Message from Marcia Levy, Executive Director, VOLS

August 15, 2018

Message from Marcia Levy, Executive Director, VOLS 

A couple of weeks ago, I was diagnosed with pneumonia. The doctor told me that a combination of antibiotics and plenty of rest were the recommended cure. The first pill I could easily swallow; for a very active person, the second was much harder.

So, I got comfortable at home and spent much time watching the news. Two stories dominated. The first was the rescue of the Thai teens and their coach by a team of experts from around the world. I was enthralled to watch each day as the rescue unfolded and with such miraculous results.

The second story was also about children separated from their parents, but this time by immigration authorities at our own border. A team of legal experts came to their rescue, and even got a federal court order to reunite these families. But each day I watched, and each day I learned new facts that made timely re-uniting of families seem impossible. I was appalled by these results.

 It is times like these that make us look inside ourselves and around us, and wonder where do we stand and what do we want to be doing to make a difference. The answer is so clear to me. I am proud to be standing at the helm of VOLS, an organization that for almost 35 years has so uniquely brought pro bono legal representation to low income New Yorkers facing immigration, unemployment, housing, life planning and other critical issues.  VOLS has always been effective in assessing need, developing projects and partnerships to meet those needs, and providing the training and support to make them appropriate for pro bono representation by law firms and in-house legal departments with the support and expertise of VOLS staff.

VOLS has never been and will never be resting - there is too much to be done. I am so excited to be up and active and working with the extraordinary staff, board, community organizations, pro bono partners, funders and clients that define VOLS. Many thanks for your commitment to us, and for the important role that you play in providing access to justice and community empowerment. I look forward to meeting and working with all of you.

All the best, 

Marcia Levy