The latest news & highlights from HLA are listed below.
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Gregory W. Dewan, Esq. to become next Executive Director of the Hiscock Legal Aid Society.
Syracuse, NY, November 3, 2021 – The Board of Directors of the Hiscock Legal Aid Society (HLA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Gregory W. Dewan, Esq. as the next Executive Director of the organization. Mr. Dewan succeeds current Executive Director Linda Gehron, Esq. who will retire at the beginning of 2022 following forty years in the legal profession, including a decade of service to HLA, five of them as Executive Director. Ms. Gehron will return to private practice part time.
Under Ms. Gehron’s leadership, HLA grew its budget, staff and the number of people served in the CNY community.
“Linda departs an agency that is more multifaceted and agile than perhaps at any other point in its history,” said Conor Kirchner, Esq. Chair of the Board of Directors. “Under her leadership, the organization successfully pivoted to a variety of remote work environments to continue serving the community through the COVID-19 public health crisis. To do this, Ms. Gehron worked closely with Deputy Executive Director Gregory Dewan. Together, they positioned HLA for success amid a rapidly changing landscape to continue promoting justice for all across Central New York.”
Mr. Dewan, a CNY native and graduate of the University of Richmond and Emory University School of Law, first joined HLA as an intern in 2010. He was then hired and worked as a staff attorney, senior attorney, supervising attorney and managing attorney before becoming Deputy Executive Director in 2019.
This announcement comes following a nationwide search being conducted by a committee consisting of current and former members of the Board of Directors.
“It has been an honor to lead the Hiscock Legal Aid Society,” said Linda Gehron, Executive Director. “I leave this organization knowing that under Greg’s most capable leadership, it will continue doing what it has done so well since 1949: promoting justice for all.”
Virginia Hoveman, Esq. the immediate past Chair of the Board of Directors, served on the searching committee and echoes those sentiments.
“These past few years have tested the resolve of every organization,” said Hoveman. “Hiscock Legal Aid Society is no exception. Under the leadership of Linda Gehron and Gregory Dewan, the Hiscock Legal Aid Society navigated the COVID-19 pandemic, never closing its doors and continuing to serve CNY every single day. Credit for this goes to the entire staff at the Hiscock Legal Aid Society and the leadership of Linda and Greg. As we thank Linda for her service, her dedication and her leadership, we welcome Mr. Dewan to his new role and look forward to HLA’s next chapter.”
“I am humbled and excited by the opportunity to serve as the next Executive Director of the Hiscock Legal Aid Society,” said Gregory Dewan, incoming Executive Director. “As a lifelong resident of Central New York, it is particularly rewarding to be leading an organization I believe in, alongside people I believe in, to fulfill a critical mission ensuring access to justice for all in our community.”
Ms. Gehron will retire January 31, 2022. Mr. Dewan assumes his new role February 1, 2022.
For more information: hlalaw.org.
Copyright © 2021. Frank H. Hiscock Legal Aid Society. All rights reserved.
HLA receives funding from New York Bar Foundation
The New York Bar Foundation recently presented the Frank H. Hiscock Legal Aid Society(HLA) with a grant of $9,159 . The grant will be used to support Diversity Fellowships to support COVID-19 related case increases.
“This New York Bar Foundation funding gives HLA an opportunity to hire paid interns to assist with pandemic related increases in legal needs,” said Linda Gehron, Executive Director. “Promoting justice for all requires many groups working together. We are proud and grateful to have the support of the New York Bar Foundation to further our mission.”
Foundation grants assist non-profit organizations with essentials-of-life issues such as child support, consumer debt, housing, access to health care and education, and family matters such as domestic violence and family stability. Added this year was a focus on COVID-19 related issues, and racial justice impacted programming needs.
“The New York Bar Foundation has allocated nearly $700,000 in grants to 107 programs across New York significantly increasing the total number of grants over the past several years,” said Lucia Whisenand, chair of the Grant Review Committee. “The issues we touch on are extensive and impact people in life changing ways.”
By raising awareness of the need for access to civil legal services and allocating resources to help meet these needs, the Foundation will help make access to justice a reality for New Yorkers and, thereby, enhance the understanding of and respect for the rule of law.
“Through our grant-making program we help improve access to justice by providing seed grants to innovative legal projects piloting new ways to help those in need,” adds June Castellano, Vice-chair of the Grant Review Committee. “When you give to the Foundation you help make a difference across New York State.”
At a time when the help of legal services organization is in great demand, the Foundation has established a COVID-19 Emergency Legal Relief Fund. Donations to the fund will assist New Yorkers across New York State in need of legal services due to the impacts of COVID-19 through their grant program. Donations can be made at www.tnybf.org and selecting the COVID-19 Legal Relief Fund in the drop-down window.
The New York Bar Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, is the charitable arm of the New York State Bar Association. Established in 1950, the Foundation is dedicated to aiding charitable and educational projects to meet the law-related needs of the public and the legal profession.
To learn more about the Foundation visit www.tnybf.org or email Deborah Auspelmyer firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wynetta Devore Memorial Fund
The Hiscock Legal Aid Society (HLA) mourns the loss of former Board Member Dr. Wynetta Devore who passed away in December 2020.
2020 Justice For All Virtual Event
Hiscock Legal Aid Society (HLA) is proud to have promoted justice for all since our founding in 1949. We are grateful to be a part of the Central New York community, and to be recognized as a trusted source for legal assistance to those in need.
For the past seven years, our organization has celebrated our mission through the annual Justice For All fundraiser (JFA). As you may know, JFA shares how we’ve served our local community through our civil, family court, appeals, parole and immigration programs.
Usually, we host it at Drumlins.This year is different.
2020 has been a difficult year for everyone, HLA has also had to grapple with unprecedented challenges.In March, when the COVID-19 impacted the world and our local communities, HLA transitioned to an entirely remote work environment for serving our clients in a safe and efficient manner. We continued to provide uninterrupted services to those in our communities.This year, we will be hosting a one-hour virtual JFA event on Wednesday October 21, 2020 from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM EST. We have partnered with local bakeries Glazed & Confused and Crave Dessert Studio and created a precursor “Walk (or Run!) for Justice Alone, Together!” to build camaraderie.
We hope you are able to join us for our annual JFA.
How to be involved?1. RSVP and find out more at our Givebutter page.2. You can also support our mission by making a donation at hlalaw.org or send a check to Hiscock Legal Aid Society at 351 South Warren St. Syracuse, NY 13202
HLA statement on current protests
THE HISCOCK LEGAL AID SOCIETY IS STILL OPEN & CONTINUES TO PROVIDE LEGAL SERVICES
Unemployment insurance is temporary income for eligible workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. If you have been laid off or terminated from your employment, have had to quit your job or are unable to work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have questions about whether you are eligible for unemployment insurance benefits or how to apply. Please contact our office at (315) 218-0141. We have attorneys ready to advise clients about filing an unemployment insurance claim or to represent you at a hearing if you are denied unemployment insurance benefits.
During the changing public health landscape as a result of COVID-19.
Court is still open to hear emergency custody matters, orders of protection and emergency child protective proceedings. If you are seeking an order of protection, have an urgent, emergency custody, visitation, or child protective matter and you already have an open file with us, please reach out to your attorney directly. If you are not already assigned an attorney from our office and are seeking our assistance, please call us at 315-218-0141.
Beginning March 18, 2020, the Hiscock Legal Aid Society began serving clients in all practice areas through telephone and email only.
Please contact staff at the following numbers:
Divorce and UIB 315-218-0141
Family Court 315-218-0198
Immigration (English) 315-218-0196
Immigration (Spanish) 315-218-0152
Landlord Tenant 315-218-0141
General Intake 315-218-0141
General Intake (Spanish) 315-218-0105
Our attorneys will continue to appear in court for all scheduled cases.
Now, more than ever, our staff is ready to assist you. Please do not hesitate to call.
Please visit our Facebook Page for more information.
HLA Recognized by Omega Psi Phi
Hiscock Legal Aid Society (HLA) was honored to be given a special recognition award by Omega Psi Phi Fraternity on February 6, 2020.
HLA received this honor at the fraternity’s annual Dennis Dowdell dinner and scholarship reception at Embassy Suites in Syracuse. Omega Psi Phi holds the dinner each year as a way to celebrate Black History Month.
“We are humbled and grateful to have Hiscock Legal Aid Society recognized in this way,” said Linda Gehron, Executive Director, President and C.E.O. “Indeed, the mission of the Hiscock Legal Aid Society and the work being done locally by Omega Psi Phi members are aligned as we are both focused on adding value and serving the community we all share.”
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, it is our great pleasure to accept this award,” said Conor Kirchner, Board Chair. “While it’s no secret that the central New York community has its share of challenges, organizations like Hiscock Legal Aid Society and Omega Psi Phi work diligently to level the playing field.”
Omega Psi Phi fraternity is an international historically African-American Greek-letter fraternity with more than 750 undergraduate and graduate chapters across the nation, including at Syracuse University.
Lucero Saldana Mistry promoted
Hiscock Legal Aid Society (HLA) is pleased to announce the promotion of Lucero Saldana Mistry to Supervising Attorney of HLA’s immigration program.
Lucero, born in Lima, Peru, moved to Florida as an infant. She lived in Hollywood, FL and attended high school there before doing undergraduate work in Boca Raton. She then attended Florida Coastal School of Law.
Lucero said when she was young she wanted to practice immigration law as she went through the process herself. When she grew a bit older, her thinking evolved and she began to lean toward Family Law though she says that when she graduated, she found that the demand for immigration attorneys was high and the fact that she was fluent in both English and Spanish made her well suited for immigration work.
She moved to New York State in 2016 and has been working with Hiscock Legal Aid Society since that time.
“I went through the process myself,” said Lucero. “I came here without status and I went through the whole system so I understand the stressors involved and I want to help people for those reasons.”
Kristen McDermott promoted
Hiscock Legal Aid Society (HLA) is pleased to announce the promotion of Kristen McDermott to Co-Supervising Attorney of HLA’s Appeals Program where she co-supervises with Phillip Rothschild.
Kristen has been with HLA for nearly a decade, beginning as a staff attorney in 2010 before being promoted a few years later to Senior Attorney in HLA’s appeals program.
She attended Cardozo School of Law where she received her Juris Doctor.
Before arriving at HLA, Kristen gained valuable experience working with the New York City Human Resource Administration and the Innocence Project.
Her tenure at Hiscock Legal Aid has been marked by significant victories both in the 4th Department and the Court of Appeals.
2019 Justice For All Breakfast
Please join Hiscock Legal Aid Society (HLA) for our annual Justice For All breakfast October 16, 2019 at Drumlins.
Over the course of the one hour event, we’ll provide you with breakfast and take you on a virtual tour of our mission and vision through compelling short stories from agency leadership, members of the Board of Directors and clients we’ve served.
“Justice For All is another opportunity for us to showcase our mission to people in the community,” said Linda Gehron, Executive Director. “Promoting justice for all requires commitment, collaboration and support from our friends across Central New York. This is a day that honors our clients, as well as our friends, who make our mission come to life.”
HLA will also present the 2019 Justice For All Award to Judge Langston C. McKinney.
Register for the free event at: https://whoozin.com/jfa
HLA + Syracuse Stage – 12 Angry Men
On October 10, 2019 join leadership from Hiscock Legal Aid Society for a pre-show reception and performance of 12 Angry Men.
Our networking evening begins at 6 p.m. featuring complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar followed by the show. Register via this link no later than September 29 to have a portion of your ticket sales donated to the Hiscock Legal Aid Society.
The reception begins at 6:00 p.m. and the performance starts at 7:30 p.m.
A portion of your ticket price supports the work of the Hiscock Legal Aid Society.
The NYS Office for New Americans has awarded the Hiscock Legal Aid Society a substantial amount of new funding that will allow HLA to dramatically expand the size and scope of its immigration legal services in 2019.
“For years, in communities around the nation including here in Central New York, there has been a crushing, unmet need for this sort of representation,” said Linda Gehron, Executive Director, President and C.E.O. “With this additional funding, we can serve more people and help them emerge from the periphery of society to contribute to our community more fully, and without fear.”
Hiscock Legal Aid continues to collaborate with the Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County (OnVLP). OnVLP will assist with supporting this project in CNY and in the North Country.
The expanded services are slated to begin in May.
Read more about this in the press release issued by the New York State Governor’s Office:
Governor Cuomo Announces Selection of 19 Full-Time Immigration Attorneys to Help Immigrants Across State
HLA is proud to stand with Vera House, Inc. and support its White Ribbon Campaign.
According to Vera House, “the White Ribbon Campaign is led by men and encourages all members of the community to join them in their efforts. This male leadership helps to acknowledge the important contributions men have made in ending violence against women and invites others to take a role.”
We defend. We empower. We collaborate. We promote justice for all.
HLA is pleased to announce the following staff promotions
Congratulations are in order for the promotions of the following HLA staff members:
Gregory W. Dewan, Esq. has been promoted to the position of Deputy Executive Director & Vice President. A graduate of Emory University School of Law, Mr. Dewan says the collaborative passion that his colleagues bring to work each day is the best part of his job.
Nicole E. Talev, Esq. has been promoted to Managing Attorney of Civil and Family Court Programs. She is a graduate of SUNY Buffalo Law School and notes her favorite part of working at HLA is “being surrounded by others who share my passion and dedication for achieving the best outcome possible for our clients.”
Tara L. Trammell, Esq. has been promoted to Supervising Attorney in the Family Court Program. Tara attended Syracuse University for her undergraduate degree where she also played basketball. She went on to get her law degree from SU College of Law. Tara has been with HLA since 2009, working for both Family Court and Civil Programs and providing leadership in our domestic violence projects.
Danielle Blackaby, Esq. has been promoted to the position of Senior Attorney for her excellent Family Court appeals work. She has been extremely hard-working and highly successful with her work. She graduated with a BA in Political Science from Gettysburg College in 2011 and went on to receive her JD from Syracuse University College of Law in May 2016.
Alexa D. Parcell, Esq. is originally from Austin, Texas but Syracuse has been home since she graduated from Syracuse University College of Law. She’s been promoted to Senior Attorney and notes that “being able to advocate for those in our community who otherwise would not be able to have representation” is her favorite part of working at HLA.
Amanda M. McHenry will continue to serve as a Supervising Attorney for the Family Court Program including our Parent Defense practice that handles Article 10, TPR and Child Support cases. Amanda will also serve as our OVS Project Attorney, representing victims of domestic violence who face neglect charges.
HLA is proud to announce that Amanda Higuchi, LMSW has passed her licensing exams in February. Amanda grew up in LaFayette, NY and received her BSW from Keuka College. She graduated from Syracuse University in May 2018 with her Masters in Social Work.
Nickie Trice promoted to Client Services Coordinator
Hiscock Legal Aid Society is proud to announce the promotion of Nickie Trice to the position of Client Services Coordinator.
Ms. Trice is the first face many people see when coming to our offices and her interactions are marked by professionalism and compassion.
Ms. Trice has been with HLA since 2009 when she joined as an intern through the Jobs Plus program. After her internship, she was offered a job as receptionist, then promoted to senior receptionist before assuming her new role as client services coordinator.
CLASP is Back.
Cancer Legal Advocacy and Services Project Re-opens
On June 1, Hiscock Legal Aid Society and Legal Services of Central New York reopened the Cancer Legal Advocacy and Services Project (CLASP), a collaborative partnership between the two legal services providers.
Since its inception in 2006, CLASP had been funded by the New York State Department of Health. In May 2017, the Department of Health abruptly eliminated funding.
With generous support from the Allyn Family Foundation, Saint Agatha Foundation, Hematology-Oncology Associates of Central New York, and Dr. Jeffrey Kirshner, as well as numerous donors from HLAS’s Justice for All fundraising program, LSCNY and HLAS were delighted to officially reopen CLASP June 1, 2018.
“CLASP empowers cancer patients, ensures their access to medical treatment, and improves their quality of life by offering free civil legal services to individuals and their families who are going through what is often one of the scariest periods of their lives,” said Linda Gehron, President and C.E.O. “We are most grateful to be able to again offer this valuable program with our colleagues at LSCNY, the lead partner in this effort.”
CLASP offers comprehensive legal services, including: lifetime planning (power of attorney, healthcare proxy and living will, last will and testament, future care of minor children); access to healthcare (Medicaid/Medicare, private insurance, medical debt); income maintenance (SNAP, public assistance, disability benefits); family law (guardianship, child custody and visitation, child and spousal support, divorce and separation agreement); employment (unemployment insurance benefits, medical leave, disability accommodations); and housing preservation/eviction prevention.
Low-income individuals and families affected by cancer should contact CLASP at 315-703-6599 to request free legal assistance.
HLA President & C.E.O. Linda Gehron appointed by NYS Chief Judge to Parent Representation Commission
Hiscock Legal Aid Society is pleased to announce the appointment of President and C.E.O. Linda Gehron, Esq. to serve on a new Commission on Parental Legal Representation.
This commission will examine the current state of mandated Family Court representation and determine how to ensure the future delivery of quality, cost-effective parental representation.
Ms. Gehron was appointed to this post by the New York State Chief Judge Janet DiFiore.
“I’m honored to be given this opportunity to collaborate with legal scholars, judges and expert practitioners from around New York in continually improving programs that serve our clients,” said Linda Gehron, President and C.E.O. “The Hiscock Legal Aid Society has served thousands of clients in our mandated programs over the years so we have much to contribute, and much to gain, in being a part of these critically important conversations.”
The Commission will be headed by Judge Karen Peters, former Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, Third Department. The Hon. Karen Peters will work with the Office of Indigent Legal Services – particularly Director of Quality Enhancement, Angela Burton – to build upon the groundwork being done across the State to improve the quality of parental legal representation.
President & C.E.O. Linda Gehron on City Limits Talk Round Table
Various members of the legal community, including our very own President & C.E.O. Linda Gehron, sat down for a round table discussion with WAER’s News Director Chris Bolt about the effects poverty has on someone facing legal issues.
Also featured in the discussion were:
Ron Boxx, Head of Reintegration, Center for Community Alternatives,
Langston McKinney, Retired Syracuse City Court Judge,
Richard Ellison, College of Law Professor at Syracuse University,
Sally Fisher Curran, Executive Director, Onondaga County Volunteer Lawyers Project and
Dennis Kaufman, Executive Director, Legal Services of Central New York.
HLA ATTORNEYS AND STAFF BEING HONORED STATEWIDE
Hiscock Legal Aid Society is pleased to share that several attorneys and staff are being recognized for their work in promoting justice for all in the CNY community.
HLA Family Court Supervising Attorney Nancy Farrell and Assistant Supervising Attorney Amanda McHenry are the 2018 recipients of the Ella B. Family Justice Award. This award honors attorneys or professionals who work to advance the quality of representation received by low-income parents in child protective and/or termination of parental rights cases. Ms. Farrell and Ms. McHenry will travel to Albany to accept this award on April 20.
Senior Attorney James P. (Pat) Tracy was recognized by the Onondaga County Volunteer Lawyers Project (OnVLP) at their Volunteer Recognition Celebration April 19 as one of their Pro Bono Champions. Mr. Tracy has worked at HLA for nearly 20 years and has focused his practice for the last several years on immigration law.
Client Advocate Jean Shirley will be receiving the Liberty Bell Award at Law Day 2018 being held on May 1. The Liberty Bell is a prestigious award given to a non-attorney who promotes justice in an extraordinary way in their community. Ms. Shirley has worked at HLA for more than 40 years.
“Nancy, Amanda, Pat and Jean exemplify the commitment, the professionalism and the dedication HLA attorneys and staff bring to work each day to carry out our mission,” said Linda Gehron, President and C.E.O. “They are dynamic leaders who serve our clients and our community extraordinarily well.”