This program, taught by Lana Pelletier McCrea, attorney with Mobilization for Justice Inc.’s Mental Health Law Project, and Ruth Enriquez, a paralegal with the Government Benefits and Immigration Law Projects, will provide a toolkit for attorneys to improve their interviewing skills with clients who have physical and/or mental disabilities.
Every client has a unique lived experience and specific needs, and it is the advocate’s duty to differentiate and respond proactively to those particularities during the interview and the entire representation. This course will walk attorneys through best practices for responding to the unique challenges posed by the interview process in these cases. The presenters will also educate attorneys on various accessibility issues that can impact your clients, and specific techniques to build and maintain trust throughout the interview and during the case.
Ruth Enriquez is a Paralegal working with Mobilization for Justice’s Government Benefits Project and their Immigration Law Project. MFJ's Government Benefits Project assists individuals with legal problems relating to Public Assistance, SNAP/Food Stamps, Medicaid/Medicare, and Disability Benefits. This assistance includes representing clients at administrative hearings and advocating for clients at the applicable government agency. MFJ's Immigration Law Project serves immigrants in various stages of obtaining legal statuses. This involves preparing applications for Asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, Adjustment of Status, and Naturalization. Both GBP and ILP conduct monthly on-site clinics with various community-based organizations.
Before her arrival at Mobilization for Justice, Ruth was a Leadership for Educational Equity Policy and Advocacy Summer fellow. She spent her summer with the NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS) in their Budget Division analyzing employee practices and forecasting strategic staffing plans to increase department efficiency. Before her time with DHS, she was a Teach for America Corps Member, teaching Pre-K at a Community Based Organization located in Inwood, NY. During her time teaching, she attended Relay Graduate School of Education and later graduated with her Masters in Teaching. She is a graduate of Cornell University where she studied Sociology, Policy Analysis, Demography, and Business.
Lana Pelletier McCrea is an attorney in the Mental Health Law Project (MHLP) at Mobilization for Justice, Inc., which offers a wide variety of civil legal services to New Yorkers with mental health disabilities at the administrative, trial, and appellate levels. Before joining MFJ, Ms. Pelletier McCrea worked as an attorney at the community-based Goddard Riverside Law Project where she specialized in Single Room Occupancy (“SRO”) housing. Ms. Pelletier McCrea graduated from McGill University’s unique trans-systemic and bilingual law program in 2015, receiving degrees in both civil and common law. At McGill, Ms. Pelletier McCrea served as a contributing editor to the online publication of the McGill Journal of Law and Health. Ms. Pelletier McCrea is admitted in New York State and the Southern District of New York.