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News

Touro Law Receives Grant from NYS Attorney General, Funding a Staff Attorney in the Mortgage Foreclosure & Bankruptcy Clinic

Melissa Greenberger ’94 Hired as Full-Time Staff Attorney
December 13, 2012

Touro Law Center has been awarded a $207,477 grant from the State of New York Office of the Attorney General’s Homeowner Protection Program (HOPP). The funds will be used to provide financial support to the Mortgage Foreclosure and Bankruptcy Law Clinic and efforts of the Central Islip Civic Council.

The funds have enabled Touro Law Center to hire an additional staff attorney, Melissa Greenberger, ’94, who will work directly with students to increase the number of cases the clinic can handle each semester. In addition, it will permit the Central Islip Civic Council to maintain and increase the services it provides to the local community. To date, the council has helped more than 700 families with default counseling over the past three and a half years. They founded the Long Island Foreclosure Prevention Task Force in 2008 and have a full-time bilingual housing counselor on staff.

“We are grateful to have been selected to receive funds through the Attorney General’s Homeowner Protection Program,” said Touro Law Dean Patricia Salkin. She continued, “Through our clinical program, our students work under close faculty supervision to represent clients facing mortgage foreclosure or personal bankruptcy. In addition, the Central Islip Civic Council has been at the forefront of neighborhood stabilization and affordable housing efforts for more than 40 years. This grant will enable us to increase our efforts and reach even more community members.”

In June 2012, New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced the launch of the Homeowner Protection Program, his commitment of $60 million over three years to fund housing counseling and legal services for struggling New York homeowners. He dedicated a substantial portion of funds awarded to New York under the National Mortgage Settlement to support the work of direct service providers who specialize in the delivery of legal services and housing counseling to at-risk homeowners affected by foreclosures.

During the past two years Melissa Greenberger worked in Touro Law's Civil Rights Litigation Clinic and Senior Citizens Law Program. Previously she has worked as a criminal defense attorney, personal injury attorney handling cases on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants, and as an Assistant Town Attorney in the Town of Islip. Melissa is a Small Claims Arbitrator in the Suffolk County District Courts and presently sits as the Acting Village Justice in the Village of Lake Grove. Additionally, Melissa is an Instructor at Suffolk County Community College where she teaches Law and Ethics courses in the Pharmacy Technician and Ophthalmic Technician programs. She is a member of the Suffolk County Bar Association and New York State Bar Association. She is a 1994 graduate of Touro Law Center. In her new role, she will work with clinical director Leif Rubinstein and directly with students to serve members of the community facing mortgage foreclosure or bankruptcy matters.

Touro Law Center’s Mortgage Foreclosure and Bankruptcy Law Clinic is run by Professor Leif Rubinstein, an attorney with more than 30 years of experience in foreclosure and bankruptcy matters. Students who work in the clinic are able to conduct client interviews, research, communicate with banks and foreclosure attorneys, appear in court proceedings and prepare modifications proposals. To date, the clinic has represented more than 300 clients since its creation in 2010. The addition of another staff attorney will ensure the clinic can serve additional community members each semester, providing greater resources to those in need and more opportunities for hands-on legal training for students.

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Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center’s 185,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility is located adjacent to both a state and a federal courthouse in Central Islip, New York. Touro Law’s proximity to the courthouses, coupled with programming developed to integrate the courtroom into the classroom, provide a one-of-a kind learning model for law students, combining a rigorous curriculum taught by expert faculty with a practical courtroom experience. Touro Law, which has a student body of approximately 750 and an alumni base of more than 5,000, offers full- and part-time J.D. programs, several dual degree programs and graduate law programs for US and foreign law graduates. Touro Law Center is part of the Touro College system.

About the Touro College and University System
Touro is a system of non-profit institutions of higher and professional education. Touro College was chartered in 1970 primarily to enrich the Jewish heritage, and to serve the larger American and global community. Approximately 19,000 students are currently enrolled in its various schools and divisions. Touro College has branch campuses, locations and instructional sites in the New York area, as well as branch campuses and programs in Berlin, Jerusalem, Moscow, Paris, and Florida. Touro University California and its Nevada branch campus, as well as Touro College Los Angeles and Touro University Worldwide as separately accredited institutions within the Touro College and University System. For further information on Touro College, please go to: http://www.touro.edu/media/.

For more info contact:
Patti Desrochers
Director of Communications
pattid@tourolaw.edu
(631) 761-7062