Touro Law Welcomes New Staff Attorney in the Disaster Relief Clinic

October 7, 2016

Touro Law Center Dean Harry Ballan is pleased to announce the hiring of Ambika Raghunandan, Class of 2015, as the new staff attorney in the Disaster Relief Clinic. 

Dean Ballan stated, “Ambika is poised and ready to make an impact and help with the ongoing efforts of our Disaster Relief Clinic. She worked in the clinic as a student and it made a true impression on her. Now she is back to lend her talents and time for both our students and our clients.”

Ambika Raghunandan was raised in Queens, New York and she attended St. John’s University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and then went on to attend Touro College’s Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center. 

Four years prior to entering law school, Ms. Raghunandan worked for a private law firm where she made her decision to pursue her childhood dream of becoming an attorney. At the firm, she aided attorneys mainly in real estate closings, deed transfers and name changes. She continued to work for this firm after being admitted to the New York State Bar in 2016. 

While at Touro Law Center, she worked as a summer extern for Lewis Johs Avallone Aviles, LL.P., where she assisted in preparing documents for civil defense litigation.  

Ms. Raghunandan is a member of the New York State Bar Association and New York City Bar Association. She also holds her Real Estate Broker’s License and is a Notary Public. 

She stated, “When I was a student at the Disaster Relief Clinic in 2015, I was taken aback by the number of people who were still displaced three years after Superstorm Sandy, the number of people who were victimized again because of the mismanagement of programs put in place to help those who had nowhere to turn, and the number of elderly who were taken advantage of. These programs were and still are, confusing to the average person as well as to the drafters of those programs. That is why I am proud to be a part of a clinic that gives victims of Superstorm Sandy a voice, offers assistance and provides comfort in allowing our clients to know they still have a place to turn. Clinic Director Melissa Luckman has been nothing short of amazing and is an inspiration. Christina Lipski is a prime example of what every paralegal should be. The problems that our clients face go beyond expectations, and I am fortunate to be surrounded by people who care, and want to help.” 

Touro Law’s Disaster Relief Clinic was launched immediately following SuperStorm Sandy. It is one-of-a- kind national model, helping thousands of storm victims. The mission of the clinic is to assist Sandy-affected New York households, with a focus on Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Under faculty supervision students represent clients in public benefits, such as FEMA claims, public utility issues, insurance matters, contractor and customer issues, as well as issues that have a broad impact on disaster recovery. To date, the clinic has fielded more than 5,000 calls and represented more than 1,300 households. The efforts of the clinic have received more than $2,380,000 for its clients.

The clinical program at Touro Law teaches practice-ready skills required for effective advocacy while providing no-cost legal services for the community. Students work under close faculty supervision to provide legal assistance to actual clients. Currently, 13 clinics are offered: Advanced Bankruptcy, Bankruptcy, Criminal Defense, Criminal Prosecution, Disaster Relief, Elder Law, Family Law, Federal Prosecution, Immigration Law, Mortgage Foreclosure, Small Business and Not-for-Profit Law, the Veterans' and Servicemembers' Rights and the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.
 
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Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center’s 185,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art law school is located adjacent to both a state and a federal courthouse in Central Islip, New York. Touro Law’s proximity to the courthouses, coupled with programming developed to integrate the courtroom into the classroom, provide a one-of-a kind learning model for law students, combining a rigorous curriculum taught by expert faculty with a practical courtroom experience. Touro Law, which has a student body of approximately 650 and an alumni base of more than 6,000, offers full- and part-time J.D. programs, several dual degree programs and graduate law programs for US and foreign law graduates. Touro Law Center is part of the Touro College system.

Touro Law’s newly implemented Portals to Practice is a cutting-edge, experiential learning program that reconceives and restructures the law school experience. Portals to Practice expands the scope and quality of legal education by focusing on the development of legal professionals, from pre-law through post-graduation. 

About the Touro College and University System 
Touro is a system of non-profit institutions of higher and professional education. Touro College was chartered in 1970 primarily to enrich the Jewish heritage, and to serve the larger American and global community. Approximately 18,000 students are currently enrolled in its various schools and divisions. Touro College has 29 branch campuses, locations and instructional sites in the New York area, as well as branch campuses and programs in Berlin, Jerusalem and Moscow. New York Medical College; Touro University California and its Nevada branch campus; Touro University Worldwide and its Touro College Los Angeles division; as well as Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Ill. are separately accredited institutions within the Touro College and University System. For further information on Touro College, please go to: http://www.touro.edu/news/.

For more info contact:
Patti Desrochers
Director of Communications
pattid@tourolaw.edu
(631) 761-7062

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