Thursday, November 1, 2007
Bet Tzedek Names Elissa Barrett Pro Bono Director
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Bet Tzedek-The House of Justice said yesterday it has named Elissa Barrett to the newly created position of pro bono director.
Bet Tzedek, which is based in the Fairfax area and provides free legal services to the elderly, low income, and disabled, said Barrett would be in charge of recruiting volunteers, supervising the placement of pro bono cases, development pro bono recruitment and training materials, and working with law firms, law schools, colleges, bar associations, and judges.
Barrett has worked at Bet Tzedek since 2002, most recently as director of the Sydney M. Irmas Housing Conditions Project. Prior to joining Bet Tzedek, she was an associate with Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, assigned to the banking and finance litigation department, after having earlier been a business litigator at Loeb & Loeb LLP.
She graduated in 1998 from the University of Michigan Law School, where she received the National Association of Women’s Lawyers Award. After law school she received a Bates International Fellowship, which funded a year of work with the Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counseling in East Jerusalem.
Her undergraduate degree is from Tufts University in Massachusetts.
Barrett “is the ideal person to lead Bet Tzedek’s newly formalized pro-bono outreach efforts and we are gratified that she sought and was selected for this position,” Mitchell A. Kamin, Bet Tzedek’s president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.
“She brings enormous energy, passion and dedication to her work as evidenced by her breadth of legal accomplishments directing the Irmas Housing Conditions Project,” Kamin added.
Barrett, noting that over 600 volunteer lawyers contributed more than 42,000 volunteer hours last year, commented:
“They play an important role in helping us meet what some have termed the ‘Justice Gap.’ A recent study, for example, found there is only one legal aid lawyer for every 8,300 low-income Californians, and our state has the largest low-income population in the country.”
Copyright 2007, Metropolitan News Company