February 16, 2018

The VOLS Microenterprise Project is excited to announce the public launch of the Commercial Lease Assistance Program. Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Gregg Bishop and Councilmember Robert Cornegy announced the new City-funded program in front of Huascar & Company Bake Shop, a small business tenant benefited by legal services. Read the City's press release

Top: VOLS Staff  Attorneys Arthur Kats and Shanila Ali at CLA launch event; Bottom Left: small business owner Huascar Aquino and Commissioner Gregg Bishop address the audience at CLA launch event; Bottom Right: VOLS staff poses with Councilmember Cornegy at CLA launch event 

VOLS' Microenterprise Project is proud to expand its commercial leasing services for small businesses through the Program.  Alongside Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A, Community Development Project at Urban Justice Center, and a vibrant Consortium of strategic community partners, the Project will provide small business tenants with critical commercial leasing legal support.  

Media coverage of the Commercial Lease Assistance Program:


October 17, 2017

Bret Parker, Executive Director of the City Bar Association and a member of VOLS' Board of Directors, will run seven marathons in seven days on seven continents to raise awareness of Parkinson's Disease as part of the World Marathon Challenge.

In a recent feature article in the New York Law Journal, Bret, who himself has Parkinson's Disease, said:

"Many people don’t understand that Parkinson’s is not just a disease for older people. Many people can get Parkinson’s when they’re still trying to work and raise families."

You can find out more about the incredible challenge Bret has undertaken and help him raise funds for Parkinson's research at


March 28, 2017

VOLS Board member Cyrus Mehta, founder of Cyrus D. Mehta & Partners PLLC,  spoke eloquently against discriminating against all immigrants because some small number commit crimes on Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight.  Mr. Mehta maintained his reasonable position and his poise despite questioning from Mr. Carlson that became rude and hostile.

March 21, 2017

Liz Markuci, VOLS Immigration Project Director, was featured in an interview with Pro Bono Institute for their weekly Pro Bono Happy Hour Podcasts. Liz discussed the pro bono initiatives to support immigrants in the context of her own family’s experience, her pro bono role models, her work at VOLS, and much more.


You can access the full interview here:

January 27, 2017

VOLS’ Microenterprise Project
client Mera McGrew’s company Soapply was recently featured in the New York Times’ Front Burner column.  Soapply makes pure, organic liquid soap, and donates up to $10 of the $25 price to support water, sanitation, and hygiene improvements in developing countries.

Through VOLS’ Microenterprise Project, Soapply received pro bono legal assistance from the law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.  Orrick partners Stephen Ashley and Diana Rutowski, Impact Finance Fellow Perry Teicher, Managing Associate Eileen Aghnami, summer associate Maria Stracqualursi, paralegals Karl Hamel and Linda Partmann, and former associates Eliza Golden and Timothy Green, have helped Ms. McGrew and Soapply with corporate, intellectual property, and tax matters.

Ms. McGrew said:

“Orrick is such a huge part of the Soapply story. Orrick has played an invaluable role in helping take Soapply from a concept to what it is today. Diana, Stephen, Perry and the entire Orrick team have not only helped me tackle immediate structure, trademark, and policy needs, but they have helped ensure that Soapply is set up for success both now and in 5, 10, and even 20 years.”

VOLS is proud to have played a role in the success of this environmentally and socially responsible company.

January 27, 2017

"Living in a Sanctuary City means living in an environment where you feel safe and you can trust the authorities to respect your legal rights."

- Liz Markuci, VOLS' Immigration Project Director


Gothamist, an online publication, featured Liz Markuci, VOLS' Immigration Project Director, in an article examining the responsibilities of New York City as a sanctuary city.  Part of that dialogue, as explored in the piece, is "scal[ing] back broken windows policing—which disproportionately targets low income New Yorkers of color for minor offenses like turnstile jumping—in the wake of Trump's executive orders."

As Ms. Markuci explains to her clients at VOLS' Know-Your-Rights Trainings, living in a sanctuary city means living in an environment where you feel safe and you can trust the authorities to respect your legal rights.  Ms. Markuci hopes that the de Blasio administration will work with community organizations to fulfill the pledge of keeping New York a sanctuary city for all New Yorkers.


Learn more about VOLS' Immigration Project.

January 17, 2017

Shruti Chopra is an attorney licensed to practice in New York and India who focuses on intellectual property, technology and mergers and acquisitions transactions. She is currently volunteering in VOLS’ Microenterprise Project.  Recently, Shruti published an article in the State Bar News on the experience of providing pro bono legal assistance.

Read the article

December 12, 2016 featured Elizabeta Markuci, VOLS' Immigration Project Director, in an online article titled "Immigration Attorneys' Fears Grow Over Uncertain DACA Future."

Read the article

December 8, 2016

Bill Lienhard, VOLS' Executive Director, was featured in a full-length interview in the Fall 2016 edition of Kattwalk, a publication of Katten Muchen & Rosenman LLP.  In the interview, Lienhard discusses some recent activities at VOLS, including a collaboration between VOLS' Immigration Project and the photographer Hugo Arturi, and also talks about why he became a public interest lawyer and what inspires him to do this work.

Read the article