COMPLETE VIDEO: 166th CityLaw Breakfast with Janet Sabel, CEO, The Legal Aid Society

CEO and Attorney-in Chief of Legal Aid Janet Sabel speaking at the 166th CityLaw Breakfast

On Friday, February 14, 2020, Legal Aid Society CEO, Janet Sabel, spoke at the 166th CityLaw Breakfast at New York Law School. Ms. Sabel was introduced by New York Law School Professor Alvin Bragg. Professor Ross Sandler, Director of the Center for New York City Law and Dean Anthony W. Crowell gave opening remarks. This Breakfast was sponsored by ConEdison, GreenbergTraurig, and Verizon. The Impact Center for Public Interest Law also co-sponsored the event. Attorney-in-chief Sabel spoke on “Working Towards Justice One Case at a Time.”


Attorney-in-Chief Janet Sabel opened her speech explaining why she is involved in the work she does. She stated she finds working on race and poverty issues both sustaining and fulfilling but admitted at times it can be “frustrating.” Attorney-in-Chief Sabel then spoke about the high volume of work completed by her office. She explained that nearly 43 percent of New Yorkers are at or below the poverty level and called the criminal justice system “broken.”

The Attorney-in-Chief then pointed out a need to connect class and poverty legal work to the impacted communities. She stated there are powerful collectives and alliances within our communities that can help bring about that change. She highlighted that effectiveness by  referencing the successes of Charles Hamilton Houston. According to Sabel, Houston understood that progress could not happen without public activism.

Lastly, Sabel highlighted the successes of her office including discovery reform, the fight against mass incarceration and the fight against homelessness. Sabel also commended New York Law School Professor Andrew Scherer for his work establishing a right-to-counsel in housing court. Attorney-in-Chief Sabel closed her remarks talking about Legal Aid’s efforts going forward.

Watch the full video to see Attorney-in-Chief Janet Sabel answer questions about Legal Aid’s funding, immigrant youth over twenty-one years in age, and the new discovery laws.

To watch the video, click here.


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