Legal Aid Society


Natalie Jean-Baptiste Honored with Henry J. Sommer Scholarship

The Legal Aid Society’s Natalie Jean-Baptiste is the recipient of the 2023 Henry J. Sommer Scholarship. The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) presents this annual award to an exceptional attorney who shows the same dedication of service to their clients that President Emeritus and Board of Directors member Henry J. Sommer gave to the NACBA.

Natalie is an experienced consumer bankruptcy attorney with a strong commitment to economic empowerment and social justice. She recently joined The Legal Aid Society of New York as a Staff Attorney after nearly a decade in private practice. Prior to becoming a consumer rights advocate, Natalie worked for many years as a music industry attorney. Her personal experience with student loan debt led her to become a consumer bankruptcy attorney.

She represented herself in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding and was able to settle her federal student loan debt. After her success, she developed a passion for helping others in the same situation and founded My Student Loan Counselor, a counseling service that empowers student loan debtors with the tools and information they need to increase financial stability so that they can have the freedom and peace of mind to live the life of their dreams. In addition to financial education, Natalie also provides legal representation in the areas of credit repair, debt collection defense, bankruptcy and consumer protection.

“It is NACBA’s great honor to award the prestigious Henry Sommer Legal Aid Scholarship to Ms. Natalie Jean-Baptiste,” says NACBA President Richard H. Nemeth. “The scholarship is given in recognition of the leading role legal services attorneys play in advocating for consumer debtors in bankruptcy and our gratitude for that important and often difficult work. As a legal aid attorney in Jamaica, New York, Ms. Jean-Baptiste represents debtors in chapters 7 and 13 bankruptcies with determination and passion, and personifies NACBA’s historic commitment the rights of low-income consumers with overwhelming debt.”

“I am humbled and honored to receive this award and look forward to my first NACBA Convention in DC,” said Jean-Baptiste.

Congratulations to Natalie, who will be recognized for this scholarship during NACBA’s 31st Annual Convention next month in Washington, DC.