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How Does a Tenants’ Rights Attorney Do His Job?

Meet Mark Hess, a supervising attorney for New York Legal Assistance Group’s tenants’ rights unit.

By Jordan Weissmann
Slate

Jordan Weissmann returns to host a new season all about the people who work with the homeless population in New York City.

In this first episode, Jordan speaks to Mark Hess, a supervising attorney in New York Legal Assistance Group’s tenants’ rights unit. For many people, an eviction means that they will be left without anywhere else to go. And often tenants are fighting landlords with much more money and resources. But New York has recently put a program in place to offer free representation to people in housing court who can’t afford a lawyer. Mark talks about what it’s like to fight for people’s housing rights, the wildest things he’s heard in housing court, and just how much he’s had to learn about carpentry to do his job.

Originally published in Slate on November 4, 2019

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