Amanda Beltz
Director, Matrimonial & Family Law

Amanda previously served as a Supervising Attorney in the Matrimonial & Family Law Unit and the Domestic Violence Appellate Representation. She has represented clients in matrimonial, custody, visitation, family offense cases and immigration matters including U visas, Battered Spouse Waivers, and Violence Against Women Act Self-Petitions (VAWA). Amanda joined NYLAG as a Skadden Fellow advising victims of domestic violence from Africa and the Middle East. As a law student, she participated in the Domestic Violence Clinical Center, helping to draft a brief to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights concerning US efforts to address violence against women through VAWA. She graduated cum laude from St. John’s University School of Law and received her B.A. from Fordham University. Earlier Amanda was a United States Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco.

Shani Adess
Senior Supervising Attorney, Matrimonial & Family Law & Project Director, Project RISE

Shani is a senior supervising attorney with NYLAG’s Matrimonial & Family Law Unit and Project Director of FLU’s Project RISE, representing survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and unaccompanied minors in family law and immigration matters. Shani previously worked with Safe Horizon Immigration Law Project, representing survivors of trauma, abuse, and violence in immigration proceedings, and has previously worked with refugees in the Southern Africa region. Shani has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Relations from Emory University and a JD from Georgetown University Law School in 2009.

Noora Barakat
Staff Attorney, Matrimonial & Family Law and Immigrant Protection

Noora represents immigrant survivors of domestic violence in family and immigration law matters. Prior to joining NYLAG, Noora was a family law attorney at the Urban Justice Center’s Domestic Violence Project. Noora has held a variety of domestic and international public interest positions throughout her career, including in Jordan where she advocated on behalf of refugees. Noora received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and her B.A. magna cum laude from Tufts University. Noora is fluent in Arabic.

Hayat Bearat
Staff Attorney, Matrimonial & Family Law

Hayat is a staff attorney in the Matrimonial and Family Law Unit at NYLAG. Hayat represents survivors of domestic violence in Family and Supreme Court in cases involving divorce, child custody, child and spousal support, visitation and family offenses. Hayat works closely with clients from Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) immigrant communities to help clients understand and navigate the legal system while remaining sensitive to cultural differences and issues. Prior to joining NYLAG, Hayat was a Staff Attorney at the Legal Aid Society where she represented tenants in their housing court proceedings in the Bronx. Hayat received her J.D. from New England Law | Boston in 2014 where she was on the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court and did research at the Harvard Kennedy School Carr Center for Human Rights on violence against women and girls in the MENA region and focusing specifically on early and forced marriages.

Ione Curva
Staff Attorney, Matrimonial & Family Law

Ione represents survivors of domestic violence in family offense, immigration, matrimonial, custody, visitation, and support proceedings.  Prior to joining NYLAG, Ione was a Staff Attorney at the Urban Justice Center – Domestic Violence Project, where she represented domestic violence survivors in family and immigration cases.  Earlier, she worked as a Deputy Attorney General for the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, defending judges, prosecutors and other States entities in civil rights, employment discrimination, and tort actions.  Ione graduated from Dartmouth College in 2007, with a double major in Psychology and Spanish modified with Women’s and Gender Studies.  She graduated cum laude from Rutgers School of Law – Newark in 2012.  Ione is admitted to practice in both New York and New Jersey.

Alexandra DeFrancesco
Paralegal, Matrimonial & Family Law

Claire Gavin
Staff Attorney, Matrimonial and Family Law Unit/Mobile Legal Help Center

Claire is a Staff Attorney in NYLAG’s Matrimonial and Family Law Unit where she represents domestic violence victims in family offense, immigration, matrimonial, custody, visitation, and support proceedings.  In addition, she travels around New York City and Long Island supervising pro bono volunteers as a part of NYLAG’s Mobile Legal Help Center.  Prior to becoming a staff attorney, Claire was a Public Interest/Public Service Fellow at NYLAG.  She graduated cum laude from Brooklyn Law School in 2016 where she was an Edward V. Sparer Public Interest Fellow and interned at NYLAG, the Legal Aid Society, and the Bronx Defenders.  Claire graduated cum laude from Hamilton College in 2013 with a B.A. in Comparative Literature.

Victoria Goodlof
Staff Attorney, Matrimonial and Family Law

Victoria is a Staff Attorney in NYLAG’s Matrimonial and Family Law Unit where she represents domestic violence victims in family offense, immigration, matrimonial, custody, visitation, and support proceedings.  Prior to joining NYLAG, Victoria was a staff attorney at Northeast New Jersey Legal Services.  She worked on the Domestic Violence Representation Project where she represented domestic violence victims in restraining order, custody, visitation, and support proceedings, as well as conducted extensive outreach to hospitals, police, and community organizations to train them about civil protections for victims of domestic violence.  Victoria graduated from New York Law School in 2012 where she was an associate of the Diane Abbey Law Center for Children and Families.  Victoria is admitted to practice law in both New Jersey and New York.

Mark M. Hager
Supervising Attorney, Matrimonial & Family Law

Mark is a Supervising Attorney in the Matrimonial & Family Law Unit. He has represented clients in matrimonial, custody, visitation, support, family offense cases and immigration matters including U-Visas, Battered Spouse Waivers, and VAWA Self-Petitions. Previously, Mark was Senior Staff Attorney and LGBTQ Initiative Coordinator at the Urban Justice Center’s Domestic Violence Project. Prior to working with the Urban Justice Center, Mark was an associate attorney at Freiberg, Peck, & Kang, LLP litigating insurance and bodily injury claims. Mark received his J.D. from University of Detroit Mercy, School of Law in 2008 where he received a public interest fellowship and worked for the Wayne County District Attorney. Mark graduated from SUNY University at Albany in 2005, cum laude with a B.A. in English and a minor in Classics.

Whitney Hood
Staff Attorney, Immigrant Protection and Matrimonial & Family Law

Whitney represents immigrant survivors of domestic violence in family law and immigration matters. Prior to joining NYLAG, Whitney was an Equal Justice Works Fellow at Sanctuary for Families. In her career, Whitney has worked at several legal services and human rights organizations focused on women’s rights and gender-based violence and advocated for improved responses to sexual violence on college campuses, for access to reproductive health in Latin America, and investigated sexual violence against indigenous women in Papua New Guinea. Whitney graduated a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar from Columbia Law School.

Micah Horwitz
Staff Attorney, Matrimonial & Family Law

Micah represents survivors of domestic violence in family offense, immigration, matrimonial, custody, visitation, and support proceedings. Prior to joining NYLAG, Micah was a tax associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell and a pro bono attorney at the Urban Justice Center’s Domestic Violence Project. Micah graduated from Barnard College, the Moscow Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), and Columbia Law School. At Columbia Law School, she served as a Managing Editor of the Columbia Law Review, volunteered in the Brooklyn Human Trafficking Intervention Court, and was named a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. Micah is admitted to practice in New York State. She is fluent in Russian.

Rachel Lieb
Equal Justice Works Fellow, Matrimonial & Family Law

 

Rachel represents survivors of domestic violence in their appeals. Prior to joining NYLAG, Rachel served as a research assistant for the New York University School of Law Reproductive Justice Clinic. She also interned at the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, HerJustice, and the Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project. Rachel received her J.D. from the New York University School of Law and her B.A. from Hamilton College.

Puja Paul
Paralegal, Matrimonial & Family Law

Vivianne Reynoso
Paralegal, Matrimonial & Family Law

Oliver Stabbe
Paralegal, Matrimonial & Family Law Unit, LGBTQ Law Project

Tiferet Unterman
Staff Attorney, Matrimonial & Family Law Unit

Tuozhi Lorna Zhen
Supervising Attorney, Matrimonial & Family Law

Lorna is a Supervising Attorney in the Matrimonial and Family Law Unit at NYLAG. Lorna represents survivors of domestic violence in Family and Supreme Court in cases involving divorce, child custody, child and spousal support, visitation and family offenses, as well as collateral issues such as immigration and victim’s compensation. Lorna works closely with clients from Asian immigrant communities and supporting organizations to help clients understand and navigate the legal system while remaining sensitive to cultural differences and issues. Prior to joining NYLAG, Lorna was an agency attorney with the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), representing ACS in child abuse and neglect cases in Bronx Family Court. Lorna received her J.D. from Boston University School of Law in 2010 where she received the Family Law Award and worked as a student attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services, representing survivors of domestic violence in divorce proceedings. Lorna graduated with honors from the University of Virginia in 2007, where she double majored in History and Economics, with a minor in Art History.