NYLAG Names New Supervising Attorney for LGBT Law Project

Anya Mukarji-Connolly

The New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) is pleased to announce that Anya Mukarji-Connolly has joined the organization as Supervising Attorney of NYLAG’s LGBT Law Project. The LGBT Law Project provides direct legal services to low-income lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community members throughout New York City. The Project is unique in its ability to provide comprehensive legal services to its clients, while expanding the pool of culturally competent lawyers addressing the legal needs of the LGBT community.

“We are thrilled to welcome Anya to NYLAG and to our LGBT Law Project, which over the past five years has made tremendous strides in filling a gap in the provision of legal services for low-income members of LGBT communities,” said NYLAG President and Attorney-in-Charge Yisroel Schulman. “Anya brings a rich background, depth of expertise, and incredible passion and energy to this critically important work. Under her leadership we look forward to making even more progress in the next five years to address a growing need among LGBT clients for free legal services to overcome discriminatory barriers to self-sufficiency, and to provide the direct individual services necessary to access relief.”

Before joining NYLAG, Ms. Mukarji-Connolly worked as a staff attorney at Brooklyn Defender Services in the Family Defense Practice, helping to reunite parents involved in the child welfare system with their children. Prior to that, she was the Director of the Peter Cicchino Youth Project at the Urban Justice Center, providing legal services and systemic advocacy for homeless and at-risk LGBTQ youth and young adults. As an Equal Justice Works Fellow, she developed and coordinated an initiative to address the needs of LGBTQ youth experiencing homophobia, transphobia, and violence in their families, and worked to prevent youth from entering the foster care system. Ms. Mukarji-Connolly received her law degree from the City University of New York School of Law in 2002.

Ms. Mukarji-Connolly joins an LGBT Law Project that has grown exponentially since its inception in 2008, thanks to a growing roster of talented staff members, including: Elizabeth “Ez” Cukor, a recent Harvard Law School graduate specializing in Employment Law, focusing on the transgender population; Ashe McGovern, an Equal Justice Works Fellow specializing in Elder Law; and Lorenzo Van Ness, a paralegal who supports attorneys in providing consultation, advocacy and representation of LGBT New Yorkers on a variety of legal issues. In September 2014, the team will expand its resources even further when Eugene Chen, a CUNY Law School graduate and former NYLAG intern, begins an Equal Justice Works Fellowship to focus on Housing Law. Kim Susser, Director of NYLAG’s Family Law Unit, oversees the LGBT Law Project.

NYLAG’s LGBT Law Project was established to help low-income LGBT individuals access legal resources and services in order to break down the complex barriers to justice they face, and to address the shortage of experienced, culturally competent lawyers available to provide free services on a wide range of legal issues. NYLAG was a pioneer in developing a coordinated, cross-disciplinary approach that leverages the resources of community-based organizations, private law firms, law schools, and attorneys from other NYLAG divisions with specific expertise in matters including housing, family law, immigration, elder law, and life planning.

The LGBT Law Project works with other organizations and elected officials to conduct advocacy, outreach, and community education, and offer legal services, and provides trainings to mainstream agencies and professionals serving LGBT communities.

The LGBT Law Project is generously supported by Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP; The Calamus Foundation; and Equal Justice Works.