the school’s Public Square magazine with other law school alumni who were providing legal services to the HIV/AIDS community.

Sarah Nolan
Supervising Attorney, LegalHealth

Sarah supervises the immigration clinics at Elmhurst Hospital Center, Gouverneur Hospital, and Lincoln Medical Center. Prior to joining LegalHealth, Sarah was Legal Counsel for ActionNYC, where she advised the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and the City University of New York on the delivery of community-based immigration legal services. She began her immigration law career as staff attorney at Brooklyn Defender Services, where she also launched an office-wide pro bono program. Previously, Sarah was a litigation associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. She served as a clerk to the Honorable Holly B. Fitzsimmons, U.S.M.J., District of Connecticut. Sarah graduated from Dartmouth College and received her JD from New York University School of Law.

Katie Ocampo
Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Katie staffs the legal clinic at Northport VA Center. Prior to joining LegalHealth, Katie was awarded a Post-Graduate Fellowship to work at the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. While in law school, Katie was a member of the Moot Court Team and completed an externship, where she provided legal services in the area of family law. Katie graduated with distinction from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Nina Pejoves
Senior Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Nina is in charge of the legal clinics at Montefiore Medical Center. Ms. Pejoves is a graduate from Boston College, where she interned with Senator John F. Kerry’s office and was involved with HIV/AIDS activism. She received her law degree from Brooklyn Law School, where she worked on employment discrimination issues as a legal intern with both the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Legal Action Center. Ms. Pejoves was awarded the Brooklyn Law Students for the Public Interest Fellowship and the Edward V. Sparer Fellowship based on her commitment to public interest law.

Josephine Pimentel
Paralegal, LegalHealth

Josephine is a general paralegal assisting with all LegalHealth matters. Prior to joining LegalHealth she worked doing medical intakes and insurance claims at an outpatient PT/OT clinic in Midtown. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University.

Juan Rivera
Paralegal, LegalHealth

Juan works as an immigration paralegal for LegalHealth. Juan’s parents are both cancer survivors. Inspired by their recovery, Juan’s care giving experience motivated him to be at the vanguard of health law and immigration by exploring the challenges that continue to emerge from these two areas of law, which are becoming increasingly intertwined. Juan expects to make significant contributions to both the project and the organization by improving the quality and breadth of legal services available to the most vulnerable New Yorkers, namely the urban immigrant population. Juan is an alum of Cornell University.

Faiza Sayed
Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Faiza staffs the immigration legal clinic at Lincoln Hospital. Prior to joining NYLAG, Faiza worked as a Refugee Officer for USCIS and provided immigration services to survivors of gender-based violence as an Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow at Sanctuary for Families and a Kirkland & Ellis New York City Public Service Fellow at Her Justice. She clerked for the Hon. Kimba M. Wood of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Faiza received her B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles and her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law.

Hallie Schiffman-Shilo
Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Hallie is a Staff Attorney with NYLAG’s LegalHealth unit. She staffs immigration legal clinics at Health + Hospitals Long-Term Care Centers throughout New York City. Before joining LegalHealth, Hallie practiced immigration law at a private firm in New York City. Her practice focused on asylum, removal defense, and adjustment of status. Before law school, Hallie was a Peace Corps volunteer in Botswana. She received her J.D. from New York Law School and her B.A. from McGill University.

Alison Seidman
Special Projects Coordinator, LegalHealth

Alison works as the Special Projects Coordinator in LegalHealth. Prior to joining LegalHealth, Alison worked in both sales and social work. She earned her Master of Social Work from Hunter College School of Social Work with a concentration in Group Work and received her Bachelor’s degree from Ithaca College with a concentration in Creative Writing.

Pedro Sepulveda
Paralegal, LegalHealth

Pedro is an Immigration Paralegal at LegalHealth. Prior to joining NYLAG, he conducted gene therapy research on rare neurodegenerative disorders at Weill Cornell Medicine. Pedro graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry and Jewish Studies from Vassar College. In his free time, Pedro is an active member of Mayday Space, a social justice space serving the Bushwick/Ridgewood communities, as well as pursuing an MA at the CUNY Graduate Center, focusing on identity and memory formation within immigrant communities.

Howard Sherwin
Supervising Attorney, LegalHealth

Howard supervises LegalHealth’s Veteran’s projects, as well as our Social Security practice. Howard is proud to be a “lifer” in legal services, devoting his legal career for the past 20 plus years to representing the poor and disabled. Prior to joining LegalHealth, Howard served as the Senior Attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Rockland County, Inc., where he ran the HIV/AIDS Advocacy and Disability Advocacy Projects, as well as supervised landlord-tenant law. Howard served for more than 10 years as a voting member of the Ryan White Part A Tri-County Steering Committee. He earned his undergraduate degree in Psychology from S.U.N.Y. at Albany and his JD from Pace University School of Law.

Benjamin Smith
Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Ben is a part of LegalHealth’s Cancer Advocacy Project, and staffs clinics at Beth Israel Medical Center and NYU Medical Center. Prior to joining LegalHealth, Ben was a litigation associate at a civil defense firm specializing in the defense of complex and high-exposure medical malpractice actions. He obtained his J.D., with a concentration in Health Law, from Seton Hall University School of Law in 2013, and received his B.A. in English from the University of Georgia in 2004. Between his undergraduate and law school studies, Ben worked for six years as a paramedic, primarily in the Emergency Room of Kennestone Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.

Melina Somoza-Bornstein
Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Melina staffs the Gotham Health legal clinics in East NY and Morrisania, as well as the Community Care of Brooklyn PPS legal clinic at Housing Works in Brooklyn, NY.. Prior to joining NYLAG, Melina was a Columbia Public Interest Fellow at the Safe Passage Project and specialized in humanitarian-based immigration relief and representing unaccompanied minors in immigration and family court cases. During law school Melina interned with the Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration and participated in the Unaccompanied Immigrant Youth Externship with the Legal Aid Society. Melina received her B.A. in Ethnic Studies and Spanish Language & Literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder and received her J.D. from Columbia Law School.

Ruth Stein
Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Ruth joined LegalHealth to staff an Older Veterans Legal Clinic at the Bronx and Manhattan VA Medical Centers. Previously, she worked as a Staff Attorney with the Center for Veterans Advancement at Public Counsel and as a Hunger Fellow with New Mexico Appleseed. She earned her law degree from New York University School of Law and undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Cindy Sun
Paralegal, LegalHealth

Cindy is an immigration paralegal at LegalHealth. Prior to joining NYLAG, she conducted research investigating the efficacy of antibodies as a potential form of cancer treatment at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Cindy graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Biology from Dartmouth College.

Ibrahima Thiam
Paralegal, LegalHealth

Ibrahima is an immigration paralegal at LegalHealth. He is a native of Senegal, West Africa and speaks four languages. Prior to joining LegalHealth, Ibrahima interned at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he worked on consulting projects and generated strategic recommendations to strengthen company’s financial health. He also worked at New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, where he monitored the Summer Youth Employment Program and ensured participants’ compliances with organization’s rules and regulations. Ibrahima earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Spanish from Skidmore College.

Norma Tinubu
Senior Supervising Attorney, LegalHealth

Norma runs the legal clinics at Elmhurst Hospitals and supervises immigration cases arising from LegalHealth’s various clinics. She joined LegalHealth from the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, where she specialized in immigration law and estate planning. Previously, she worked in investment law at TIAA-CREF. Norma is a graduate of Pace University and received her JD from Touro Law School.

David M Titus
Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

David staffs the legal clinics at the VA Medical Center in Manhattan and Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx. Before joining LegalHealth, he worked in private practice handling a wide range of legal matters from immigration petitions to complex securities class actions. He is a graduate of Siena College and received his law degree from Brooklyn Law School, where he earned the Joan Offner Touval Memorial Scholarship and other academic honors for legal writing and research.

Jacqueline Wagner
Data Coordinator, LegalHealth

Jacqueline works as the Data Coordinator for LegalHealth. Before joining LegalHealth, Jacqueline researched violence and injury prevention at the World Health Organization in Copenhagen, Denmark and analyzed data for Grace Hill Settlement House in St. Louis, Missouri. She graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Washington University in St. Louis with her BA in anthropology, later going on to earn her Master of Public Health from the university as well.

Debra J. Wolf
Senior Supervising Attorney, LegalHealth

Debra supervises LegalHealth’s Cancer Advocacy Project and runs the legal clinics for cancer patients at Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention and the NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center. Before joining LegalHealth in October 2005, she was in private practice, specializing in discrimination based on disability and private disability insurance coverage disputes. Debra previously served as Assistant Director of Legal Services and Advocacy for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. She is an adjunct law professor at Fordham University School of Law. Debra graduated from Westfield College and received her JD from Washington University School of Law.

Sheila Zablow
Senior Staff Attorney, LegalHealth

Sheila runs the legal clinics at Jacobi Medical Center and North Central Bronx Hospital.  She previously worked as an associate at Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP in the investment management group.  Sheila graduated Phi Beta Kappa (junior year induction) from Brown University with a degree in East Asian Studies.   She received her JD from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) and was a visiting student at Harvard Law School.