Legal Aid Society

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Esperanza Colón Honored by NYC Bar Association

The Legal Aid Society’s Esperanza “Espy” Colón is the recipient of the New York City Bar Association’s City Legal Services award. The Legal Services Awards were established to recognize the efforts of lawyers and non-lawyers who have directly provided free legal services to low-income clients on a full-time basis for an extended period of time.

Espy’s tenure at The Legal Aid Society began 30 years ago, starting as a housing staff attorney in the Bronx Neighborhood Office, moving into government benefits and disability practice, and currently serving as a government benefits supervising attorney in our Brooklyn Office. From the beginning of her employment, she demonstrated aspirational empathy and respect for the clients we serve. Espy’s career ambitions resulted in her doing more than representing clients, but also recruiting and leading staff for Project FAIR, training law students, volunteers, colleagues, community members and pro bono volunteers. She always carries out her passion and duties with high levels of energy and efforts we all aspire to match.

Her most recent exemplary advocacy was convening and managing a citywide, cross-unit working group leading The Legal Aid Society on ERAP (Emergency Rental Assistance Program) implementation. Espy got the word out on this program to colleagues, clients and peers during a compressed application period, while committing to her already-packed daily schedule of managing a large team of casehandlers in Brooklyn’s housing team. Her commitments to clients reflects her life-long commitment to public interest, with an exceptional ability to view each client as an individual. She is an outstanding advocate for New Yorkers.

Congratulations to Espy who was honored at a ceremony earlier this week along with her fellow honorees: Peter Kempner from Volunteers of Legal Service, Susan Shin from the New Economy Project, Marlene Urena from Legal Information for Families Today, and Lauren Wyatt, from Catholic Charities Community Services.