Staff & Volunteers

Staff

Warren J. Sinsheimer
President (ext. 222)

Todd Silverblatt
Executive Director (ext. 223)

Amanda Sen
Sinsheimer Fellow (ext. 249)

Michael D. Hampden
Senior Attorney (ext. 226)

Sharon Mack
Staff Attorney (ext. 251)

Erin McCormack-Herbert
Senior Attorney (ext. 229)

Dalit Paradis
Senior Attorney (ext.224)

Thomas Gray
Staff Attorney (ext. 246)

Charles Scholl
Staff Attorney (ext. 261 )

Janny Huisman, LMSW
Director of Social Services (ext. 239)

Ana E. Lazo
Administrator (ext. 236)

Volunteers

Joan Amron, M.Ed. (ext. 227)

Larry Bodkin (ext. 233)

Ellen Dykema (ext. 253 )

Hannah Flegenheimer, Ed. D. (ext. 230)

Jessica Gross (ext. 252)

David Irwin (ext. 247)

Leslie Kimball (ext. 242)

Phyllis A. Klein (ext. 228)

Emily Sherwood, Ph.D. (ext. 250)

Richard Silver (ext. 260)




Staff

Warren J. Sinsheimer Warren J. Sinsheimer, President, founded the Partnership for Children’s Rights (PFCR) in 1999. A corporate lawyer for more than 35 years, Warren retired in 1995 as a partner of the law firm of Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP. He then volunteered for four years as an attorney for Hudson Valley Legal Services, concentrating on special education cases, before leaving to found PFCR. Warren has received many awards honoring his work on behalf of disadvantaged children. In 1997, he received the President’s Pro Bono Service Award for the Ninth Judicial District from the New York State Bar Association. In 1999, the American Bar Association presented him with the Senior Lawyers Division Pro Bono Award. In 2002, he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree by Drew University. In 2004, The American Bar Association honored him with its Pro Bono Publico Award. And in 2006, Civic Ventures made him a Purpose Prize Fellow. In addition to heading PFCR, Warren is the organization’s most senior special education attorney.
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Todd Silverblatt Todd Silverblatt, Executive Director, has been with PFCR since its founding in 1999. He is in charge of the legal practice, office management, recruitment, training and supervision of staff, program development, and new projects. Todd represents children with special education needs as he continues his lifelong career as an advocate for children. He is also responsible for the training and development of volunteer attorneys in the Volunteers for Children division. A graduate of Brooklyn Law School, Todd worked for more than 20 years with the Juvenile Rights Division of the Legal Aid Society of New York where he was Attorney-in-Charge of the Kings County office. He has represented hundreds of children in child protective, custody/visitation and juvenile delinquency proceedings in Family and Supreme Court. He is also certified as a Law Guardian in Domestic Relations Matters in the Appellate Division, First Department.
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Amanda Sen, Sinsheimer Fellow, graduated in 2012 from New York University School of Law, where she was a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar, Executive Editor of the Law Review, and Center for Human Rights and Global Justice Fellow. Prior to attending law school, Ms. Sen worked as a learning specialist at the Children’s Storefront School in New York City. She received both a B.A. and M.A. Ed. in Elementary Education from Washington University in St. Louis.

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Michael D. Hampden Michael D. Hampden, Senior Attorney, has been with PFCR since February 2000. A graduate of Haverford College and Harvard Law School, he has more than 40 years of experience representing low-income families in a broad range of civil legal issues. He has previously served as Executive Director of Westchester/Putnam Legal Services, Project Director of Bronx Legal Services, Attorney-in-Charge of the New York Legal Aid Society, Bronx trial office, and Assistant Attorney-in-Charge of the Legal Aid Society, Civil Appeals Bureau. He is the 1999 recipient of the Denison Ray Award from the New York State Bar Association and the Annual Legal Services Award from the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. In addition, he has trained dozens of public interest lawyers in diverse practice areas, and was a lecturer and author at the Practising Law Institute’s Third Annual School Law Institute.
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Sharon Mack, Staff Attorney, a 2012 graduate of Fordham University School of Law, received the Archibald R. Murray Summa Cum Laude Public Service Award. She is a 2007 graduate of Cornell University, where she headed the Cornell Union for Disabilities Awareness. Ms. Mack spent two years prior to law school in Teach for America, where she taught special education for middle school students in Donna, Texas.
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Erin McCormack


Erin McCormack-Herbert, Senior Attorney, graduated magna cum laude from the NYU School of Law. As a law student, she was an Associative Executive Editor of the Law Review, a teaching assistant in the Lawyering Program, and a member of the steering committee for Law Students for Human Rights. She interned at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, before joining PFCR as a Skadden Fellow in 2005. Erin has also worked for programs helping children who are deaf and have serious developmental disabilities.
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Dalit Paradis


Dalit Paradis, Senior Attorney, graduated in 2008 from the NYU School of Law, where she was honored with editorship of the Annual Survey of American Law and was a member of the Order of the Coit. She also served as a teaching assistant, volunteered as a student advocate, and worked at the Unemployment Action Center during law school. She was PFCR’s first Sinsheimer Fellow before becoming a staff attorney. Ms. Paradis graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Psychology.
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Tom Gray has worked in the Social Security Administration’s Office of the General Counsel, Region II in New York City, where he was Associate Regional Counsel, representing the SSA in federal court litigation. He previously worked at The Defender Association of Philadelphia representing indigent adults and juveniles. A graduate of NYU School of Law in 2004, Mr. Gray received his B.A. in History with Honors from Brown University.
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Charles Scholl, Staff Attorney. a recent graduate of CUNY School of Law, began his legal career as a pro bono attorney for New York Lawyers for the Public Interest. He subsequently worked as an attorney at Friedman & Moses. LLP, representing students and families in special education impartial hearing litigation, prior to joining PFCR in 2011. A graduate of Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts, Mr. Scholl has worked as a middle school teacher in the San Diego City School District as well as a charter school in Washington, DC. He has also worked as a law clerk for the New York Department of Education.
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Janny Huisman Janny Huisman, LMSW, Director of Social Services, holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan and joined PFCR in 2002. She has worked with families and children for more than 20 years through programs at Legal Services of Southeastern Michigan, the Juvenile Rights Division of the Legal Aid Society, and the Eastern District Civil Litigation Fund. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the NYU School of Social Work. In addition, she has supervised interns at the Brooklyn Family Court and is a mediator trained at the Ackerman Institute for the Family.

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Ana E. Lazo Ana E. Lazo, Administrator, joined PFCR in 2008. A lawyer in her native country of Colombia, where she graduated with a J.D. from Universidad del Norte in June 1998, Ana also received a Certificate in English and Computer Management from Long Island University and recently attended New York College of Technology’s Adult Learning Center. When in Colombia, Ana served as a law clerk in the Superior Tribunal of Barranquilla and was in-house counsel at Banco Superior. Since coming to the United States, she has served as a legal intern at Lansner & Kubitscheck and worked as a paralegal at Thaker Berowitz LLP.

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Volunteers

Joan Amron Joan Amron, M.Ed., a graduate of Teacher’s College, Columbia University, spent 35 years in private practice, testing and working with learning disabled children in the New York area. She also served as a consultant to several Manhattan private schools. A former head of the Yorkville Civic Council, Joan is a long-time board member of Goddard Riverside Community Center, one of New York’s historic settlement houses serving children and adults on the Upper West Side and West Harlem. She joined PFCR in the spring of 2007 to advise on educational issues and services.
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Larry Bodkin Larry Bodkin is a graduate of Harvard Law School and holds a master’s degree in tax law from NYU. He practiced law for many years at Wilke Farr & Gallagher, LLP, specializing in tax law and employee benefit plans. He joined PFCR in 2001 to handle special education cases, while still maintaining a private practice. He also serves as a mediator and is on the mediation panels of the SDNY and EDNY Federal Courts.
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Ellen Dykema, a graduate of CCNY and Hunter College of Social Work, has had an extensive career in social work with a focus on special needs children. Before joining PFCR in 2011, she was a social worker for the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG), working in their special education/child advocacy unit. She has worked in a preschool for children with special needs as well as in a variety of pediatric medical settings.
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Hannah Flegenheimer Hannah Flegenheimer, Ed.D., a graduate of Teachers College, Columbia University, spent five years as Executive Director of the Learning Disabilities Association of New York City and served, until recently, as a member of its Board. She worked for 15 years at the New York State Education Department where she supervised the staff responsible for monitoring school districts’ compliance with special education laws and regulations. She has taught special education courses at a number of colleges and universities and has supervised student teachers at public and private schools in New York City. At PFCR, she reviews clients’ school records and works with lawyers in preparing cases.
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Jessica Gross is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University and a Magna Cum Laude graduate of NYU School of Law. Following law school, she worked until 2009 in the corporate department at Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett where she specialized in securities law. She joined PFCR in 2011.

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David Irwin David Irwin, a graduate of Harvard Law School, served three years as a Navy JAG and spent over 30 years as a partner at Dewey Ballantine LLP. After retiring in 2005, David joined PFCR where he works in the special education unit. David has long been an active participant in local civic affairs in his home town of Scarsdale, New York, and he is an active volunteer with the United Way.
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Leslie Kimball has worked as Counsel at Hogan & Hartson, LLP in New York, as Senior Staff Attorney at Pro Bono Partnership in White Plains, New York, and most recently at the Law Office of Leslie Y. Kimball, where she provides low cost legal advice and education to New York child care providers. A graduate of California State University and University of San Francisco Law School, Ms. Kimball has lived and worked in Japan, where she also served as Acting Director of Temple Law School in Japan for a semester.
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Phyllis A. Klein Phyllis A. Klein joined PFCR in 2002 and concentrates on special education law. Phyllis earned her law degree at the Fordham School of Law after obtaining a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) from Harvard University, as well as a master’s degree in American History from New York University. She was previously employed as Associate General Counsel at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, and as an associate in the health care group of Proskauer Rose LLP. She received the Legal Services for Children’s Samuel Johnson Award for Public Service in 2005.
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Emily Sherwood, Ph.D., is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and holds a Ph.D. in social policy from Brandeis University’s Heller School. She spent 20 years as an active volunteer in civic and educational affairs, most recently serving on the Scarsdale Board of Education, as well as Westchester County and New York State school board committees. She is currently a trustee of the Scarsdale Foundation where she is a member of their scholarship committee and coordinates their public information.
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Mr. Silver has recently retired from corporate law practice. He spent most of his career at AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company, where he was General Counsel for over a decade.




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