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Administrative Advocacy 2018: Representing the Pro Bono Client

Author(s): Ellen Davidson, Susan J. Horwitz
Practice Area: Litigation, Pro Bono
Published: Dec 2018
PLI Item #: 242055
CHB Spine #: 135

Ellen Davidson is a Staff Attorney in the Law Reform Unit of the Civil Practice Area of the Legal Aid Society. Ellen represents public housing residents and Section 8 participants in administrative proceedings at NYCHA and HPD.  Additionally she brings affirmative litigation, seeking systemic changes, on behalf of tenants across New York City in state and federal court. From 2001-2006 Ellen was a Staff Attorney in the Housing Law Unit of Legal Aid’s Bronx Neighborhood Office where she represented individual tenants in nonpayment and holdover proceedings in Bronx Housing Court.

Susan Horwitz, Esq is the Supervising Attorney of the Education Law Project at The Legal Aid Society. She graduated from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in June, 1990, and is admitted in the First Department of New York State as well as the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. Susan first joined the Legal Aid Society as a staff attorney in the Criminal Appeals Bureau and spent a year as a staff attorney in the Criminal Defense Practice before moving to the Civil Practice in January, 2003. Since that time she has represented hundreds of individuals and families who need assistance obtaining and preserving public benefits and social security disability benefits.

Since 2006, Susan has primarily focused on educational rights of students with disabilities who are living in poverty. She represents families at school meetings, mediations, and impartial hearings. Ms. Horwitz provides trainings for parents, pro bono attorneys, case handlers in other practices within The Legal Aid Society, school staff, and mental health providers on navigating the special education system, legal rules and remedies, and self-advocacy skills. In 2017, she developed, the LAS/Mt Sinai-St. Luke’s Child and Family Institute Medical-Legal Partnership. 

Susan is a long time member of COPAA and is the 2018 recipient of the American Bar Association’s Paul G. Hearne Award for Disability Rights.