William Randolph Hearst
Public Advocacy Center (PAC)

Touro Law Center is home to the William Randolph Hearst Public Advocacy Center. The only one of its kind in the nation, the Center was developed to have an impact on social justice, legal training, and the lives of countless individuals in and beyond the local community.
The Center uses Touro Law students for advocacy services, research work, and client relations. Students work with these organizations to satisfy their pro bono requirements while developing an understanding of the problems facing the local community. 
For additional information, contact Thomas Maligno, Executive Director of the Public Advocacy Center and Director of Public Interest at Touro Law Center via email or by phone at (631) 761-7033.

PUBLIC ADVOCACY CENTER MEMBER AGENCIES

Breaking Barriers
Liz Justensen, Esq.
Breaking Barriers is a student-run project, based in the PAC, dedicated to removing barriers to employment by helping people correct errors on their RAP (Record of Arrests and Prosecutions) sheets and obtain Certificates of Relief from Civil Disabilities and Certificates of Good Conduct, court documents that remove any automatic statutory disqualification from jobs or licenses. The program is co=sponsored by the Suffolk County Legal Aid Society.

Brighter Tomorrows
Mariah Prensa
Brighter Tomorrows is committed to listening, believing & helping victims of domestic violence. Founded in 1986, Brighter Tomorrows, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) human service agency dedicated to empowering survivors of domestic violence. The agency serves victims from Suffolk and Nassau counties as well as New York City and the Tri-State area. We provide shelter, counseling, and legal advocacy

The Center for Restorative Practices, Inc. (Hope for Youth)
Dr. David J. Hegarty, Executive Director
The Center for Restorative Practices, Inc. has a central mission to break the “School-to-Prison Pipeline” and reduce Disproportionate Minority representation in the juvenile justice system. They are advocates, advisors, and trainers in Restorative Justice, Restorative Practices, and Non-violent Communication. These approaches and skills constitute effective viable alternatives to: incarceration, residential placement, school suspensions, and expulsions.

Empire Justice Center
Linda Hassberg, Esq., Senior Attorney
Cheryl Keshner, Paralegal / Community Advocate
Maria T. DeGennaro, Esq., Regional Coordinator, Homeownership Protection Program (HOPP)
Michelle Caldera-Kopf, Senior Attorney & Project Manager
The Empire Justice Center is the only statewide, multi-issue, multi-strategy non-profit law firm focused on changing the "systems" within which poor and low-income families live. With a focus on poverty law, Empire Justice undertakes research and training, acts as an informational clearinghouse and provides litigation backup to local legal services programs and community-based organizations.

Empowerment Collaborative of Long Island Inc. (ECLI)
Jennifer G. Hernandez, Co-Founder/Executive Director
Stephanie Frisz-Gioia
Feride Castillo
Rebeca Shanisi
Giselle Paleaz-Carvano
Empowerment Collaborative of Long Island Inc. (ECLI) is a not-for-profit human service agency comprised of social workers, mental health counselors, and advocates. Our mission at ECLI is to create safer communities by empowering youth and families to break the cycle of violence, poverty, and oppression through crisis intervention, advocacy, and transition to independence. ECLI engages the whole person and the complexity of their experiences that builds a community of support to foster healing and lasting change.
ECLI works with Touro Law students in collaboration with Suffolk County Legal Aid Society (SCLAS) to maximize the benefits of our program, as well as providing students with a well-rounded understanding of the legal system.
Guardianship Corp.
Robert Heppenheimer, CEO
Our Mission is to provide high-quality, cost-effective, and ethical services in the performance of our duties as Court-appointed Guardians for the indigent of Suffolk County.

Latino Justice
Nathalia Alejandra Varela, Staff Attorney
LatinoJustice has been engaging in increasing civil rights work in Long Island over the past decade as the Latino community has grown significantly during that time, and is in increasing need of legal services.  
Long Island Fair Housing Services, Inc. 
Ian Wilder, Esq., Executive Director
Email: info@LIFairHousing.org
Web: https://www.lifairhousing.org/
Initiated in 1969, Long Island Housing Services (LIHS) is a HUD-approved counseling agency and LI’s only HUD qualified Fair Housing Enforcement Organization. The mission of Long Island Housing Services is the elimination of unlawful housing discrimination and promotion of decent and affordable housing through advocacy and education. The agency promotes racial and economic integration and equal housing opportunities through direct client services, special projects, and collaborative efforts with other non-profits and government enforcement agencies.
Activities include counseling, investigation of discrimination in rentals, sales, lending and, insurance, including testing, education, and facilitating Fair Housing enforcement under federal, state, and local laws, helping to educate and alert the public to avoid and report mortgage rescue scams; Tenant’s Rights Counseling geared to improving habitability, treatment, provide referrals and information about resources for various related issues and pre/post Homeownership Counseling. LIHS offers top-quality counseling and free legal services for Foreclosure Prevention. Bilingual, Spanish fluent staff is available.

Nassau/Suffolk Law Services Committee, Inc.
Vivian Storm, Attorney
Carly Sommers, Attorney
Nassau/Suffolk Law Services Committee, Inc. is a non-profit, community-based poverty law program which provides legal assistance in civil (non-criminal) matters to low-income individuals throughout Nassau and Suffolk Counties in New York. The program provides free legal service in thousands of cases each year as well as legal support to every church, agency, and grassroots organization that works with the poor.

New York Civil Liberties Union (Suffolk Chapter)
Irma Solis, Esq., Chapter Director
Marina Nadler, Administrative Assistant
The Suffolk Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union is dedicated to the protection of civil liberties as embodied in the Bill of Rights. Its mission is to protect the constitutional rights of the people it serves through advocacy and involvement in the legislative process and to educate the community about civil liberties issues. 

New York State Defenders Association, Veterans Defense Program
Blair Hill, Esq. Staff Attorney
Barbara Lombardi, Asst. Program Coordinator

ProBono Partnership
Melissa Greenberger, Staff Attorney

Pro Bono Partnership provides free transactional legal services to nonprofit organizations on Long Island and in other suburban New York counties as well as Connecticut and New Jersey.

Touro Pandemic Hotline
Submit an Intake Form online

Touro Law has established a helpline to answer legal questions arising from the pandemic. Volunteer attorneys will provide referrals to our own clinical program and appropriate legal partners on a wide range of legal issues.

The helpline will be open Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Students and attorneys will provide community members with free assistance or referrals on a myriad of issues including landlord-tenant, civil liberties, bankruptcy, employee rights, unemployment, stimulus payment, insurance and more.
You can call the helpline at 631.761.7198 or complete an intake form and a representative will call you.

 

Affiliate Agencies

An agency or organization becomes a PAC affiliate by asking for membership. They then have to participate in our quarterly meetings, our PAC list serve, The Touro Law Public Interest Job Fair and include Touro Law students in their work. The students can work for academic credit , probono credit, or be paid by Touro Law or the agency. The following agencies have complied with these rules over the past few years:
  • Catholic Charities
  • Central American Resource Center (CARECEN)
  • Central Islip Civic Council
  • Children's Defense Fund
  • Episcopal Community Services
  • ERASE Racism
  • Every Child Matters - Long Island
  • Fund for Modern Courts
  • Hope For Youth
  • La Fuente
  • Law Help New York
  • League of Women Voters 
  • Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County 
  • Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County (Children's Law Bureau)
  • Literacy First
  • Long Island Breast Cancer Action Coalition
  • Long Island Civic Engagement Table
  • Long Island Gay And Lesbian Center
  • Long Island Progressive Coalition
  • Long Island Wins
  • Mental Hygiene Legal Service, 2nd Department
  • Long Island Immigration Alliance
  • Long Island Minority Aids Coalition
  • Long Island Progressive Coalition
  • Long Island Think Tank For Black Progress
  • Make The Road New York
  • Mercy Advocates Program
  • Nassau Bar Foreclosure Project
  • Nassau/Suffolk Coalition for the Homeless
  • National Coalition for Jewish Legislators
  • New Hour for Women & Children - LI
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Prison Families Anonymous 
  • The Retreat
  • Sepa Mujer
  • Suffolk County Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • Victims Information Bureau of Suffolk (VIBS)
  • Vision Long Island
  • Workplace Project