Volunteers of Legal Service is pleased to announce that Marcia Levy has been named Executive Director of the organization. Ms. Levy comes to VOLS after a distinguished career in public service, pro bono and academia, most recently as the Director of Externships and Field-Based Learning and a Lecturer in Law at Columbia Law School. She will assume the role in August.
Prior to her position at Columbia, Ms. Levy was the Executive Director of Pro Bono Partnership, which provides free transactional legal services to nonprofits in the tristate area. Previously, she was Associate Dean of the Office of Career Services and Professor of Professional Development at Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School.
“Marcia has a long and deep commitment to pro bono work, reflected particularly in her leadership in creating long-lasting partnerships with law firms and corporations and the underserved in New York,” said VOLS Board Chair Karen Artz Ash. “She brings to VOLS an extraordinary record of multi-disciplinary work in law and public service, and we are thrilled to welcome her to the organization.”
Founded in 1984, VOLS leverages the good will, resources, and talents of New York City’s leading law firms and companies to provide pro bono legal assistance to low-income New Yorkers. Last year, nearly 1,000 lawyers from 50 law firms, legal departments of corporations, plus nearly 200 law students and other volunteers, provided pro bono legal services benefitting 3,000 New Yorkers through its projects.
Ms. Levy’s career included working as Special Counsel for Pro Bono and Director of Professional Development at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. As part of her responsibilities, she developed and supervised litigation and transactional pro bono opportunities for the firm’s lawyers. Ms. Levy’s experience also includes service for the Legal Aid Society, first, as a staff attorney with the Prisoners’ Rights Project, and then as an assistant federal defender in the Eastern District of New York. She spent over 14 years in legal education, holding academic positions as a Clinic Director and Clinical Law Professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Rutgers Law School and Hofstra University School of Law. In addition, she was the first Director of the Eric Neisser Public Interest Program at Rutgers. She was Counsel and is now Special Advisor to the Permanent Committee on Access to Justice.
“I have had high regard for VOLS, ever since I worked with the organization when I was Pro Bono Counsel,” said Ms. Levy. “They do an amazing job of creating projects that provide critical legal services for individuals and communities, and that are perfect for partnerships with pro bono attorneys. I am excited for the opportunity to lead VOLS at a time in which pro bono service is essential.”
Ms. Levy is a member of the NYC Bar Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, was a member of the New York State Bar Association’s President’s Committee on Access to Justice and Committee on Legal Aid, and she served as Chair of the Association of American Law School’s Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service. In 2015, the New York Law Journal named her a “lawyer who leads by example” for public service. Ms. Levy was awarded the Robert E. Oliphant Service to the National Institute for Trial Advocacy Award in 2007, and she has been a NYSBA Empire Awardee for Pro Bono Service.
Ms. Levy succeeds Bill Lienhard, who successfully led VOLS for seven years.
-Volunteers of Legal Service