SHARON L. LANGER A 1979 graduate of the University of Miami School of Law, cum laude, Ms. Langer has been the Executive Director of Dade Legal Aid since 1986. Ms. Langer has served on the Florida Bar Board of Governors, many Florida Bar committees including serving as the Legislative Chair, Vice Chair of The Florida Barâ€™s Legal Needs Of Children Commission for three years and still serves on the Commission to date. Ms Langer has served on numerous community boards, including the Coral Gables Historic Preservation Board, the Miami-Dade County Domestic Violence Oversight Board, the Dade County Alliance Against Domestic Violence, the Eleventh Circuit Domestic Violence Standing Committee, The Women’s Political Caucus, The Journey Institute and is currently the Chair of the Board of Directors of Casa Valentina, a group home to help young women in the foster care system transition into independent living. Ms. Langer has received numerous honors for her community service and distinguished career as a tireless advocate for the protection of children, women, victims of domestic violence and other vulnerable population , including the “For the Love of Children 2005″ award by the Dade County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, “Women Who Make a Difference 2005″ by the Junior League of Miami, “South Florida’s Unsung Heroes 2010″ by the American Inns of Court (Spellman-Hoeveler Chapter) and the 2011 Johnnie Ridgely President’s Award by the Dade County Bar Association.
JUANITA CENDAN Ms. Cendan is the Senior Supervising Attorney for the Family Division. Ms. Cendan is a graduate of Rutgers University School of Law and practiced law in New Jersey for several years before moving to Florida. Working with Dade Legal Aid since 1990, she trains, oversees and assists staff attorneys, as well as legal interns and coordinates family law outreach programs to migrant farmworkers. Ms. Cendan is a member of the Family Violence Service Prevention Network and Connect Familias Boards and she is fluent in Spanish.
KAREN JOSEFSBERG LADIS Ms. Ladis is a Senior Attorney and Project Director of “Put Something Back” (“PSB”), Dade Legal Aid’s award winning pro bono program. Ms. Ladis coordinates Volunteer Recruitment and Retention, 100% Law Firm Programs for Solo, Mid-Size and Large Law Firm practices, Grant Applications, CyPres Awards and Other Initiatives, Educational and Community Trainings, Pro Se Clinics and Special Projects. Since 1991, “PSB” has grown to include over 6,000 dedicated volunteers, 200 law firm partners and several Law School Stakeholders. Ms. Ladis served as an Editor of the Dade County Bar Association’s monthly publication, The Bulletin for four years and co-chaired the Public Service Committee of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation Attorneys Division for two years, serving on the Young Leadership Council for four years, and has mentored hundreds of law students and young lawyers. She was born and raised in Miami, FL, and received her B.A. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1987, and her J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law in 1990. Ms. Ladis is currently a member of the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono, the Board of Directors of the University of Miami Law Alumni Association and the Florida Pro Bono Coordinators Association.
BRUCE LEVINE Mr. Levine is a Senior Attorney and Project Coordinator of the Put Something Back Pro Bono Project. Mr. Levine oversees the intake and referral of thousands of clients that come through the doors of Legal Aid’s Pro Bono Program. In addition, he coordinates the hundreds of law school, undergraduate, and high school interns at Dade Legal Aid. Mr. Levine has served as Vice-Chair of the Dade County Alliance Against Domestic Violence and is currently a member of the Dade County Anti-Defamation League Civil Rights Committee. He is a Past-President of the Florida Pro Bono Coordinators Association and a recipient of the Kay Meyers Pro Bono Coordinator Award from that organization for his dedication and activism in the community. Mr. Levine was born and raised in Hollywood, CA, and received his B.A. from the University of Southern California and his J.D. from Whittier Law School.
ELIZABETH HUBBART Practicing since 1996, Ms. Hubbart chose public service law over private practice after volunteering at Dade Legal Aid, where she is now a Senior Attorney and staffs a stand-alone guardianship department , representing over 700 legal guardians of low-income incapacitated individuals. Ms. Hubbart is a graduate of the University of Miami School of Law, cum laude, and is the author of two articles published in legal journals: â€œWhen Worlds Collide: The Intersection of Insurance and Motion Picturesâ€, published in the University of Connecticut Insurance Law Journal and â€œInverse Condemnation and Americaâ€™s Decaying Infrastructureâ€ published by the Florida Barâ€™s Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section. Ms. Hubbart has been honored with the Dade County Bar Associationâ€™s Robert L. Shevin Public Service Award and awards from the DCBA Probate and Guardianship Committee, as well as the Guardian Angel Award from the South Florida Guardianship Association (2007). She chaired a Florida Bar Grievance Committee (2004), served on the Government Lawyers Committee of the Florida Bar and currently serves with the DCBA Probate and Guardianship Committee.
N. BRENDA RIVERA-LOPEZ Ms. Rivera is the Senior Supervising Attorney for the Domestic Violence Division. She has been with Dade Legal Aid since 1997 when she was hired to establish a satellite office of Dade Legal Aid in Homestead representing victims of domestic violence. She is an Adjunct Professor at St. Thomas University School of Law where she directs the Family Law and Domestic Violence Clinic and she is faculty to the National Council of Family Law and Juvenile Judges. Ms. Rivera received the Victim Service Professional of the Year in 2000 and the St. Thomas University School of Law Arete Award for commitment to public service in 2003. Ms. Riveraâ€™s community involvement includes Volunteer Guardian Ad Litem, MUJER Board Member (1999-2008); Domestic Violence Oversight Board Member (2006-2008) and WeCare South Dade Board Member (2004-2009). Ms. Rivera was born and raised in Miami and is fluent in Spanish.
WENDY L. ROBBINS Ms. Robbins is a Senior Attorney with Dade Legal Aid practicing Family Law, Domestic Violence, Dependency, and Administrative Law for the past 13 ½ years. In addition to her “normal” family law cases, she is the Project Attorney for several projects, the Transitioning Youth Administrative Appeals Project and the Foster Youth Legal Services Referral Project, where she represents former foster youth with various legal issues. She also lectures and is a trainer at several Florida Legal Services trainings and NITA trainings. Prior to coming on board at Legal Aid, Ms. Robbins practiced civil litigation in Lake Worth, Florida. She is a graduate of the University of Miami School of Law, where she is a member of the Iron Arrow Honor Society, the Highest Honor Attainable at the University of Miami, and is a second generation native Miamian.
MARK R. BROWN Mr. Brown is a Senior Attorney with Dade Legal Aid. In 2000, upon graduation from St. Thomas University School of Law, Mr. Brown began as a staff attorney for Legal Aid’s “Put Something Back” Pro Bono Project where he coordinated CLE seminars, small claims clinics and managed hundreds of cases. In 2001, Mr. Brown transferred to Legal Aid’s Miami Beach Domestic Violence Project where he represented hundreds of petitioners at domestic violence hearings over a two year span. Next, he joined the Family Law Division of Legal Aid where he has been practicing ever since. He represents families in all aspects of family law and is a frequent lecturer, mentor and pro bono advocate.
GINA BEOVIDES Ms. Beovides graduated from the University of Miami School of Law and has practiced in the Domestic Violence Unit since 2006. In 2011, the Office of the Attorney General for the State of Florida along with the Coral Gables Police Department honored Ms. Beovides with the Equal Justice for All Award for her dedication as a community advocate for victims of crimes. Ms. Beovides was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Cuban American Bar Association and she serves as the Co-Vice Chair of the Florida Bar Domestic Violence Committee, an active member of the Florida Bar Family Law Rules Committee, and is a member of the Dade County Bar Association.
YOLANDE HENRY A member of the Florida Bar since 2003, Ms. Henry graduated from St. Thomas University Law School and practices in the Family Law Division of Dade Legal Aid. Her practice includes paternity, custody and divorce cases. Ms. Henry is also licensed to practice in the Southern District of Florida and is a member of the Dade County Bar Association.
EVITA LLAGUNO-FERIA Ms. LLaguno-Feria has worked at Dade Legal Aid since 2006 as a full time Family Staff Attorney representing clients in divorce, paternity and temporary relative custody cases. Prior to her employment, she interned at Dade Legal Aid through St. Thomas Law Schoolâ€™s year-long Family Law Clinic program. During her internship, Mrs. Llaguno-Feria had the opportunity to represent (in a supervised capacity) Domestic Violence victims at their Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence hearings. Mrs. Llaguno-Feria is fluent in both English and Spanish and is a member of the Florida Bar.
STEPHANIE GROSMAN Ms. Grosman has been with Dade Legal Aid since late 2006 and is currently a Family Law Staff Attorney. Prior to delving into Family Law, Stephanie worked as a Domestic Violence Attorney representing victimsâ€™ rights in domestic violence injunction hearings. Stephanie earned her J.D. from Stetson Universityâ€™s College of Law in St. Petersburg, FL, and earned her B.A. from Barry University in Miami Shores, FL. Stephanie also volunteers as a Guardian Ad Litem with the Put Something Back Pro Bono Project. Stephanie penned an article about Put Something Back titled â€œLawyers Can Lend a Hand by Doing Pro Bono Workâ€ which was published in the Miami Herald in 2008. Stephanie is fluent in Spanish, licensed by the Florida Bar and a member of both the Dade County and Cuban American Bar Associations.
STEVEN PAULSON Mr. Paulson graduated from St. Thomas University School of Law in 2004 and works in the Domestic Violence Unit. Mr. Paulson is admitted to practice in the Middle and Southern District of Florida, U.S. District Courts and currently serves as the Treasurer for the South Miami-Kendall Bar Association. Mr. Paulson is fluent in Spanish.
MICHELLE ORTIZ Another 2004 graduate of St. Thomas University School of Law, Ms. Ortiz works as a family lawyer at Dade Legal Aid. Ms. Ortiz is admitted to practice in the Southern District of Florida, U.S. District Court and is fluent in both English and Spanish.
MELISSA ARROJAS (formerly LOBOGUERRERO) Ms. Arrojas was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2010 and began her career at Dade Legal Aid working as the webmaster for The Miami-Dade County Pro Bono Project website, www.dadecountyprobono.org, before moving to the Domestic Violence Unit. She currently works with the Transitioning Youth Project (TYP), a partnership between Dade Legal Aid and the Guardian Ad Litem Program, representing teenagers in the foster care system.
NIKKI WEISBURD Ms. Weisburd joined TYP at the end of 2004, after working with Dade Legal Aid and Voices for Children America to write â€œAchieving Independence,â€ the first training book for Miami attorneys representing youth aging out of foster care. The training manuals that Ms. Weisburd has produced over the years have been used to train new judges and attorneys in the dependency court system. Prior to her work with Miami foster youth, Ms. Weisburd worked as a corporate technology associate in the Atlanta office of Hunton & Williams. An alumna of Emory University and Emory University School of Law, Ms. Weisburd began her career as an advance staff member for Vice President Al Gore, as well as the Clinton/Gore 1996 presidential campaign. Ms. Weisburd is currently an active board member of the City of Miami Beach Commission for Women as well as several other community boards of directors.
KRISTEN FEUER (formerly HOLT) Ms. Feuer is a graduate of the New England School of Law and has been a member of the Florida Bar since 2005. Ms. Feuer represents foster children in dependency proceedings.
NATASHA ALVAREZ Ms. Alvarez graduated from St. Thomas University School of Law (cum laude) in 2008. Born and raised in Miami, Ms. Alvarez graduated from Florida International University (magna cum laude) with a double-major in Psychology & Women’s Studies and minors in Sociology and Anthropology. Ms. Alvarez works in the Housing Unit where she counsels undocumented residents with landlord/tenant issues. Many of Ms. Alvarez’s clients live in mobile home parks where the conditions are often deplorable. Ms. Alvarez is fluent is Spanish.
DANA VIGGIANO (formerly DAVIS) Ms. Viggiano is a graduate of St. Thomas University School of Law. She first joined Dade Legal Aid as a certified intern in 2008 in the Domestic Violence Unit and represented victims of domestic violence under the supervision of an attorney. After graduation, she began working with the Transitioning Youth Project representing teens aged 14-19 years in dependency proceedings and assisting them with the transition from foster care to independent living.
ANNIKA MIRANDA Ms. Miranda is a 2009 graduate of the University of Florida Levin College of Law and works as a bankruptcy attorney at Dade Legal Aid through a fellowship underwritten by the generosity of The Florida Bar Foundation and the Bankruptcy Bar Association. Ms. Miranda screens hundreds of clients through the intake process and refers them to pro bono bankruptcy attorneys if they meet the income criteria of 150% of the federal poverty guidelines. If not, she counsels them extensively about general bankruptcy principles and directs them to the pro se bankruptcy clinics held monthly at the bankruptcy courts in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Ms. Miranda also supervises a legion of law school interns who help her with client intake and referral and coordinates the pro se clinics, as well as bankruptcy CLE trainings presented by the Bankruptcy Bar Association, the American College of Bankruptcy and Dade Legal Aid. Click here to read the September 15, 2011 Florida Bar News article featuring Ms. Miranda “On the front lines of consumer bankruptcy”.
WYNNORA (WENDY) S.WILSONMs. Wilson graduated from the University of Florida Levin College of Law (with honors) where she was an editor for the Law Review and a Legal Research and Writing Instructor. She practiced real estate finance, commercial leasing and corporate law at several large Miami law firms before joining Dade Legal Aid in 2011. Ms. Wilson is the webmaster and coordinator of the Miami-Dade County Pro Bono Project after having volunteered for years as a pro bono attorney through Put Something Back. In addition to maintaining the websites and social media platforms for Dade Legal Aid, Ms. Wilson coordinates special projects such as a consumer financial literacy program, Dade Legal Aid fundraising programs and the development of client self-help materials. She is also certified by the Florida Supreme Court as a Circuit-Civil Mediator and a Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediator.
LORI MARKOWITZ GERSON Ms. Gerson joined Dade Legal Aid/Put Something Back as the Development Director in the Fall of 2011 to address the critical situation caused by the devastating cuts to statewide legal aid funding. With nearly 15 years of fundraising experience, Ms. Markowitz Gerson previously worked as Executive Director of Mothersâ€™ Voices, a national organization whose mission was to educate families about sexual health and HIV/AIDS/STD prevention. There she developed relationships with local and national foundations as well as individual and corporate donors and formed collaborations with other community based partners. In addition, Ms. Markowitz Gerson coordinated special events and sat on the steering committee for the USCA, the largest conference on AIDS in the US. In her role as Development Director for DLA/PSB, Lori engages the legal community as well as corporate partners through a variety of campaigns and special events that will create awareness about the agency and help fill the gap in the severe funding crisis. Ms. Markowitz Gerson is a life long resident of Miami Dade County and holds a B.S. in Organizational Communications from the University of Texas at Austin.