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Janet Sabel Reflects on Positive Changes at LAS

Janet Sabel is stepping down as Attorney-in-Chief and CEO of The Legal Aid Society, and she reflected on the progress she has seen over her career with the organization in a new interview with the New York Law Journal.

Sabel first joined Legal Aid in 1984 and over the next 25 years served the organization in several roles, including as General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer. In 2011 she left to join the New York Attorney General’s Office where she oversaw a number of high-profile actions. Janet returned to Legal Aid in 2019 and would lead the organization’s advocacy efforts which resulted in comprehensive rent regulations and historic pretrial reforms.

Under Janet’s leadership, Legal Aid was able to rise to the enormous challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, harnessing the crisis as a catalyst for transformative change for the clients and communities the organization serves.

She has also laid the groundwork for Legal Aid’s success moving forward. Her accomplishments include expanding the organization’s client services, securing pay parity with City prosecutorial offices for attorneys beginning their careers, modernizing the organization’s operations, and building an affirming workplace that draws on and celebrates Legal Aid’s diversity, equity, and inclusion values.

Legal Aid has been Janet’s professional home and she is proud of the way the organization has grown and flourished into the essential New York City institution it is today, keeping the clients and communities it serves at its center.

“I don’t know that we were the go-to place, the thought leader, or the practice leader on how to represent our clients holistically,” Sabel said. “We are that now.”