September 05, 2018
September 30, 2017
Kristin is a senior attorney with the Civil Rights, Employment and Education Unit in Empire Justice Center's Rochester Office. She is a 2008 graduate of Harvard Law School, whose practice is concentrated in the areas of discrimination in employment and education, particularly on the basis of disability. Notable cases include a lawsuit against a public university alleging denial of reasonable accommodation, as well as a class action lawsuit against a public school district for unequal treatment of female athletes under Title IX. While at Harvard Law Kristin served on the Board of Directors of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, the oldest student-run legal services office in the country, and was awarded the Edith W. Fine and Skirnick Fellowships for public service. After graduating from law school in 2008, she worked as a staff attorney in housing and benefits law for Texas RioGrande Legal Aid in Weslaco, Texas, and later at Medical-Legal Partnership | Boston in Boston, Massachusetts.
Senior Staff Attorney
Remla Parthasarathy is the Project Leader of the Crime Victims Legal Network, a federally-funded partnership between the New York State Office of Victim Services, the Empire Justice Center, Pro Bono Net, and the Center for Human Services Research at the State University of New York at Albany. The goal of the Project is to connect victims of crime with the civil legal services they need through the development of new technology solutions. The Network is expected to be operational in late 2018. Since graduating from the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School, Remla has worked in a variety of capacities primarily in the field of intimate partner violence. She served as an attorney representing domestic violence victims in Family Court, a systems advocate for a domestic violence shelter and county-wide coalition, a coordinator of a misdemeanor domestic violence court, a coordinator of a safe-home network, and a Domestic Violence in the Workplace Educator. Prior to joining Empire Justice, Remla worked for ten years as the Clinical Instructor for the Women, Children, and Social Justice Clinic at the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School. There, she supervised and taught students placed in agencies that work in the areas of intimate partner violence, elder abuse, child abuse, and human trafficking, and provided assistance to coalitions and task forces in the Western New York area to enhance their communities' response to intimate partner violence. She also teaches as an adjunct professor, and works as a consultant and trainer. Remla has presented workshops at several national and state-wide conferences. She has served on the Board of Directors of the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the International Institute of Buffalo, the YWCA of Western New York, and the Erie County Coalition Against Family Violence. She is a recipient of the Sr. Karen Klimczack Peace and Justice Award from the Erie County Coalition Against Family Violence, and the Trailblazer Award from the SUNY Buffalo Law School Students of Color Committee.
Staff Attorney -Crime Victims Legal Network Project
Elizabeth (Liz) Nicolas is a Workers’ Rights Attorney in Empire Justice Center’s Rochester Office and a member of the Steering Committee for POWER (People Organizing for Worker Empowerment and Respect), a worker center in Rochester for low wage, urban workers. Liz represents low-wage workers in wage theft, discrimination, retaliation and other employment-related cases. Liz is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Drexel University School of Law. Before moving to Rochester, Liz was a litigator in Philadelphia and volunteered doing human rights work in South Africa and Colombia.
Chief Financial Officer
Elizabeth Koo received her J.D. from the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law where she was a Graduate Fellow. While at CUNY, Elizabeth represented immigrant workers in wage theft cases and CUNY undergraduates in contested public benefits hearings as a student attorney with CUNY Law's Workers' Rights Clinic and Economic Justice Project. During law school, Elizabeth also worked with the Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights, Fordham Law School’s Feerick Center for Social Justice and Urban Justice Center’s Community Development Project. Prior to law school, Elizabeth was a community organizer and program associate with the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. Elizabeth received her B.A. from Barnard College. Elizabeth's fellowship project focused on providing direct legal representation to workers in wage theft cases and other employment matters, engaging in policy advocacy work to improve labor laws, and conducting community outreach and education in support of workers and workers' centers.
Cheryl Keshner is a Senior Paralegal/Community Advocate with the Empire Justice Center in the Long Island office, where she assists indigent people, particularly immigrants, in obtaining assistance from the Department of Social Services and other government agencies. She is active in advocating for the rights of people with limited English proficiency and has provided training and technical assistance to other advocates throughout the state. She is the founder and coordinator of the Long Island Language Advocates Coalition (LILAC), a coalition of individuals and organizations based on Long Island working to attain equal access to programs and services, such as healthcare, law enforcement, social services, education and justice through the courts, for persons who are limited English proficient. The coalition was successful in obtaining passage of executive orders in both Nassau and Suffolk counties mandating county agencies to provide comprehensive language access. Cheryl was the recipient of the 2013 Suffolk County Civil Liberties Union Equality Award. Prior to joining the Empire Justice Center, Cheryl worked for fifteen years as a social worker with Nassau/Suffolk Law Services where she assisted numerous homeless individuals and families, challenged work rules disqualifications and provided representation at fair hearings, and engaged in community education regarding welfare reform. She has also worked as a community organizer with the NYC Commission on Human Rights . Cheryl is fluent in Spanish and has an MSW from Hunter College School of Social Work.
Linda Hassberg is a senior staff attorney in Empire Justice Center's Long Island office. Linda's primary responsibility is impact litigation to bring about systemic change, primarily in the areas of public benefits, civil rights, health and family law. Linda joined the Empire Justice Center in 2007 to help open the Long Island Office. Prior to that time, she served as litigation counsel of the not-for-profit Western New York Law Center in Buffalo, New York, where she conducted individual and class action impact litigation on behalf of the poor and disadvantaged in the areas of public benefits, health care, education, housing discrimination, and civil rights. Her other legal experiences include association with a private law firm in a practice devoted to the rights of people with disabilities and special education law. She also maintained a practice in union-side labor and employment law. Linda graduated magna cum laude from the University of Buffalo Law School in 1992 and clerked for the Hon. John T. Curtin, USDJ for the Western District of New York from 1992-95. Prior to law school, Linda was a union activist, educator, and organizer for the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees "AFSCME" and holds a Masters degree in U.S. Social and Labor History.
Senior Staff Attorney
Jonathan is a senior staff attorney with the Civil Rights, Employment and Education Unit in Empire Justice Center’s Rochester Office. At Empire Justice, he concentrates largely on special education and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) cases. Notable cases include class action lawsuits against the Rochester City School District and the Greece Central School District, brought on behalf of all students with disabilities in those districts. He has also twice served as a Visiting Clinical Professor of Law. Most recently, in 2013, he directed the Legal Aid Clinic at Cornell University Law School, and in 2007, he served as acting director of the Disability Rights Clinic at Syracuse University College of Law. Jonathan is a graduate of Oberlin College and New York University School of Law. After graduating from law school in 1988, he served as a law clerk to the Hon. James T. Giles, United States District Judge, in Philadelphia, and he then worked for the Education Law Center in Newark and the Community Service Society in New York City. He is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Rochester's Warner School (Graduate School of Education), where he is teaching a course in education law and policy.
Senior Staff Attorney
Peter Dellinger is a senior staff attorney with the Empire Justice Center's Rochester office. He represents low-income clients in consumer, civil rights and employment matters, and supervises the Empire Justice Wage Theft Project and consumer rights work. Before attending law school he was a Robert F. Kennedy Fellow, and after receiving his J.D. degree from the Antioch School of Law, he clerked for Judge John T. Curtin of the United States District Court for the Western District of New York. Peter began his legal services career in the Midwest, where he directed a state-wide legal services program representing migrant farmworkers. During this time, he completed language course work at the Academia Hispano Americana in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Peter Dellinger is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, Ohio, and New York, and before the United States Tax Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He received his B.A. degree from University of Toronto, and has an M.A. degree in American Government from American University.
Senior Staff Attorney