Legal Aid Society

Justine Luongo

Chief Attorney

Tina has served as the Chief Attorney of the Criminal Defense Practice since 2014 where they are responsible for the daily operation of all of the practice’s trial, appellate, post-conviction, law reform and parole defense work conducted on behalf of over 200,000 clients. They lead a citywide team of 12 senior managers who, in turn, manage the practice’s over 1100 staff. Prior to the appointment as the organization’s chief defender, they served as the Deputy Attorney-in-Charge of the Criminal Defense Practice. They began their Legal Aid career in September 2002 as a staff attorney in the New York County trial office of the Criminal Defense Practice and was promoted to Supervising Attorney in the same office in 2007 where they continued to directly represent clients, as well as train and manage their team of attorneys, paralegals and investigators.

Prior to joining the Society, Tina served as Vice President of Operations for the National Council for Unity, a nonprofit organization implementing gang intervention/prevention programs in New York City schools and Boys and Girls Clubs of America. There, they spent over a decade in charge of the organization’s financial, development, communication and human resource staff. In that role, they negotiated and managed the organization’s city, state and private funding and was the organization’s liaison with the Department of Education, Department of Youth and Community Development, United Federation of Teachers and Council of Supervisors and Administrators.

In their current role, Tina happily dedicates much of their time working on ways to create best practices within the Society. They play an active role in the development of the Criminal Defense Practice’s training programs, networks across the country with other criminal justice leaders on ways to improve the overall public defender profession and plays a key role in many of this City’s criminal justice reform initiative. They are the President-Elect of the Chief Defender Association of New York, former Chair of the American Bar Associations’ Task Force of Comprehensive Representation, Steering Committee Member of the National Association for Public Defense, member of the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Council and member of the New York State Bar Association Committee of Quality Mandated Representation.