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Network for Women’s Services Founder and Executive Director Cathy Douglass first came up with the idea for the organization while serving on the board of a domestic violence nonprofit that was just launching a legal program. The group offered shelter and advocacy for abused women, but decided to bring a lawyer on board.
Cathy quickly observed that there were more clients than they could serve, and suggested they start a pro bono project, as she knew a lot of lawyers and firms that would like to help. The staff attorneys, however, did not have time to do anything but focus on the clients already streaming through the door. That’s when the light went off for Cathy. She no longer wanted to be at a big firm.
A partner at Willkie, Cathy knew very little about domestic violence, but felt that she needed a task that touched her heart. With an initial $75,000 in funding from Willkie, Network for Women’s Services was incorporated and Cathy embarked on the journey of a lifetime.
Developing a pro bono approach as embraced by Network for Women’s Services was quite innovative at the time, as most organizations offering legal assistance employed their own staff attorneys, which limited the potential number of clients they could serve. And while some firms embraced pro bono opportunities in the areas of immigration, housing or human rights, there really were no major firms that had departments handling matrimonial and family law. Getting comfortable with these specialties was a big stretch.
The idea to pair two individual, highly experienced, and reputable matrimonial/family law practitioners with each law firm solicited by Network for Women’s Services was crucial to the firm’s approval of their associates’ pro bono engagement in areas where the firm had no in-house expertise.
The Network for Women’s Services Board of Directors formed with founding members Cathy Douglass, Virginia Arcari (R) and Hilary Maddux.
Virginia (Ginny) Arcari, a lawyer and expert photographer, executed the legal work to set up the organization (Certificate of Incorporation and By-Laws, state and federal filings). Ginny served as our first Board Chair and later became the Board Treasurer.
Hilary Maddux had a masters degree in social work from NYU. She researched other non-legal programs providing assistance to women living in poverty and also worked on an in-depth project that focused on how well Network for Women’s Services was serving client needs and the outcomes achieved for them on their legal matters. In addition to the findings about the importance of being represented by lawyers in major firms, Hilary’s research also documented the positive outcomes in client cases (safety, health, financial well-being).
Both Ginny and Hilary served on the initial six-person board for six or more years.
On a snowy February morning, Cathy and one other staff member moved into the offices at 666 Broadway, a space sublet from the Trust for Public Land, and the first home for Network for Women’s Services.
“Sleepless in Seattle,” starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, is released.
In our first year, Network for Women’s Services recruited volunteer lawyers from six of the best firms across the City to work on 30 cases, helping 70 women access the legal system at no cost.
Find out more about opportunities to volunteer with Her Justice.
Janet Reno is the first woman ever appointed to the position of Attorney General of the United States.
Shearman & Sterling LLP and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP contributed both meeting space and document production facilities for the first Network for Women’s Services pilot clinic for women seeking divorces.
Jointly structured by the Family Law Unit of Queens Legal Services, Victim Services and Network for Women’s Services, these three-evening instructional workshops taught women from Queens and Manhattan how to get an uncontested divorce by themselves in Supreme Court, without having to wait years for a lawyer.
The successful pilot project would later partner with other legal services agencies to enable more women to obtain divorces in shorter periods of time.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, former First Lady of the United States, dies of cancer at the age of 64.
The first Network for Women’s Services newsletter was mailed in July of 1994.
Find our most recent newsletters here to see what we’ve been up to.
Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman are brutally murdered outside her home in Los Angeles. Nicole’s ex-husband, O.J. Simpson is identified as a person of interest.
By 1994, only one year in, a total of 16 law firms had already taken 63 cases and closed 10.
Many cases at that time were divorce matters for women who wanted to get out of abusive marriages.
After that first year, Network for Women’s Services looked to widen the scope of referrals to include more complex cases, assist more women and train more lawyers.
Find out more about who we serve in 2018.
The Violence Against Women Act is passed into law for the first time as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.
In 1995, Jacqueline (Jackie) Ekoumilong (R) showed up at the offices of Network for Women’s Services with her baby.
Jackie was the wife of a diplomat from Cameroon who had started seeing another woman and became abusive, withholding access to his salary and threatening to kidnap their son.
Without any resources, Jackie turned to Network for Women’s Services after being referred by a neighbor. Her pro bono attorney, Lynn Judell (L), took the courageous step of confronting the diplomat at the embassy and what ensued was somewhat of an international thriller.
Read Jackie’s story in our 1999 newsletter.
Ebay launches as an online auction and shopping website.
The Summer Associate Program allows law students at participating firms the opportunity to gain practical experience in litigated and non-litigated cases that they might not otherwise obtain.
Working with supervising attorneys at their firms and consulting with mentors, summer associates interview clients, build attorney-client relationships, draft and file pleadings and motions, negotiate with opposing counsel, interact with court personnel and develop general litigation skills.
The summer associate program is now a benefit exclusive to our Corporate Partners.
Timothy McVeigh bombs the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Until the September 11th terrorist attacks, this marked the deadliest domestic terrorism incident on American soil.
Network for Women’s Services worked for a few months with the New York City Bar Association, the New York County Lawyers Association and four other co-sponsoring organizations to develop and reopen a revitalized Sexual Harassment Clinic.
The objective was to create an effective way for volunteer lawyers to counsel individuals who were targets of sexual harassment about their legal options and to assist them in taking practical steps to address unacceptable employment situations.
Princess Diana and Prince Charles finalize their divorce.
Network for Women’s Services hires Rosemonde Pierre-Louis, (L) the first staff attorney. Rose joined to help strengthen and broaden the Family Justice Program at participating law firms.
Rose also created workshops to empower domestic violence survivors to obtain divorces from their abusers.
A former Commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence, today Rose is a nationally recognized activist, educator, and attorney for women’s and immigrant rights, underserved communities, and victims of domestic violence.
The Defense of Marriage Act passes, defining marriage for federal purposes as the union of one man and one woman.
Network for Women’s Services was delighted to receive a $20,000 grant from The New York Community Trust, one the largest funders of a full range of New York City nonprofit organizations.
Over the past 21 years, The New York Community Trust has generously granted us over $326,000.
In March, Network for Women’s Services helps organize a rally against judicial insensitivity towards victims of domestic violence. The gathering in front of the Manhattan Supreme Court centers around Judge Lorin Duckman, who had freed a convicted rapist with a history of domestic violence who then killed his former girlfriend, Galina Komar, in February. The murder occurred three weeks after she had sought protection from the courts.
The highlight of the first ever benefit for Network for Women’s Services was the live photography auction run by Denise Bethel, a Sotheby’s professional and titan in her field who graciously donated her services then, and at almost every Annual Photography Auction & Benefit thereafter.
The collection to be auctioned was remarkable for its diversity and included a photograph of Marilyn Monroe by Bert Stern, the artist considered to have captured the quintessential Marilyn. The event took place at Landmark on the Park in Manhattan and raised over $130,000.
Interested in attending this year’s event?
Find out more
The 1996 Summer Olympics are held in Atlanta, Georgia.
Network for Women’s Services in the news! The New York Times featured the stories of women who participated in a Pro Se Divorce Workshop, co-sponsored by Network for Women’s Services and led by staff attorney Rose Pierre-Louis.
Immediately, ABC’s Nightly News and CNN’s All About Women picked up the story, giving viewers in New York City and across the country the opportunity to see and hear from determined women who, with effective instruction and technical assistance, successfully obtained uncontested divorces without lawyers to represent them.
The NBA’s Chicago Bulls, led by Michael Jordan, achieve their 70th win, setting a new NBA record for the most wins in a season.
A lease is signed for 70 West 36th Street, Suite 903 — our home for the next 14 years!
Linda Tripp begins secretly recording her conversations with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, who reveals anecdotes about her sexual relationship with President Bill Clinton. Tripp went on to share those recordings with Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr.
Under the leadership of board members Bruce Dohrenwend and Hilary Maddux, 30 clients with ongoing cases consented to first-ever confidential interviews to evaluate the representation they received from their lawyers.
Specifically, clients reported being treated seriously and with respect, often seeing immediate and positive results in court. Clients felt that their children were safer and generally better off than they were prior to coming to Network for Women’s Services for help. They also expressed what it meant to their self-worth to meet with lawyers in the same surroundings as Fortune 500 clients.
During these interviews, clients also provided valuable input for future programs and policy decisions.
The 1998 Winter Olympics are held in Nagano, Japan.
Network for Women’s Services began recruiting efforts in the Bronx for lawyers who lived and practiced there to represent women with matrimonial and family law cases that had to be brought in the Bronx Supreme or Family Court.
The first satellite office opened in the Bronx in January 1999.
Find out more about our legal internships, fellowships and volunteer positions.
Google launches as a research project by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, PhD students at Stanford University in Stanford, California.
Network for Women’s Services is granted Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Accreditation for all the training it provides.
Today Her Justice offers free, live, CLE-accredited trainings throughout the year in family, divorce and immigration law.
Find out more here
Elián Gonzales arrives in Miami from Cuba. After months of legal squabbling, endless press coverage, and heated demonstrations in both Miami and Cuba, U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno orders that Elián’s relatives in Miami surrender him to U.S. Department of Justice custody.
The first annual Commitment to Justice Awards was held on March 22, honoring all the legal volunteers who worked with the organization during its first five years. The event was generously hosted by Pfizer.
In her opening remarks, Cathy Douglass noted, “When Network for Women’s Services began its program in 1993, there were many who predicted that corporate lawyers and legal assistants ‘couldn’t and wouldn’t do that kind of work.’ Well, you have proved them all wrong, for here we are, gathered together tonight to celebrate your victories.”
“You represent the very best that lawyers and legal assistants can be: consummate professionals who enrich the law by practicing in a broader social context. You have brought honor to yourselves, your families and your communities, and to the law itself.”
Stalking becomes a felony in New York State.
Pro Bono Net selected Network for Women’s Services as one of its two non-profit hosts. George Soros’ Open Society Institute funded the development of Pro Bono Net, which electronically links diverse groups of legal and other professionals involved in public interest law.
The site provides resources for pro bono and legal services attorneys and others working to assist low income or disadvantaged clients.
Unarmed West African immigrant Amadou Diallo is shot dead by four plainclothes New York City police officers on an unrelated stake-out, inflaming race relations in the city.
The Pro Se Divorce Workshop, with the generous support of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, hosted the first-ever ‘Day of Empowerment.’
Participants learned how to prepare a resume and hone their interview skills. Women’s health issues, educational opportunities and welfare rights initiatives were also addressed.
The State of Vermont legalizes civil unions for same-sex couples.
Network for Women’s Services became inMotion, keeping its original tagline, ‘Justice for All Women.’
The new name was designed to reflect the progress of our clients as they gained access to the legal system and moved forward with their lives, as well as to openly claim the need for all women to have that critical access and obtain justice.
A new website was also launched.
Wikipedia is founded and the first iPod is launched.
In fall 2001, inMotion and the Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project formed the Cross Borough Collaboration and created the Pro Se Library that addressed legal topics in easy-to-understand booklets that were useful to women with family law issues navigating the courts by themselves.
The original series is now being revised, rebranded and will be posted on our website in both English and Spanish.
On September 11, 2001 the World Trade Center is attacked.
InMotion applied to the National Association for Public Interest Law (now Equal Justice Works) for a fellowship to support a special initiative called Poder Latina. The new proposal aimed to bring the expertise of inMotion to low-income, Spanish-speaking women in Upper Manhattan and Queens.
Sandra Munoz led the project, which resulted in the launch of legal walk-in clinics in Queens.
“Staying and making a difference is what turns communities around. This is what I have tried to do in my own community and it is what I hope to help others accomplish through the Poder Latina Project.”
This marked the beginning of our foray into immigration law.
George W. Bush succeeds Bill Clinton as 43rd President of the United States.
White & Case LLP launches its externship program with associate Melonie Jurgens-Bendza as the first inMotion extern.
Externs spend up to six months in the Her Justice offices being mentored closely by staff attorneys, honing their skills, taking diverse cases and appearing in court.
Find out more about externships with Her Justice.
“A Beautiful Mind” wins the Oscar for Best Picture.
Milbank began its fellowship program with inMotion in the fall of 2002.
Fellows work in our offices mentored by staff attorneys for a number of months honing their litigation, client relationship and overall legal skills, many gaining first time experiences in court as well.
Read more about Her Justice Fellowships and intern positions.
Before leaving office, President George W. Bush signs a $700 billion bank bailout into law in hopes of stabilizing the economy.
InMotion developed The Library Workshop to train legal assistants to help undocumented immigrant women who are victims of domestic violence.
The workshop helped these women prepare the complex documentation required by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in order to gain legal status.
Kidnapped Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl is murdered in Karachi, Pakistan.
In commemoration of its 10th Anniversary, inMotion presented Ira M. Millstein, Senior Partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, with the first-ever Justice inMotion Award at the 2003 Annual Photography Auction & Benefit.
Every year now we honor an outstanding member of the legal community who has made a lifetime commitment to the ideal of access to justice for all individuals.
The Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates over Texas, killing all seven astronauts on board.
Law students and non-admitted law graduates working with inMotion were granted the right to speak on the record in Supreme and Family Courts on behalf of their clients.
Martha Stewart and her broker are indicted for using privileged investment information and then obstructing a federal investigation.
By 2003, the organization was already growing by leaps and bounds, serving more than 5,000 women and children in need of legal assistance. At that time, 60% of our clients were survivors of domestic violence, 70% were mothers and heads of households and 66% were Hispanic.
In 2017, we served almost 8,000 women and children of whom 80% were survivors of domestic violence, 64% were mothers and 54% were Hispanic.
Who we serve in 2018
The Northeast is thrust into darkness due to a widespread power outage throughout parts of the Northeastern and Midwestern United States and the Canadian province of Ontario on Thursday, August 14th. In other areas it took nearly a week or two for power to be restored.
Bronx Integrated Domestic Violence Court Judge Diane Kiesel issued a 25-page opinion that allowed the court to modify a child custody order granted by a court in the Dominican Republic.
Judge Kiesel’s decision was based on the submission of White & Case externs Averie Hason and Justin Brown (pictured). In their written arguments, Averie and Justin emphasized the father’s long history of domestic violence against his wife and children and the Dominican court’s failure to adequately address these accounts.
This landmark decision gave inMotion’s client a second chance to prevent her two young children from suffering further abuse at the hands of their father – an option she didn’t have in the Dominican Republic.
The United States invades Iraq with help from allies.
Madhu Goel was Sidley’s first extern in 2004:
“The extern program offers a unique balance between skills-training and personal growth – the skills I developed at inMotion are fundamental to me as an attorney.”
Find out more about Her Justice externships.
The final episode of ‘Friends’ airs on NBC, drawing an estimated 66 million viewers in North America. Advertisers pay $2 million for 30-second ads.
The Honorable Jacqueline W. Silbermann received the inaugural Joan L. Ellenbogen Award from the New York Women’s Bar Association for her outstanding impact on the matrimonial courts statewide and on the Supreme Court of New York County.
She then immediately turned around and donated her award money to inMotion.
Find out how you can support Her Justice
The United States re-elects George W. Bush to a second term as President of the United States.
This was the rallying cry of 12 women for whom inMotion was unable to find volunteer lawyers, although the clients were counseled on how to proceed in court without representation.
In response to these women and a report by New York State’s Unified Court System, ‘The Future of Pro Bono in New York’, which stated that only 27% of New York’s attorneys fulfilled the minimum requirement of 20 hours of pro bono service annually, Cathy Douglass headlined the inMotion newsletter decrying the lack of lawyers and the urgent need for our clients to be represented in court to obtain the fairest outcomes.
In her address, Cathy particularly championed educating law students and newly-admitted lawyers about pro bono service and unbundling legal services.
Construction of the Freedom Tower begins in New York City.
The 2004 Annual Photography Auction & Benefit was the most successful fundraising event in our history, raising over $1.1 million.
Read our Spring 2004 newsletter here to learn what else we accomplished!
Ramonita Cordero, Legal Director of inMotion, accepted the Denison Ray Award from the New York State Bar Association.
Named after career legal activist Denny Ray, who served as Executive Director of Legal Services in New York State as well, the award honors extraordinary commitment to:
Eleven American states ban gay marriage.
Gisselle Pardo (R) was hired full time, along with three Masters of Social Work graduate students, including Diana Malkin (L), to manage the first inMotion social work program.
So many clients face an array of daunting issues that undermine their ability to focus on their legal needs. The new social work services were designed to help women and their families address their practical safety, financial, emotional and mental health needs.
The social work program continues today at Her Justice.
Hurricane Katrina strikes coastal areas from Louisiana to Alabama, killing 1,836 people and leaving many parts of the Southeast with extensive damages to infrastructure and property.
In 2005, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP began its externship program. Externs are associates from major law firms who work full-time in our offices for four months or more, representing women in critical and complex situations.
Not only are they a tremendous help to our clients, but externs gain vital skills and significant and often first time in-court experiences. Our first-ever Fried Frank extern was Rachel Braunstein, pictured in the old inMotion offices. Today, Rachel is our Managing Policy Attorney.
Find out about our Extern Program
YouTube launches, revolutionizing the uploading, sharing and watching of video content.
In 2005, we marked the sixth year of recognizing outstanding legal volunteers with our Commitment to Justice Awards.
That year, we presented the Law Firm Award to Greenberg Traurig, LLP, and the Special Team Award to White & Case LLP Externs.
Check our Events page for the award recipients and photos from our 2018 Commitment to Justice Awards!
The third New York City transit strike takes place in December during the busiest shopping week of the year.
Cathy Douglass received the Ruth G. Schapiro Memorial Award from the New York State Bar Association, an award established in 1992 in memory of the first Chair of the Association’s Committee on Women in the Law.
The award honors an individual who has made contributions to advance the concerns of women in our justice system.
Massive anti-war demonstrations and a march down Broadway in New York City mark the third year of war in Iraq.
Inmates at the Rose M. Singer Center, a jail for women on Rikers Island, welcomed the addition of The Basics Series to the jail’s law library (originals pictured). This series of booklets gives straightforward answers to common questions about divorce, spousal support, orders of protection, child custody and visitation, child support and paternity.
The booklets are especially geared towards women representing themselves in Family Court, enabling them to understand the legal steps involved in their case and how to make informed decisions. The Basics Series gives clear definitions of legal terms, explains what information the judge will need in order to make a decision, and what to expect in court.
We’ve updated the series here: Legal Reference Guides
Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shoots and wounds a lawyer while quail hunting in southern Texas.
More than 1,100 guests joined inMotion at the Waldorf Astoria to celebrate 14 years of free legal and social services for clients.
The most successful fundraising event to date, the 2007 Annual Photography Auction & Benefit raised a record $2.1 million.
Visit our events page to see how you can get involved this year.
Apple launches the iPhone.
Participation in the coveted Summer Associate Program was made an exclusive benefit for Corporate Partner firms only. Corporate Partners are the cornerstone of our network of support, providing critical, annual general operating support.
Each Corporate Partner makes an annual, non-event-related contribution of $15,000 or more. Find out more about our Corporate Partnerships.
The Her Justice Summer Associate Program allows law students at participating firms the opportunity to gain practical experience in litigated and non-litigated cases that they might not otherwise obtain.
Senator Barack Obama of Illinois declares his candidacy for President of the United States of America.
The new bilingual website was designed to reach the growing community of Spanish-speaking women served by inMotion, offer more online resources, provide comprehensive information for volunteer lawyers looking for pro bono opportunities, and simply be a more engaging site for all visitors.
OgilvyOne Worldwide generously offered in-kind assistance in building the new website.
A student at Virginia Tech opens fire on campus, killing 33 people.
The Junior Advisory Board (JAB) hosted their kick-off event and signature chocolate tasting reception in November 2007.
JAB members serve as ambassadors for the organization, particularly among New York’s young professional community. JAB supports Her Justice staff and volunteers by providing insight and advice on strategic initiatives and raises funds by engaging with individuals and institutions within member networks.
Find out more about our Junior Advisory Board.
Democratic Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi is elected as the first female Speaker of the House.
In the summer of 2008, Lisa Dennis Bentley, a fifth-year litigation associate, became Willkie’s first inMotion extern, working full time for four months at the new Queens office in the Family Justice Center.
“I am excited to join the inMotion team at the Queens Family Justice Center and eager to begin what will no doubt be a challenging and rewarding experience providing legal services to those most in need.”
Find out more about externships at Her Justice.
Investment bank Lehman Brothers collapses at the beginning of the Great Recession of 2008, estimated to be the largest economic downturn since the Great Depression.
As part of a citywide coalition to build an ever-stronger community of support for victims of domestic violence, inMotion joined forces with the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence as an on-site partner at the newly constructed New York City Family Justice Center in Kew Gardens, Queens.
Within the first week, women from Bangladesh, Ecuador, Guyana, India, the Philippines, Poland and Romania received on-the-spot access to the Center’s free legal and social services.
Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is impeached by the Illinois House of Representatives following federal corruption charges.
The effects of the financial crisis of 2008 and subsequent economic downturn were felt throughout the organization with lower revenue streams and fewer legal volunteers.
Support Her Justice in 2018
Barack Obama succeeds George W. Bush, becoming the 44th President of the United States and the first African-American president.
Attorneys at inMotion helped draft and lobby for legislation to create maintenance payments in divorce cases based on mathematical calculations that provided for an equitable support base for the lesser-earning spouse, most often the woman. Previously there were no standards to calculate maintenance pay.
This legislation was bundled into a new no-fault divorce bill that was part of a package to reform New York State divorce law. It allowed couples to dissolve marriage by mutual consent, without requiring one spouse to accuse the other of adultery, cruelty, imprisonment or abandonment.
Read Our Stories to find out how Her Justice supports vulnerable women and children.
The Plain Writing Act becomes law. It requires all federal agencies to use clear prose that the public can readily understand.
Hundreds of inMotion supporters climbed a 42-story skyscraper in Manhattan in November to raise funds for legal relief for domestic violence survivors in the first-ever Story by Story event. Basketball stars were on hand to cheer fundraising teams from New York’s top firms in law, accounting, financial services and investment banking.
The 756-step climb took place in the heart of the Fashion District and Times Square at 1411 Broadway. The inaugural event was a huge success with over 900 registered climbers raising more than $480,000.
Take a look at our events in 2018!
If you bought ONE share of Coca-Cola stock in 1920, it would be worth $6.7 million by 2010.
InMotion continues to expand its presence in the five boroughs of New York. This time, we closed our Bronx office and moved into the Bronx Family Justice Center.
Family Justice Centers provide comprehensive civil legal aid, counseling and supportive services all in one location for survivors of domestic violence, elder abuse and sex trafficking.
Forty-one per cent of children born in the US in 2010 are born to unmarried women.
We hired our first full-time immigration attorney and created two new fellowships to broaden our reach to immigration clients:
a two-year Equal Justice Works Fellow, funded by Greenberg Traurig, LLP, to focus on immigrant Spanish-speakers and,
a Kirkland & Ellis LLP New York City Public Service Fellow, targeted towards South Asian clients.
Find out more about Her Justice Fellowships.
The U.S. Military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy banning open homosexuality, is repealed by President Barack Obama.
In 2011, two new CLE trainings were added: obtaining a U Visa for immigrant women who qualify under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and equitable distribution of retirement benefits in contested divorces.
Since 1999, we have been an accredited CLE provider in New York State. We are accredited for live classroom and video formats and are also an accredited Pro Bono CLE provider.
Interested in CLE trainings at Her Justice? Find out more.
Apple co-founder Steve Jobs dies at age 56.
As inMotion expanded to accommodate its growing staff and client base, the third move took place to 100 Broadway in the Financial District.
Now at our offices on 100 Broadway we hold ‘Breakfast Briefings’ four times a year. These informal sessions feature conversations with thought leaders of our time on matters such as gun violence, sexual harassment and current legal issues, to which we invite key stakeholders, supporters and other friends of Her Justice.
Find out more here
New York becomes the sixth state to legalize same-sex marriage.
Akin Gump initiated its extern program in 2012 and continues today to be particularly supportive of our pro bono partnership.
Watch Akin Gump’s Chairperson and Her Justice board member Kim Koopersmith (pictured) discuss the partnership and importance of pro bono here.
There are no reports of violent crime in all of New York City on November 26, 2012. This is the first time this is known to have happened.
The first inMotion Senior Leadership Council was formed with Judge Shelley C. Chapman, Norma Corio, Bryan Marsal, Jim Millstein and Brad Eric Scheler.
Today, the Council is comprised of a diverse group of individuals who share a strong commitment to Her Justice.
Council members support Her Justice by helping to broaden awareness of and resources for our work. Membership in the Senior Leadership Council is by invitation of the Her Justice Board of Directors.
Read about our Senior Leadership Council.
Apple products account for 14% of all theft crimes in New York City in 2012.
The photography of Max W. Berger, founding partner of Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP, was on display as part of the exhibit – Places – held in April 2013 at the 25CPW Gallery in New York City.
An avid photographer and lifelong New Yorker, Max travels extensively and selected the images for his exhibit, including the one pictured here, from his trips to diverse locations around the world. He donated the proceeds from his exhibit to two nonprofits: inMotion and City Year New York, a part of AmeriCorps.
Max and his wife continue today to be generous supporters of Her Justice.
Want to support Her Justice? Find out how here.
After several years of construction, the spire is installed on New York’s One World Trade Center, making it the sixth tallest freestanding structure, at a symbolic 1,776 ft.
Her Justice once again expands and opens an office in the Manhattan Family Justice Center.
President Barack Obama is inaugurated for his second term in office.
InMotion decided to change its name to something that more specifically expressed the mission of the organization. The name Her Justice spoke directly to our clientele of women and the service we offered them. Our tagline, ‘Shift the Power’, connotes the idea of moving the power from abusers to the resilient and determined women we serve every day.
As when women endorsed the choice of inMotion from Network for Women’s Services because it spoke to their experiences, the choice of Her Justice was welcomed by our clients as a clear statement of what they deserve and what staff and volunteer attorneys work side-by-side with them to achieve.
In the end, our latest renaming as Her Justice felt by all to be in some way an arrival ‘back home,’ to a direct, straightforward statement of what we have always been about.
Nelson Mandela, revolutionary South African leader who helped bring down apartheid, dies at age 95.
In February 2014, Cathy Douglass announced her retirement and the search for her successor. After a six-month search, Her Justice welcomed Amy Barasch.
Amy has devoted most of her career to the issue of women’s rights, in particular intimate partner violence, at nonprofits, government agencies, and law firms.
Until fall 2012, Amy served as the Executive Director of the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, the only State agency of its kind.
Meet the leadership and staff of Her Justice
The top song of the year is “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.
The Junior Advisory Board’s signature chocolate tasting event is rebranded as the Red Party.
Taking place at hip venues around Manhattan, this annual fundraiser attracts a fun crowd — all decked out in red.
Have fun and support Her Justice. Find out about our events for 2018!
Malaysian Airliner MH370 vanishes without a trace, with 239 people on board.
Alice M.’s husband was sentenced to serve 40 years in prison for physically and psychologically abusing his wife, but even after he was locked behind bars he continued to harass her. When Alice filed for divorce, he sued her for access to her retirement benefits, as well as her household possessions. Unable to afford an attorney to protect all that she had worked for, Alice turned to Her Justice.
Not only did the judge give the abuser 0% of the marital assets – a first in divorce proceedings for New York — but new precedent was created whereby marital rape was considered ‘egregious conduct’ and should factor into the equitable distribution of marital assets. Read about her case
In 2015, the New York City Bar Association honored Her Justice Founder and former Executive Director Cathy Douglass (L) with the Kathryn A. McDonald Award.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance wrote in support of Cathy’s nomination:
“Cathy’s vision that individual lawyers and law firms would offer pro bono services in pursuit of this goal is an example of how one person can make a difference. She has made great strides in ensuring that justice is accessible to all, no matter their situation in life.”
The annual Kathryn A. McDonald Award is in memory of Judge McDonald who served from 1986–1995 as the administrative judge for the City’s five Family Courts. http://bit.ly/2lUrQ1D
Her Justice launched its ‘Client Network,’ a monthly meeting for former and current clients to come together and socialize in a casual, supportive environment.
Past activities have included decorating pumpkins at Halloween and creating a ‘tree of thanks’ where clients made personalized leaves and shared what they were grateful for in their lives.
Courage, children, and good coffee were high on the list!
These meetings are now organized by our resident Social Work Manager.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia dies at age 79.
Her Justice embarked on an organization-wide strategic planning exercise to clearly define the way forward over the next five years.
Fundamental considerations included the vision for the future, the specific target audience we are serving, extending our reach and fine-tuning our mission.
Women and justice have always been at the core of why we exist. As we move into our second quarter of a century, Executive Director Amy Barasch has been leading office and Board-wide conversations about the course we want to chart.
As we look forward, we find echoes of our foundations in everything we want to do.
Donald Trump loses the popular vote but wins the electoral college in the U.S. presidential election.
Kirby Tyrrell (second from left), a Skadden Fellow who manages our medical-legal partnership with the Family Health Centers at NYU Langone, a unique initiative in which Her Justice provides on-site legal help to qualifying patients.
In its first year, 211 patients were referred to Her Justice. This initiative represents efforts to broaden our reach by identifying underserved women, especially in immigrant communities.
The United Kingdom votes to leave the European Union.
The Urgent Legal Care project was launched through the leadership support of Dale and Max Berger under the management of Her Justice Senior Staff Attorney Benis Guzman.
This unique project dedicates an in-house Her Justice lawyer to taking high-stakes cases, stabilizing the situation, and gaining the necessary breathing room to connect the client to a volunteer lawyer for the duration of the case.
In the first year, Her Justice provided critically needed legal representation, brief services and advice to 142 women who had high-stakes legal needs and nowhere else to turn.
Want to support the vital work of Her Justice? Find out how here.
The cost of a 30-second Superbowl ad is five million dollars.
The new administration and political climate of 2017 resulted in the tightening of immigration policy, creating an atmosphere of fear and panic among immigrant communities.
Her Justice began conducting ‘Know Your Rights’ clinics to provide critical information to targeted communities.
We also developed Family Preparedness Clinics to help immigrant families prepare child care plans and power of attorney in the case of emergencies such as both parents being arbitrarily detained or deported.
Find out about our Immigration Services.
Millions of people around the world come together for the Women’s March on January 21st, in response to President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
In 2017, 12 Her Justice lawyers mentored 1,585 legal volunteers serving 7,901 women and children for a total of 78,493 volunteer hours representing a value of $38,188,706.
Who we serve
President Donald Trump announces that the United States will pull out of the 2015 Paris climate accord. The year is marked by a series of natural disasters, including record-breaking hurricanes, earthquakes and devastating fires that affect several countries. It is one of the three warmest years ever recorded.
The Junior Advisory Board celebrated its 10th anniversary with a record-breaking Red Party that raised over $120,000.
Join us in 2018 at one of our fantastic events.
The years 1989 and 2017 have an almost perfect 2:1 dollar ratio, so $100 in 1989 would be worth $200 in 2017.
Our newly redesigned Her Justice website launched in January 2018 in honor of our 25th anniversary.
Here’s what our website looked like in 2001, when we were still known as inMotion.
Attendees to the 2018 Golden Globes wear black in support of the #MeToo movement, launched in 2017 as a social media campaign to draw attention to the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment experienced by women.
For the past 25 years, Her Justice and our volunteer legal professionals have been enabling women living in poverty in New York City to obtain free legal help and access to justice, with life-altering outcomes for the over 30,000 clients we have served.
Our unique ‘pro bono first’ approach results in benefits for both volunteers and clients. Lawyers learn about the issues facing people living in poverty in New York City and how things really happen in systems and courts. Clients are able to stabilize their lives, enabled and heard by lawyers who work in marble-lined skyscrapers. Both groups tell us they become different people after the experience.
Three key goals propel us today: reaching deep into communities to identify and assist women who are isolated and underserved; developing a broad spectrum of pro bono opportunities to provide valuable experiences for legal and non-legal professionals; and finally lifting our rich experience with individuals into policy advocacy that can make change for so many more. http://bit.ly/2FIgFlR