Daniel Nagin, Clinical Professor of Law; Director, Community Lawyering Program; Director, Veterans Legal Clinic
Roger Bertling, Senior Clinical Instructor in the Predatory Lending/Consumer Protection Clinic and Lecturer on Law
Charlie Carriere, Attorney/Clinical Fellow in the Predatory Lending Practice
Stephanie Davidson, Attorney and Clinical Fellow in the Family Law and Domestic Violence Unit
Julia Devanthéry, Staff Attorney for the Mattapan Initiative
Brandon German, Community Outreach Coordinator for the Mattapan Initiative
Betsy Gwin, Attorney and DAV Charitable Service Trust Fellow in the Veterans Legal Clinic
Laura Johnston, Program Coordinator
Dale Kensinger, Volunteer Attorney, Low Income Taxpayer Project
Tamara E. Kolz Griffin, Clinical Instructor in and Associate Director of the Estate Planning Clinic
Isabel Lima, Case and Business Manager
Julie McCormack, Senior Clinical Instructor; Director, Disability Litigation & Benefits Advocacy Clinic
Maureen E. McDonagh, Lecturer on Law and Clinical Instructor in the Post Foreclosure Eviction Defense Housing Clinic
Toby Merrill, Attorney and Skadden Fellow in the Predatory Lending Practice
Nnena Odim, Clinical Instructor in the Family and Children’s Law Practice Unit
Silvia Vazquez, Receptionist and Interpreter/Translator
Max Weinstein, Clinical Instructor in the Predatory Lending Practice
Daniel Nagin joined the Harvard Law School faculty in June 2012 as a Clinical Professor of Law and as director of community-based lawyering at HLS’s Legal Services Center. Dan came to Harvard from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he founded and directed the Family Resource Clinic and taught poverty law. His teaching and research interests include clinical education, social welfare law and policy, and legal services for veterans.
Dan holds a B.A. in History and Government, Phi Beta Kappa and with distinction in all subjects, from Cornell University, an M.A. in Education from Stanford University, and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School. At the University of Chicago, he graduated with honors and received the Edwin F. Mandel Award for outstanding contributions to the clinical law program.
Roger joined the Center’s Housing Law Clinic in 1993. He is now a Clinical Instructor and Attorney in the Predatory Lending / Consumer Protection Unit of the WilmerHale Legal Services Center and a Lecturer on Law at HLS. He supervises students negotiating and litigating predatory mortgage, bankruptcy, and consumer cases. Additionally, Roger teaches a Predatory Lending Workshop and co-teaches Consumer Law at HLS. He has given numerous presentations to national and state wide groups on mortgage and consumer issues.
Prior to his work at the Legal Services Center, Roger was an attorney in Legal Services in Missouri and Massachusetts, specializing in consumer cases, elder cases and complex litigation. His work included an emphasis on mortgage problems and foreclosures. Roger received his B.A. at the University of Northern Iowa and his J.D. at the University of Iowa.
After graduating from Berkeley School of Law in 2012, Charlie was a clinical fellow at the California Monitor Program, where his work focused on enforcement of the National Mortgage Settlement. At Berkeley Law, Charlie interned at Public Justice and the Neighborhood Justice Clinic of the East Bay Community Law Center. Charlie was also a founding member of Berkeley Law’s Consumer Advocacy and Protection Society. Before law school, Charlie was a paralegal at the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. He graduated from Yale University with a degree in political science.
Stephanie Davidson joined the Legal Services Center as an Attorney and Clinical Fellow in the Family Law and Domestic Violence Unit in 2014. Previously, Ms. Davidson was a Public Service Venture Fund Fellow at the Urban Justice Center’s Domestic Violence Project in New York City, where she represented low-income domestic violence survivors through the Manhattan and Queens Family Justice Centers and served as the chair of the Legislative Subcommittee to the NYC Lawyer’s Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Ms. Davidson received her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2013, where she received the Gary Bellow Public Service Award and a Dean’s Award for Community Leadership. While in law school, Ms. Davidson was the President of the Harvard Women’s Law Association, worked as a Student Attorney in the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau’s Family Unit, and completed legal internships with the Women’s Law Project, Katz Marshall & Banks, and Cohen Milstein. Prior to attending law school, Ms. Davidson was an investigative analyst with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s Sex Crimes Unit. She holds a B.A. from Columbia College at Columbia University.
Julia Devanthéry joined the Legal Services Center as Staff Attorney for the Mattapan Initiative in 2013. Previously, Ms. Devanthéry was the Manager of Legal Advocacy at HomeStart, Inc. where she represented low-income tenants on the verge of homelessness. Prior to working at HomeStart, she was clinical law fellow at Northeastern University School of Law’s Domestic Violence Institute. Ms. Devanthéry received her juris doctor from Northeastern School of Law in 2009. As a law student Ms. Devanthéry completed co-ops with Cambridge and Somerville Legal Services, the Civil Rights Division of the Attorney General’s Office, Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, and she clerked for Magistrate Judge Leo T. Sorokin at the District Court of Massachusetts. She graduated from Brown University in 2004 with a B.A. in Sociology.
Prior to joining The Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School, Brandon had a seven year tenure in the communications and marketing industry, beginning his career with Radio One, Inc. Various roles throughout his career have included media strategist, media buyer, advertising sales, sponsorship development, account management and marketing consultant.
Brandon is the founder and publisher of Cuisine Orders magazine, a local restaurant publication serving the community neighborhoods of Boston. He is also the co-founder, along with his wife, of the Africa Reconnect Project, an initiative with the dual purpose of reconnecting Black Americans to Africa and dispelling the misconceptions and erroneous beliefs about the continent. Through the initiative, middle school students and community members have had the opportunity to visit Senegal, Ghana and Uganda.
Brandon is a dedicated community activist that organizes around the social injustices of workers rights, foreclosure and racial discrimination. Since 2010, Brandon has served on the leadership team of City Life/Vida Urbana, a grassroots community organization whose mission is to fight housing displacement for low-income families. He has worked closely with lead organizers and victims of foreclosure to generate media coverage about the predatory lending practices of Wall St. Banks.
Brandon is also a member of the Black Community Information Center (BCIC), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to make useful information accessible to the community. He has served on the fundraising committee of the BCIC for the past five years. Brandon is a proud graduate of Boston College with a B.S. in Biology and B.A. in Communication.
Betsy Gwin joined the Legal Services Center as Attorney and DAV Charitable Service Trust Fellow for the Veterans Law Clinic in 2014. Previously, Ms. Gwin was a Staff Attorney in the Child and Family Law Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services. Ms. Gwin received her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 2011. While in law school, Ms. Gwin was Editor-in-Chief of the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy and worked as a research assistant in the Federal Legislation and Administrative Law Clinic. Ms. Gwin completed internships during law school at the Legal Aid Society of D.C., the Poverty and Race Research Action Coalition, and the American Bar Association’s Center on Children and the Law. Prior to law school, Ms. Gwin served as an AmeriCorps Paralegal at Cambridge and Somerville Legal Services, where her work focused primarily on disability benefits advocacy. Ms. Gwin previously volunteered as a grant-writer to raise funds for children of fallen soldiers in Massachusetts and assisted patients at a veterans’ treatment program in Syracuse, NY. She graduated in 2006 with a B.A. in Anthropology summa cum laude from Syracuse University, where she completed her Honors Thesis on veteran culture.
Laura Johnston joined the Legal Services Center in August 2012 and supports the Center’s clinics, policy research, communications, and community outreach projects. She is also the faculty assistant to Professor Robert Greenwald and Professor Dan Nagin and provides support to the staff and students affiliated with the Center. Laura previously worked at the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations, a Harvard university-wide center for research and practice, where she contributed to the Center’s international research and managed the Center’s communications and student engagement programs. She was also an ombudsman for the Harvard Kennedy School and trained by the International Ombudsman Association. Earlier in her career she built potable water systems and latrines in the rural highlands of Bolivia as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and supported social entrepreneurs around the world in both the Andean Region office and international headquarters of the organization Ashoka. Laura received B.A. degrees in Spanish and Psychology from Tufts University and an Ed.M. in Mind, Brain, and Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Dale joined the Center in 2013 to help launch the Low Income Taxpayer Project. He is an expert in tax law and the representation of low-income taxpayers in controversies before the IRS. Dale was previously the Director of the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic at the University of Missouri—Kansas City. He has also held numerous positions with the IRS, including as Assistant District Counsel. He holds an A.B. from Juniata College, a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and an LL.M (Taxation) University of Missouri—Kansas City.
Tamara joined the Center in 2010 as a Clinical Instructor and the Director of the Estate Planning Clinic of the Legal Services Center. Since joining the Center, the Estate Planning Clinic has shifted its focus to meet the estate planning and probate needs of veterans and their families. In serving veterans and their families, Tamara supervises clinical students in the areas of estate planning, permanency planning and probate matters, including estate administration, guardianships and conservatorships. Additionally, Tamara teaches estate planning and permanency planning as part of the Veterans Law and Disability Benefits clinical seminar offered at Harvard Law School.
Prior to joining the Center, Tamara was a partner in the Private Wealth Services Section of the Boston office of Holland & Knight, LLP, where she practiced for 15 years. She still maintains a private practice serving clients with estate planning needs and continues to give presentations to national, state and local groups on matters related to estate planning, particularly in the complex area of same-sex and non-traditional estate planning. Tamara received her B.S. from Northeastern University summa cum laude in 1990, where she graduated first in her class. She earned her J.D. degree cum laude in 1993 from Harvard Law School and an L.L.M. in taxation from Boston University School of Law in 2002. Tamara is also a member of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), a nonprofit association of lawyers whose members are elected to the College by demonstrating the highest level of integrity, commitment to the profession, competence and experience as trust and estate counselors.
Isabel joined the Center in 1980 as a receptionist managing our busy afternoons. Over the years, her responsibilities have increased, and now, as office administrator, Isabel is responsible for case file management (opening, closing and record keeping); providing administrative services to students (seating, scheduling information and guidance through our complicated case management procedures); administering the office Client Trust Account; working closely with HLS Facilities Maintenance and outside contractors on all aspects of facility management for our building; and acting as liaison with the community on issues of neighborhood safety and improvements. Isabel is a long-timeresident of Jamaica Plain.
Julie McCormack joined the Center’s staff in June 1994 and is an authorized non-attorney legal representative. She specializes in disability matters and runs a high volume administrative law practice, chiefly before the Administrative Law Judges of the Social Security Administration. She supervises clinical students representing clients in administrative settings. In providing holistic service to clients, she also works on employment, estate planning, consumer and other benefits issues and collaborates with the Family Law Clinic, the Predatory Lending/Consumer Protection Clinic, the Post Foreclosure Eviction Defense Housing Clinic, the Veteran’s Law Clinic and the Estate Planning Clinic to address the client’s broader needs. Having emigrated from Ireland where she received her law degree in 1989, Julie worked at Community Legal Aid (then LACCM) in Worcester representing clients in the areas of public benefits, housing, consumer and employment law. At LACCM, she organized membership of all non-management attorneys and staff with the National Organization of Legal Services Workers (NOLSW), District 65, UAW and served as the new local’s first president. She co-teaches on disability and administrative law as part of the Veteran’s Law and Disability Benefits workshops offered at Harvard Law School. She has given numerous presentations to national and state wide groups on Access to Justice, Social Security and disability related issues. Julie received a B.A. in Law and Economics, and anL.L.B. in Civil and Canonical Law from Ollscoil na hEireann, Gaillimh (National University of Ireland Galway, Republic of Ireland).
Maureen joined the Center in January 1998 as a Clinical Instructor in the Housing Law and Litigation Unit. Prior to her work at the Center, Maureen, for ten years, specialized in the representation of indigent individuals in criminal defense and child abuse and neglect cases. She served as a Mentor Attorney for the Committee for Public Counsel Services’ Children and Family Law Program, where she instructed attorneys who were new to practice in that area of law. Maureen has volunteered as a Citizen Teacher with the Citizen Schools program, mentoring Boston Public Middle School students in a Legal Apprenticeship Program that met at LSC. She is also adjunct faculty at the Urban College of Boston, which is affiliated with Action for Boston Community Development, Inc. Maureen received her B.A. from Suffolk University in 1980 and her J.D. from Suffolk University Law School in 1987.
Toby founded and directs the Project on Predatory Student Lending which represents low-income student loan borrowers in predatory lending cases against for-profit and occupational schools. If you are in the Boston area, attended a for-profit or occupational school, and are seeking legal help with student loan problems please contact the hotline at 617-390-2669.
Toby joined the Center’s Predatory Lending Practice in 2012 as a Skadden Fellow. She represents low-income victims of predatory lending by for-profit colleges. Toby received her J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she participated in the Center’s Employment and Predatory Lending Clinics. Upon graduating, she clerked for Janet C. Hall of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut. Before attending law school, Toby worked for an education non-profit in New York City. She holds a B.A. from Yale in English and Ethics, Politics, & Economics.
Nnena joined the Center in May 1997 providing legal representation to families affected by HIV/AIDS. She additionally practiced in the areas of estate planning, guardianship, bankruptcy and debt management. In June of 2000, Ms. Odim joined the Family and Children’s Law Unit where she practices in all aspects of domestic relation and family mediation. While in law school, Nnena was the coordinator of the National Lawyer’s Guild’s ‘Street Law Clinic’, a program led by law students and practicing attorneys providing legal information on landlord/tenant and stop and search issues to local high schools, community centers, homeless shelters, prisons and other community groups. Nnena also participated in the Domestic Violence Prevention and Criminal Trial Advocacy Clinics. Ms. Odim received her B.S. from the University of Pittsburgh, 1985; her M.S. from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, 1991; and her J.D. Northeastern University School of Law, 1997.
Silvia joined the Center in 1991 as our afternoon receptionist handling what turned out to be the busiest part of the day due to afternoon intake sessions for more than 15 years. She has been the Center’s full-time receptionist and primary translation services support since September 2009. With humor, warmth, patience and understanding, she deftly manages each day’s steady stream of clients, students and visitors.
Since 2008, Max Weinstein has been a clinical instructor in the Predatory Lending/Consumer Protection Clinic at the WilmerHale Legal Services Center. Max’s practice focuses on the deceptive and unfair marketing and underwriting of subprime mortgages which gave rise to the housing bubble and the foreclosure crisis. He currently represents low- and moderate-income homeowners in numerous state and federal lawsuits against subprime mortgage lenders, their assignees, brokers and attorneys, for violations of consumer protection law. Max began his career as a Skadden Fellow and staff attorney at the East New York office of Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A, where he represented victims of fraudulent property flipping schemes; and elderly and disabled homeowners who lost title to their homes in so-called “foreclosure rescue” or “deed theft” schemes. Max was also the beneficiary of an energetic clinical legal education at Yale Law School, where he participated in the Community Lawyering, Landlord/Tenant, Prison Legal Services and Immigration/Asylum Legal Services Clinics. At Yale, Max was a recipient of the Stephen J. Massey Prize for work on behalf of clients best exemplifying the values of the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at Yale Law School.