Julia Russell is a Senior Staff Attorney in NYLAG’s Special Litigation Unit. Since Julia joined the Special Litigation Unit in October 2008, she has litigated complex class action cases on behalf of recipients of public assistance, food stamps, and Medicaid; public housing tenants; low-income consumers; and immigrants. She has also negotiated settlements and government policy changes to benefit disabled NYCHA tenants and Section 8 recipients, individuals receiving services through the NYC Adult Protective Services Program, public assistance recipients with minor children, immigrants who qualify for Medicaid due to their PRUCOL status, and others. Julia recently coordinated negotiations with the NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA) and the NY Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) which resulted in HRA and OTDA correcting major SNAP budgeting errors and issuing approximately $31 million in retroactive SNAP benefits to the 40,365 NYC households affected by these errors. Julia is also an active member of citywide task forces regarding immigrant access to public benefits and Medicaid, and homeless shelter issues.
Before joining the Special Litigation Unit, Julia clerked for the Honorable Allyne R. Ross in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York and represented low-income tenants in eviction proceedings and litigation regarding housing conditions and subsidies. Previously, Julia worked on child welfare policy at the NYC Administration for Children’s Services, researched routes of pesticide exposure among children of migrant farmworkers in eastern Washington State, and worked with community groups in Mexico and Peru. Julia received her J.D. from Harvard Law School, her Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) from the University of Washington, and her B.A. from Harvard College.