Jane Greengold Stevens, Director of Litigation at New York Legal Assistance Group, has worked in civil legal services representing indigent clients in civil matters since 1969. Since the mid-seventies she has specialized in class actions enforcing the rights of people with disabilities, public assistance recipients, students harmed by for-profit schools, and others denied benefits due to them under federal and state law. She was Director of Litigation and then Deputy Project Director at South Brooklyn Legal Services for twelve years, leaving only when Congressional restrictions foreclosed Legal Services Corporation recipient offices from working on class actions. She then co-taught the Federal Litigation Clinic at Brooklyn Law School while maintaining her class action caseload. She has been at NYLAG since 2001, and became Director of Litigation in 2007.
In her years at NYLAG, Ms. Stevens has lead teams of lawyers in successful cases against various government agencies challenging delays in providing procedural and substantive benefits; violations of due process rights in the collection of alleged debts through income tax offsets by the State and federal government; failure of the Adult Protective Services program and of Managed Care Agencies to provide mandated care; failure of the New York City Housing Authority to adequately maintain their elevators; and many others.
Highlights of Ms. Stevens’ earlier career include her victory before the United States Supreme Court in 1974, vindicating the rights of “illegitimate” children to receive benefits on their fathers’ Social Security accounts; her role as lead plaintiff in a case resulting in a Second Circuit decision in 1982 finding the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority and New York City Transit Authority in violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 for failing to make public transportation accessible to people with mobility impairments; and successful cases on behalf of people with mobility impairments against the New York City Board of Elections and the New York City Housing Authority.