Photo of Rachel Lieb

Rachel Lieb

  • Hosted by New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG)
  • Sponsored by Baker McKenzie, Merck & Co., Inc.
  • Service location New York, New York
  • Law school New York University School of Law
  • Issue area Domestic Violence
  • Fellowship class year 2018
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Rachel provided legal assistance to domestic violence survivors in New York City who wished to appeal adverse decisions in Family or Supreme Court.

New York hears more than 60,000 domestic violence cases every year. When judges rule against a domestic violence victim, she still has one valuable legal right: the right to an appeal. Without a lawyer’s assistance, pursuing an appeal is extremely difficult and, most women do not do so. There were no attorneys in New York dedicated to bringing domestic violence appeals on behalf of poor women and their children. This project aimed to cure that in the hopes of creating binding precedent to help survivors of domestic violence. Providing access to legal representation for appeals would not only provide a path for relief for each individual client, but it would also create precedential law for survivors.

Fellowship Highlights

During the two-year Fellowship period, Rachel:

  • Represented more than 10 clients in affirmative and defensive appeals, and more than 50 clients at the trial court level
  • Won an affirmative appeal that she argued in front of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Appellate Division – Second Department
  • Helped clients obtain orders of protection, custody of their children, child support, and divorces in New York Family and Supreme Courts
  • Evaluated cases for appeal and began the appellate process for each case
  • Conducted several trainings for attorneys and interns to explain the appellate procedure

Next Steps

Rachel continues to represent survivors of domestic violence at the New York Legal Assistance Group, with plans to continue and expand the appellate representation project.

Meet Other Fellows Like Rachel

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Gillian Chadwick

Host: Women Empowered Against Violence

Sponsor: Arnold & Porter Foundation

Suma Mathai

Host: Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law

Sponsor: The Morrison & Foerster Foundation

Mary Bissell

Mary Bissell

Host: Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia

Photo of Rachel White-Domain

Rachel White-Domain

Host: Illinois Prison Project

Sponsor: Albert & Anne Mansfield Foundation