Tomás H. Lucero is a Victims of Crime Advocate (VOCA) Paralegal with the Immigrants & Immigration (II) practice group in the firm's Yonkers Office. He provides intake and legal support to the II practice group, assisting in its efforts to bring justice to immigrant victims of crime. Tomás earned a B.A. in English from the University of San Diego. He has four years of experience in the immigration field; two working with "aliens of extraordinary ability" on EB1 cases and two with victims of crime on U Visas. Before joining Empire Justice Center, Tomás worked at a private law firm in San Diego, California, preparing U Visa and I-130 petitions. Tomás is a native Spanish speaker, professional translator, and trained community interpreter.
Nicole Harris is a staff attorney at the Empire Justice Center in the Yonkers office. She represents crime victims and assists them in filing immigration applications to obtain legal immigration status. Prior to joining Empire Justice, she practiced matrimonial law in the private sector and worked as a senior staff attorney for a non-profit agency representing victims of domestic violence for over 14 years. She is admitted to practice in New York, and is a member of the state Bar Association. She graduated from St. John’s University School of Law and the State University of New York at Albany.
Crime Victims Services Attorney
Laura A. Dwyer is a Regional Attorney Coordinator with Empire Justice Center’s Crime Victims Legal Network. She provides technical assistance, legal consultation, and support to attorneys throughout New York who are representing crime victims with their civil legal needs. Prior to joining Empire Justice, she was a Senior Attorney at Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York, where she represented crime victims with their civil legal needs. She has practiced in matters involving family law, housing law including foreclosure and landlord/tenant issues, unemployment insurance, public benefits, and special education law. She also has a background in commercial litigation.
Ms. Dwyer graduated from Rutgers School of Law – Newark, where she was a Managing Editor for the Rutgers Law Review. She is admitted to practice in the States of New York and New Jersey. She is also admitted to practice in the U.S. District Courts for the Southern District of New York, the Eastern District of New York, and the Northern District of New York, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Ms. Dwyer is a member of the New York State Bar Association.
Regional Attorney Coordinator
Amy Schwartz-Wallace is a Senior Attorney with the Empire Justice Center in Rochester where she has overseen their Domestic Violence Unit for over a decade. She provides legal training and technical assistance to civil legal services attorneys, domestic violence programs and other agencies and organizations statewide. Amy coordinates a multi-year, statewide grant through the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services where she provides legal training and technical assistance around the intersection of intimate partner violence and LGBT communities. Amy also successfully litigated several impact litigation cases on behalf of victims of intimate partner violence, most notably the Third Department’s 2010 & 2011 decisions in Dickerson v. Thompson which affirmed access to a New York Supreme Court for equitable dissolution of out-of-state civil unions. The Dickerson rulings have since been widely cited in New York, other states, as well as to 2nd Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. Amy engages in policy analysis and legislative advocacy, and her advocacy has directly resulted in numerous law, regulation, and policy changes on local, state, and national levels. Amy has also supervised Empire Justice Center’s LGBT Law Project and Crime Victims Legal Network Project since their respective inceptions. From 2006-2008, Amy also served as an Adjunct Law Professor at Syracuse University College of Law where she taught an upper-level course on domestic violence law.
Amy is the author of numerous publications including, Important Identity Change Precedent Created By New York Courts for Domestic Violence Victims and their Children in the compendium VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: VICTIMS AND ABUSERS, LEGAL ISSUES, INTERVENTIONS AND TREATMENT (Joan Zorza, ed., Civic Research Institute 2006) and DOMESTIC VIOLENCE REPORT, Volume 9, No. 4 (June/July 2004). With Sharon Stapel, she co-authored the chapter, Public Assistance and Housing: Helping Survivors Navigate Difficult Systems in the First Department’s LAWYER’S MANUAL ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: REPRESENTING THE VICTIM (2015 ed,, 2006 and 2004 eds.). With state agency, the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, Amy co-authored their 2013 GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR COMMUNITY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE POLICY. This multi-disciplinary statewide tool assists communities with creating and updating comprehensive, responsive policies for cases involving domestic violence.
Amy is a proud recipient of several awards recognizing her legal work. In 2015, she was the first recipient of the Ally Windsor Howell Champion of Diversity Award given by the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys. She was also the first recipient of RESOLVE’s 2014 Resolutionary Award, recognizing those who demonstrate vision, leadership and determination toward ending and preventing violence against women in our community. In addition, Amy also had the honor of being recognized with the Up and Coming Attorney Award by the DAILY RECORD legal newspaper in 2007, as well as their Leaders in Law Award in 2010.
Among her many community activities, Amy serves on the Board of Trustees for the Monroe County Bar Association (MCBA) and is a former President of the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys (GRAWA). In 2014, she helped to found, and is now currently a member of, the MCBA’s LGBT Committee. She is also a member of Women’s Bar Association of New York’s new LGBT Committee. Amy served as Statewide Co-Chair of WBASNY’s Domestic Violence Committee (2005-2008, 2011-2015) and their Access to Justice Committee (2010-2011). She also co-founded the Domestic Violence Committee for the Greater Rochester Association of Women Attorneys in 2003 and has served as its co-chair for many years.
Amy Schwartz-Wallace received her Bachelor of Arts from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey and her law degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law.
Senior Staff Attorney, Unit Director
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