Legal Aid Society

Lou Sartori

Chief Counsel, Pro Bono Practice

Lou (he/him) serves as Chief Counsel of the Pro Bono Practice at The Legal Aid Society where he is responsible for the recruitment, administration, and coordination of nearly 3,000 volunteers annually. Working closely with Legal Aid staff in every practice and borough, Lou has implemented pro bono projects serving disinvested clients and communities including, trafficking survivors, senior citizens, court-involved youth, immigrants, LGBTQ+ individuals, residents of public housing, and the accused and incarcerated. Driving systemic change through impact litigation, the Pro Bono Practice partners Legal Aid law reform advocates with law firms to co-counsel matters impacting thousands of New Yorkers every day.

Lou is a member of the New York State Bar Association’s Pro Bono Coordinators Network, The Public Interest Pro Bono Association, and the New York City Bar Association Committee on Pro Bono and Legal Services. A frequent presenter at the ABA-NLADA Equal Justice Conference and other national conferences, Lou has also chaired the annual Practicing Law Institute’s Ethical Issues in Pro Bono program. Lou has been recognized by City & State with the “2017 Responsible 100 Award” as one of New York’s 100 most outstanding corporate citizens.

Prior to joining the Pro Bono Practice, Lou served as Attorney-in-Charge of Legal Aid’s Manhattan and Staten Island Juvenile Rights offices, supervising staff representing thousands of court-involved youth and oversaw the initiation of programs focusing on literacy and the needs of adolescents transitioning from foster care. Prior to joining Legal Aid in 1989, Lou completed a clerkship in the Superior Court of New Jersey. Lou has held senior staff attorney positions in both the Juvenile Rights and Criminal Defense practices. In addition, he has worked in private practice focusing on employee benefits and as a Senior Attorney with Brooklyn Defender Services. Lou previously sat on the NYS Supreme Court First Department Family Court Advisory Committee and was an Adjunct Professor in the Trial Advocacy program at St. John’s University School of Law.