On December 4, Katherine Greenberg ’10 was honored by Legal Services NYC at their 2009 Pro Bono Recognition Awards Breakfast for her efforts to provide legal representation for New York City Housing Authority residents. She is the first student to win the Legal Services NYC award in its four-year history.

While serving as an intern at South Brooklyn Legal Services (SBLS) in the summer of 2008, Greenberg observed and participated in NYCHA administrative hearings, in which public housing tenants, the vast majority of whom are unrepresented, battle against NYCHA lawyers. Fearing loss of their homes, many tenants agree to lopsided settlements; others are indeed evicted. Looking to help more NYCHA residents, Greenberg and SBLS sought a way to expand representation by enlisting students at NYU Law—and provide an opportunity for students to gain advocacy experience.

During the 2008-09 academic year, Greenberg created the NYCHA Hearings Project as an advocacy opportunity for Law Students for Human Rights. Working with Jennifer Levy ’96, acting director at SBLS, Greenberg helped the SBLS Housing Unit recruit its first five students this fall. The first-year students are being trained by SBLS and have already begun representing three NYCHA tenants. Greenberg and SBLS hope to expand the project, and eventually set up a permanent student organization at NYU Law.

In presenting the Pro Bono Recognition Award to Greenberg, Andrew Scherer ’78, executive director and president of Legal Services NYC, said simply, “The students are really making a difference.”

Posted December 8, 2009