In 2021 the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) formed the Task Force on Racism, Social Equity, and the Law to examine how structural racism permeates and influences facets of daily life leading to injustice and inequality among New Yorkers. The Task Force included six subcommittees, Criminal Justice, Economic Opportunity, Education, Environmental Justice, Health, and Housing, and examined the key issues that cause structural racism to be entrenched and persistent. These subcommittees provided recommendations and action steps for NYSBA to take to address structural racism and effectuate meaningful societal transformation.
AABANY Member Nelson Mar served on the Task Force as co-chair of the Education Sub-Committee. Over a period of a year and a half, he helped identify and draft the issues and recommendations for the Education section of the Task Force report. We also thank and recognize past AABANY member Lillian Moy on her leadership as Co-Chair of this important NYSBA Task Force.
On October 29, 2019, AABANY’s Government Service & Public Interest Committee, Career Placement Committee, Student Outreach Committee, and New York Law School’s APALSA teamed up to present Pathways to Government Service and Public Interest Career Panel.
Mihea Kim, Staff Attorney, Homicide Defense Task Force, The Legal Aid Society; Hon. Donald Leo, New York City Criminal Court Judge, New York Supreme Court; Nelson Mar, Senior Staff Attorney, Education Law Unit, Bronx Legal Services Kin Ng, Bureau Chief of the Red Zone Trial Bureau, Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office; Won Shin, Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York
Moderator: Hon. Grace E. Lee, Administrative Law Judge, New York Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
The panelists shared what experiences led them to their current position in the public interest/government sector. Fun tidbits were also revealed — two of the panelists litigated cases against each other, while two other panelists went to high school together. Attendees and panelists enjoyed friendly banter and discussion after the panel.
We thank the Government Service & Public Interest , Career Placement, and Student Outreach Committee Committees for hosting this panel. To learn more about the GSPI Committee, go here. To learn more about the Career Placement Committee, go here. To learn more about the Student Outreach Committee, go here.
AABANY’s efforts to recruit and train volunteer attorneys to help Asian American youth with disabilities protect their legal rights is the subject of a NYCLA blog post written by NYCLA Education Law Committee Co-Chair Amy Leipziger.
There are more than 12,000 Asian students receiving special education services in NYC schools, and yet Asian American youth with disabilities are often underrepresented in discussions about special education because they confront the ‘model minority’ myth that makes it more difficult for them to get the recognition and help they need, and as a result, their problems are more often ignored.
To read more, click the link above.
For further details on AABANY’s activity in this area, see the blog posts below:
A few days before an AABANY co-sponsored kickoff training event where lawyers and associates were trained to better meet the needs of Chinese families with children with disabilities, the Chinese-American Planning Council held a support conference on special education services for the Chinese community on July 7th.
Children with special needs benefit enormously from special education programs, but many Chinese families turn away from special education out of shame or denial over their children’s developmental delays. At the support conference, a full audience of 150 people–with 200 more on the waiting list–was advised to accept a child’s special needs and to meet those needs through special education. Customized programming catered to students’ individual situations can provide a discrimination-free education that builds self-confidence and gives students the tools they need to thrive.
For more information about Legal Service NYC’s special pro bono project to combat this problem, please contact Nelson Mar, AABANY member and attorney at Legal Services NYC, at email@example.com
Please see below a message from Raun Rasmussen, Executive Director of Legal Services NYC, on the wonderful work by Nelson Mar, a senior education law attorney at Bronx Legal Services and a member of AABANY’s own Government Service and Public Interest Committee, and his colleagues at Legal Services for New York City, which is AABANY’s collaborator in providing pro bono opportunities to our members and offering pro bono legal services to survivors of domestic violence. Congratulations to everyone involved in this important case!
I’m writing to highlight a landmark settlement in education policy won by Nancy Bedard (Brooklyn), Tara Foster (Queens), and Chris Lamb,Nelson Mar and Nanette Schorr, (Bronx), along with co-counsel from Cuti Hecker Wang, in T.H. et al. v. Farina, et al. The decision puts an end to the unnecessary and harmful practice of sending students who experience emotional, behavioral, or psychiatric events to the emergency room. Under a settlement approved by the U.S. District Court on Monday, the NYC Department of Education will now implement new protocols to avoid unnecessary 911 calls and better train NYC public school staff to de-escalate, rather than aggravate, encounters with children who are struggling.
Our litigation team represented 11 children and their parents in this case. The settlement is a win not only for these children and their parents, but for student rights and health throughout NYC public schools. Working together across the City, our advocates have had an enormous positive impact on the lives of those who need us most. As the year draws to a close, we look forward to even more successes in 2015.
The settlement has already garnered media attention in WNYC, the Wall Street Journal, and NY1. I encourage everyone to have a look at the coverage below. Great work team!
Nelson Mar, AABANY Member, was quoted in a Dec. 15 Wall Street Journal article entitled “Parents Protest Emergency Calls.” The article focuses on Nelson’s case against the New York City Department of Education. Congratulations, Nelson!
Nelson Mar, an attorney for Legal Services NYC who is representing the parents, said fire department protocols say that children can be transported by EMS against a parent’s wishes only when the child’s life is at stake, or if it is clear that even a small delay will jeopardize the child’s health.
“In some ways the schools are treating the hospital emergency rooms as timeout rooms,” he said.
Congratulations to Nelson Mar, Education Law specialist at Bronx Legal Services and AABANY member, on his recent appearance on OPEN BronxNet television, broadcast on Cablevision channel 68 and Verizon Fios channel 35. Nelson spoke about the legal issues raised by public schools sending children who misbehave in class to hospital emergency rooms and what rights parents and students have to respond to such actions taken by their school. Click on the link in the title to see the interview.