Randye Retkin, Esq., is the Director and Founder of LegalHealth. She has been developing and running legal programs that serve low-income individuals for over 25 years. LegalHealth provides free legal services to individuals with chronic and serious illnesses through partnerships with hospitals and community groups throughout New York. In addition to providing free legal services, LegalHealth offers an innovative legal education curriculum to doctors, social workers, and other health care professionals.Read More
Prior to joining NYLAG, Randye served as Director of Legal Services for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. She has provided consulting on projects addressing the needs of people with breast cancer, multiple sclerosis, asthma, and other chronic illnesses. Randye served as a staff attorney with New York Lawyers for the Public Interest and Volunteers of Legal Service (VOLS) where she established the VOLS Immigrants’ Rights Project. She is a founder of the New York Immigration Coalition, the National Network of Cancer Legal Services Providers and a co-founder of the New York State Coalition of Medical-Legal Partnerships. She is a co-author of New York’s Standby Guardianship law and New York’s Health-Related Legal Services Program Law.
Randye is nationally recognized for building collaborations between professionals working with the chronically ill and for ensuring the well-being of this population by helping them access medical and legal systems. She is a co-author of one of the first significant articles on collaborative care for the chronically ill: “Attorneys and Social Workers Collaborating in HIV Care: Breaking New Ground,” Fordham Urban Law Journal (1997). She also co-authored “Complexities in HIV Consent in Adolescents,” Clinical Pediatrics (2005), “The Attorney As the Newest Member of the Cancer Treatment Team,” Journal of Clinical Oncology (May 2006), “Lawyers and Doctors Working Together-A Formidable team,” ABA Health Lawyer (2007), “Public Health Legal Services: A New and Powerful Vision,” Georgetown Journal of Poverty Law and Policy (2008), “How Bioethics Can Enrich Medical-Legal Partnerships,” The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics (2010), “Legal Services: A Necessary Component of Patient Navigation”, Seminars in Oncology Nursing (2013), and most recently “The Long Road to State Endorsement of Medical-Legal Partnerships in New York” Clearinghouse Review, (2014).
In 2008, Randye and LegalHealth were awarded the prestigious E. Lee Walker award from the Live Strong Foundation for work on behalf of people with cancer. In 2010, Randye was the recipient of the New York City Bar’s Twenty-first Annual Legal Services Honorees Award. This award recognizes attorneys who have, for an extended period, devoted themselves full time to the direct provision of free civil legal services to indigent persons. LegalHealth was the recipient of the 2010 Denison Ray award from the New York State Bar Association, the 2011 “Outstanding MLP Award” from the National Center on Medical Legal Partnerships and most recently the 2012 Joan Tisch Community Health Prize. Randye is a frequent speaker at national legal and medical conferences.
Julie Brandfield, Esq., is the Associate Director of LegalHealth. She coordinates the training curriculum for hospital partners, establishes new clinics, and supervises LegalHealth’s staff attorneys. Julie has extensive experience in employment and insurance law, key focuses of her LegalHealth practice. Julie has spoken at numerous conferences on partnering with healthcare professionals. She co-authored “Environmental Improvements Brought by the Legal Interventions in the Homes of Poorly Controlled Inner-city Adult Asthmatic Patients: A Proof of Concept Study,” Journal of Asthma. (2012); “Medical-Legal Partnership: Collaborating with Lawyers to Identify and Address Health Disparities,” Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2010; 25(Suppl 2): 136-9; “Medical Legal Partnerships: A Key Strategy for Mitigating the Negative Health Impacts of the Recession,” ABA Health Lawyer, (2009); “Lawyers and Doctors Working Together – A Formidable Team,” ABA Health Law Journal (October 2007); ”The Attorney as the Newest Member of the Cancer Treatment Team,” Journal of Clinical Oncology (May 2006); and “Complexities in HIV Consent in Adolescents,” Clinical Pediatrics (July/August 2005). Read More
Before joining LegalHealth in 2002, Julie was an associate at Debevoise & Plimpton in New York. She clerked for the Honorable Alfred J. Lechner of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. Julie served as secretary of the Federal Courts Committee of the New York City Bar Association from 1995 to 1998 and contributed to Trial Ready: A Manual for Pro Se Litigants Appearing in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (1997). She graduated from the University of Chicago and Fordham University School of Law.
- Maria Campigotto, Supervising Attorney – Maria supervises our general practice paralegals and staffs the legal clinics at Bellevue Hospital and Beth Israel Medical Center. A magna cum laude graduate of Ohio State University, Maria received her law degree from New York University where she was also a student advocate at the institution’s employment and housing discrimination clinic. She is admitted to practice in both New York and New Jersey.
- Sarah Nolan, Supervising Attorney – Sarah supervises the immigration clinic at Elmhurst hospital. Prior to joining LegalHealth, Sarah was Legal Counsel for ActionNYC, where she advised the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and the City University of New York on the delivery of community-based immigration legal services. She began her immigration law career as staff attorney at Brooklyn Defender Services, where she also launched an office-wide pro bono program. Previously, Sarah was a litigation associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. She served as a clerk to the Honorable Holly B. Fitzsimmons, U.S.M.J., District of Connecticut. Sarah graduated from Dartmouth College and received her JD from New York University School of Law.
- Howard Sherwin, Supervising Attorney- Howard supervises LegalHealth’s Veteran’s projects, as well as our Social Security practice. Howard is proud to be a “lifer” in legal services, devoting his legal career for the past 20 plus years to representing the poor and disabled. Prior to joining LegalHealth, Howard served as the Senior Attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Rockland County, Inc., where he ran the HIV/AIDS Advocacy and Disability Advocacy Projects, as well as supervised landlord-tenant law. Howard served for more than 10 years as a voting member of the Ryan White Part A Tri-County Steering Committee. He earned his undergraduate degree in Psychology from S.U.N.Y. at Albany and his JD from Pace University School of Law.
- Norma Tinubu, Supervising Attorney – Norma supervises LegalHealth’s immigration practice. Before joining LegalHealth, she was a staff attorney at the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, where she specialized in immigration law and estate planning. Previously, she worked in investment law at TIAA-CREF. Norma is a graduate of Pace University and received her JD from Touro Law School.
- Debra Wolf, Supervising Attorney – Debra supervises our Cancer Advocacy Project and runs the legal clinics for cancer patients at NYU Cancer Institute and the Ralph Lauren Cancer Center. Before joining LegalHealth in October 2005, she was in private practice, specializing in discrimination based on disability and private disability insurance coverage disputes. Debra previously served as Assistant Director of Legal Services and Advocacy for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. She is an adjunct associate law professor at Fordham University School of Law. Debra graduated from Westfield College and received her JD from Washington University School of Law.
- Alexandra (Sasha) Lewis-Reisen, Senior Staff Attorney – Sasha is a senior staff attorney for the Matrimonial and Family Law Unit and LegalHealth. Sasha represents domestic-violence survivors in divorce, custody, orders of protection, and support cases, at both trial and appellate levels. Prior to joining NYLAG, Sasha was a litigation associate and counsel at O’Melveny & Myers. Sasha graduated from Georgetown University Law Center, cum laude.
- Pedro Moreno, Senior Staff Attorney - Pedro staffs the immigration legal clinic at Elmhurst. Pedro received his LL.B from the University of Havana and his LL.M from the University of Miami. Prior to joining NYLAG, Pedro was a solo practitioner. Previously, he was litigation associate at a NYC private law firm.
- Ira J. Needleman, Senior Staff Attorney – Ira staffs the legal clinic at Woodhull Hospital’s Geriatric Wellness Center. Prior to joining LegalHealth, Ira represented clients including victims of domestic violence, children and youth, and persons afflicted with HIV and AIDS at several non-profits. Ira graduated from S.U.N.Y. College at Old Westbury, and also has a M.A. in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He received his JD from C.U.N.Y. School of Law. In the Fall of 2013, Ira was featured in the school’s Public Square magazine with other law school alumni who were providing legal services to the HIV/AIDS community.
- Nina Pejoves Gorman, Senior Staff Attorney – Nina staffs our clinics at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and with MJHS. Nina is a graduate from Boston College and received her law degree from Brooklyn Law School. Nina was awarded the Brooklyn Law Students for the Public Interest Fellowship and the Edward V. Sparer Fellowship based on her commitment to public interest law.
- Domna Antoniadis, Staff Attorney - Domna staffs the legal clinics at the Bellevue Hospital Cancer Center and Mt. Sinai Beth Israel Cancer Center. She co-authored “Legal Services: A Necessary Component of Patient Navigation”, Seminars in Oncology Nursing (2013). She graduated from Fordham University School of Law. She received the Public Service 1L Student of the Year Award, the Public Interest Resource Center Leadership Award and the Archibald R. Murray Service Award.
- Julie Babayeva, Staff Attorney – Julie staffs the LegalHealth clinics at Coney Island Hospital and Maimonides Medical Center. Prior to joining LegalHealth Julie was a volunteer attorney at Catholic Charities of Archdiocese of New York. She graduated magna cum laude from Pace University and earned her law degree from St. John’s University School of Law, where she received CALI Awards for Excellence for Immigration Law, Pre-trial Advocacy and Bread & Life: Bridge to Justice legal clinic.
- Sirikit Benja-Athonsirikul, Staff Attorney – Sirikit staffs the legal clinics at New York Presbyterian – Weill Cornell Medical Center and Queens Hospital Center. Before joining NYLAG, Sirikit was a staff attorney at The Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County, Inc. primarily representing children in a wide range of family court matters. Sirikit received her undergraduate degrees from Colgate University and her JD from St. John’s University School of Law where she was the recipient of the CALI Excellence for the Future Award 2011 and the Gold Pro Bono Service Award 2011 for her dedication to public service.
- Beth Breslin, Staff Attorney - Beth staffs the legal clinic at CancerCare, a national cancer support organization. Additionally, Beth works to further LegalHealth’s goals by engaging in healthcare and Medicaid reform efforts, with a current focus on navigating the intricacies of the NY State Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) Program. Prior to joining NYLAG, she practiced civil litigation, representing clients in a variety of fields, including complex pharmaceutical litigation, criminal defense, sports law, and employment discrimination matters. Beth received her B.S. from Boston College and her law degree from Syracuse University College of Law, where she was the co-founder and managing editor of Impunity Watch, an online law journal focusing on human rights and impunity issues.
- Michael Brown, Staff Attorney – Michael staffs the LegalHealth clinics at New York Presbyterian – Columbia University Medical Center and Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital. Michael graduated from New York Law School. Before law school, he served as a Captain in the United States Army and as a Military Police Officer in the United States Navy. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Services with a concentration in Counseling and Mental Health from Metropolitan State University of Denver.
- Melissa Cartine, Staff Attorney - Melissa Cartine is a staff attorney with LegalHealth’s Immigrant Health Initiative. Melissa works with partnering NYC Health and Hospitals to increase access to health care services for immigrant New Yorkers. Prior to joining LegalHealth, she was a litigation associate at a civil defense firm and handled workers’ compensation and insurance defense matters. Melissa received her B.A. in Psychology from New York University. She obtained her J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law, where she also earned a concentration in Health Law. In addition, Melissa is certified in U.S. Health Care Compliance. Melissa is admitted to practice in both New York and New Jersey.
- Regina K. Chessari, Staff Attorney - Regina runs the legal clinics at Kings County Hospital. Before joining LegalHealth in 2012, Regina volunteered with the Legal Aid Society of San Bernardino and clerked with the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. She graduated sum laude from California State University, San Bernardino and received her law degree with honors from Chapman University School of Law, where she was a Dean’s Merit Scholar, Shropshire Group Scholar, and Chapman Law Public Interest Scholar.
- Sarah Fine, Staff Attorney – Sarah staffs the legal clinics at Montefiore Medical Center. Before joining LegalHealth, Sarah worked at a small elder law practice focusing on Medicaid homecare. During law school Sarah interned with NYC HRA, focusing on Medicaid. Sarah graduated from Brandeis University and CUNY School of Law.
- Adam Herron, Staff Attorney – Adam staffs the legal clinics at Harlem Hospital and Metropolitan Hospital. Before joining LegalHealth, Adam was a staff attorney at NMIC Legal Services, where he focused mainly on housing issues. Adam received his JD from Georgetown University Law Center and his LL.M. in Environmental Law from NYU School of Law. He received his B.A. from the University of Minnesota-Duluth where he majored in biology. Prior to law school, Adam worked at the Mayo Clinic and has over a decade of experience as a clinical laboratory technologist, primarily in the area of cancer genetics.
- Brian Hilburn, Staff Attorney - Brian staffs the Resource, Entitlement and Advocacy Program (REAP) at Mount Sinai Hospital. Before joining LegalHealth, Brian completed a post-graduate fellowship at South Brooklyn Legal Services focusing on unemployment law and foreclosure prevention. Prior to law school, Brian was a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay. He received his B.A. from Arkansas Tech University and his J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law.
- Keith Hoffmann, Staff Attorney – Keith staffs NYLAG’s legal clinic at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center in the Bronx. From 2014 to 2016, Keith was an Equal Justice Works Fellow, sponsored by Latham & Watkins, with NYLAG’s LegalHealth division. Keith earned his B.A. at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with honors from Fordham Law School. During law school, he interned in the appellate unit of the Rhode Island Department of the Attorney General and served as a law clerk in the office of Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado.
- Samantha Kubek, Equal Justice Works Fellow – Samantha’s fellowship project, sponsored by Greystone & Co., Inc. and Greenberg Traurig, LLP, will help female veterans access VA and social security benefits, obtain discharge upgrades, and address their family law problems through legal clinics in VA medical centers. Samantha received her J.D. from the New York University School of Law and earned her B.A. at Georgetown University.
- Mara A. Kuns, Staff Attorney - Mara staffs the legal clinic at Mt. Sinai Hospital. Before joining LegalHealth in 2016, Mara worked at the Urban Justice Center’s Mental Health Project for 7 years, where she worked on disability rights issues and eviction prevention cases. Mara graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School. She received her A.B. from Washington University in St. Louis and her M.S. in mental health counseling from Nova Southeastern University.
- Simone Meyer, Staff Attorney - Simone staffs the legal clinics at Jacobi Medical Center and North Central Bronx Hospital. Before joining LegalHealth, Simone worked as a Staff Attorney with the court-house based Housing Help Program at the Legal Aid Society in the Bronx, focusing on eviction prevention and tenant’s rights. She has worked in both criminal and civil public interest practices and assisted individuals affected by the 9/11 attacks with obtaining medical assistance and compensation. Simone hails from Chicago where she earned her J.D. from DePaul University and received her B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she graduated with honors
- Sylvia Miller, Staff Attorney – Sylvia staffs the Victims Services Immigration Clinic at Bellevue Hospital and works on LegalHealth’s Immigrant Health Initiative, a partnership with New York City public hospitals that is funded by a grant from the New York City Council. She also staffed NYLAG’s legal clinics at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens and Coler Specialty Hospital on Roosevelt Island. Prior to working at LegalHealth, Sylvia was a Judicial Law Clerk at the New York Immigration Court through the Department of Justice Honors Program. She received her J.D. from George Washington Law School, and as a law student she represented asylum seekers and victims of forced labor and human trafficking.
- Lia C. Minkoff, Staff Attorney - Lia C. Minkoff staffs the legal clinics at Elmhurst Hospital. Lia is a graduate from Boston University and received her law degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Prior to joining LegalHealth, Lia gained experience working in immigration in the public and private sectors and has volunteered with a number of charitable organizations including The Door.
- Katie Ocampo, Staff Attorney – Katie staffs the legal clinic at Northport VA Center. Prior to joining LegalHealth, Katie was awarded a Post-Graduate Fellowship to work at the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. While in law school, Katie was a member of the Moot Court Team and completed an externship, where she provided legal services in the area of family law. Katie graduated with distinction from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
- Hallie Schiffman-Shilo, Staff Attorney – Hallie staffs the immigration legal clinic at Coler Hospital. Before joining LegalHealth, Hallie practiced immigration law at a private firm in New York City. While in law school, she participated in NYLAG’s domestic violence legal clinic with the Family Law Unit. Before law school, Hallie was a Peace Corps volunteer in Botswana. She received her J.D. from New York Law School and her B.A. from McGill University.
- Benjamin Smith, Staff Attorney – Ben is a part of LegalHealth’s Cancer Advocacy Project, and staffs clinics at Beth Israel Medical Center and NYU Medical Center. Prior to joining LegalHealth, Ben was a litigation associate at a civil defense firm specializing in the defense of complex and high-exposure medical malpractice actions. He obtained his J.D., with a concentration in Health Law, from Seton Hall University School of Law in 2013, and received his B.A. in English from the University of Georgia in 2004. Between his undergraduate and law school studies, Ben worked for six years as a paramedic, primarily in the Emergency Room of Kennestone Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.
- David Titus, Staff Attorney - David staffs the legal clinics at the VA Medical Center in Manhattan and Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx. Before joining LegalHealth, he worked in private practice handling a wide range of legal matters from immigration petitions to complex securities class actions. He is a graduate of Siena College and received his law degree from Brooklyn Law School, where he earned the Joan Offner Touval Memorial Scholarship and other academic honors for legal writing and research.
- Sheila Zablow, Staff Attorney – Sheila runs the legal clinics at Jacobi Medical Center and North Central Bronx Hospital. She previously worked as an associate at Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP in the investment management group. Sheila graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Brown University and received her JD from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall).
- Christian Abbott, Paralegal - Christian Abbott works as a Paralegal and case handler for the SSI Application Assistance Project. Prior to joining LegalHealth, he worked with the New York City Law Department as part of their paralegal team over at the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Christian graduated magna cum laude from John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY) in the fall of 2014 with a B.A. in Humanities and Justice Studies and a double minor in English (Literature) and History.
- Lily Evans, Paralegal - Lily is a Disability Advocacy paralegal at LegalHealth. Prior to joining NYLAG, spent two years serving as an AmeriCorps member in Vermont, developing a food access program at local hospitals. Lily earned her bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and has additional experience working in communications and program coordination.
- Stephanie Graveron, Paralegal - Stephanie works as a paralegal for LegalHealth. She focuses 50% on the Mount Sinai clinic. Prior to joining LegalHealth, she worked for an immigration law firm in Paris. She graduated from Bordeaux IV University with a Master’s in International Law.
- Arielle James, Paralegal - Arielle is a paralegal for the Immigrant Health Initiative. Prior to joining LegalHealth, she was a justice AmeriCorps fellow with NYLAG’s Immigration Protection Unit. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Davidson College.
- Will Kirkland, Paralegal -Will is an Immigration Paralegal at LegalHealth. Prior to working at NYLAG, Will organized on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and interned in the U.S. Senate, where he worked on immigration and criminal justice policy issues. He also interned at the Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Defense Practice in Manhattan. Will graduated magna cum laude from Northwestern University with a B.A. in History and Political Science.
- Louisa McIntyre, Paralegal - Louisa is a Social Security Assistance paralegal at LegalHealth. Prior to joining LegalHealth, she interned at the Volunteer Lawyers Project in the Housing Unit in Boston, MA. She also interned for the public defender’s office in Roxbury, MA. Louisa earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Harvard University with a concentration in Philosophy.
- Mariana Munera, Paralegal - Mariana is an Immigration Paralegal at LegalHealth. Prior to working at NYLAG, Mariana worked at Sanctuary for Families and as an intern at the Rhode Island Center for Justice addressing the justice gap for monolingual Spanish-speaking families. Mariana earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Hispanic Studies from Brown University.
- Josephine Pimentel, Paralegal - Josephine is a general paralegal assisting with all LegalHealth matters. Prior to joining LegalHealth she worked doing medical intakes and insurance claims at an outpatient PT/OT clinic in Midtown. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University.
- Juan Rivera, Paralegal - Juan works as an Immigration Paralegal for LegalHealth. Juan’s parents are both cancer survivors. Inspired by their recovery, Juan’s care giving experience motivated him to be at the vanguard of health law and immigration by exploring the challenges that continue to emerge from these two areas of law, which are becoming increasingly intertwined. Juan expects to make significant contributions to both the project and the organization by improving the quality and breadth of legal services available to the most vulnerable New Yorkers, namely the urban immigrant population. Juan is an alum of Cornell University.
- Ibrahima Thiam, Paralegal - Ibrahima is an Immigration Paralegal at LegalHealth. He is a native of Senegal, West Africa and speaks four languages. Prior to joining LegalHealth, Ibrahima interned at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he worked on consulting projects and generated strategic recommendations to strengthen company’s financial health. He also worked at New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, where he monitored the Summer Youth Employment Program and ensured participants’ compliances with organization’s rules and regulations. Ibrahima earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Spanish from Skidmore College.
- Alison Seidman, Special Projects Coordinator – Alison works as the Special Projects Coordinator in LegalHealth. Prior to joining LegalHealth, Alison worked in both sales and social work. She earned her Master of Social Work from Hunter College School of Social Work with a concentration in Group Work and received her Bachelor’s degree from Ithaca College with a concentration in Creative Writing.
- Jacqueline Wagner, Data Coordinator – Jacqueline works as the Data Coordinator for LegalHealth. Before joining LegalHealth, Jacqueline researched violence and injury prevention at the World Health Organization in Copenhagen, Denmark and analyzed data for Grace Hill Settlement House in St. Louis, Missouri. She graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Washington University in St. Louis with her BA in anthropology, later going on to earn her Master of Public Health from the university as well.