October 6, 2014, 6:10-7:45 p.m.
Room 129, Yale Law School, 127 Wall Street, New Haven, Connecticut
Co-sponsored by the Arthur Liman Public Interest Program, the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization,
American Constitution Society (ACS), Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA), Latino/a Law
Students’ Association (LLSA), Native American Law Students’ Association (NALSA), South Asian Law Students’
Association (SALSA), Yale Black Law Students Association (BLSA), and Yale Law Women (YLW)
This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of New Haven Legal Assistance Association, Inc., which
was founded in 1964 “to secure justice for and to protect the rights of those residents of New
Haven County unable to engage legal counsel.” NHLAA was one of the first offices in the
country to offer free civil legal services and became a template for similar programs elsewhere.
In the half century since, the legal services model has expanded, retrenched, and adapted in
response to shifting political, legal, and social climates. Join NHLAA’s Executive Director and
former Liman Fellows—all of whom are dedicated to serving marginalized individuals and
communities—to discuss the current landscape of civil legal services in New Haven and beyond.
Monica Bell
Climenko Fellow and Ph.D. candidate in Sociology and Social Policy,
Harvard University, Liman Fellow, 2011
Susan Garcia Nofi
Executive Director, New Haven Legal Assistance Association, Inc.
Tianna Gibbs
Supervising Attorney, Domestic Violence/Family Law Unit,
Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, Liman Fellow, 2008
Raquiba Huq
Supervising Attorney, Immigration Representation Project, Legal Services of New Jersey,
Liman Fellow, 2007
Amy Meselson
Staff Attorney, Legal Aid Society of New York City, Liman Fellow, 2002
J. L. Pottenger, Jr.
Nathan Baker Clinical Professor of Law, Yale Law School and
President, New Haven Legal Assistance Association, Inc.
Moderator: Judith Resnik, Arthur Liman Professor of Law, Yale Law School
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Speaker Biographies
Monica Bell is a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School and a Ph.D.
candidate in Sociology and Social Policy at Harvard. Her research focuses on the relationship
between low-income families and the criminal justice system. She is completing projects
involving prisoner reentry in Boston; perceptions of neighborhood crime in Dallas; and
relationships between low-income mothers and the police in Washington, D.C. Before starting
graduate school in 2011, Bell was a Liman Fellow at the Legal Aid Society of the District of
Columbia, where she worked on legislative advocacy and agency outreach related to public
benefits and family law reform. Bell also clerked for the Honorable Cameron McGowan Currie
of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina. Bell is a 2009 graduate of Yale Law
School. She also holds degrees from University College Dublin and Furman University. Before
law school, Bell worked in local, state, and presidential campaigns in her home state of South
Susan Garcia Nofi has been Executive Director at LAA since September, 2012. Previously, she
was Deputy Director (2009 – 2012) and a staff attorney (1996 – 2002) at LAA. From 2002-2009,
Susan worked for the Connecticut Department of Labor's Employment Security Appeals
Division, first as Appeals Referee and later as Principal Attorney to the Board of Review, which
decided unemployment compensation appeals. She received her J.D. from the Quinnipiac
University School of Law and a B.S. from Southern Connecticut State University. Susan speaks
Spanish and is a member of the bar in the State of Connecticut and the United States District
Court for the District of Connecticut. Susan serves on the Boards of Directors of the Community
Fund for Women and Girls, the Lower Naugatuck Valley Parent-Child Resource Center, the
Legal Assistance Resource Center of Connecticut and the New Haven County Bar Association.
She is a member of the Connecticut Judicial Branch Access to Justice Commission, the
Connecticut Judicial Branch Pro Bono Committee, the Connecticut Bar Association, and the
Connecticut Hispanic Bar Association. She has been a presenter at trainings and conferences of
the National Employment Law Project, the National Legal Aid & Defender Association, the
National Association of Unemployment Insurance Appellate Boards and the Legal Services
Technology Initiative Grants.
Tianna Gibbs is a Supervising Attorney in the Domestic Violence/Family Law Unit at the Legal
Aid Society of the District of Columbia. She represents domestic violence survivors in custody
and civil protection order cases as well as custodial and noncustodial parents in child support
cases. She also engages in policy advocacy and court reform efforts to improve the District’s
child support system. Gibbs joined Legal Aid in September 2008 as an Arthur Liman Public
Interest Fellow, where she provided direct representation to and advocated on behalf of lowincome District parents who are involved with the child support system. Gibbs is currently a
member of the D.C. Superior Court Paternity and Child Support Rules Drafting Committee and
the D.C. Superior Court Paternity and Child Support Subcommittee of the Family Court
Implementation Committee. Gibbs graduated with a B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, from Stanford
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University, where she was a Gates Millennium Scholar. She received her J.D. from Yale Law
School, where she was a law student intern in the Community and Economic Development
Clinic, Landlord-Tenant Clinic, and Community Lawyering Clinic. She also served as a student
supervisor in the Domestic Violence Clinic. While in law school, Gibbs received the Stephen J.
Massey Prize, which is awarded to the clinic student who most exhibits the values of the Jerome
N. Frank Legal Services Organization.
Raquiba Huq is the Supervising Attorney of the Immigration Representation Project (IRP) at
Legal Services of New Jersey, which she joined in 2007 as a Liman Fellow. The IRP is one of
the leading providers of free legal advice and representation to low-income immigrants
throughout the state of New Jersey. The project’s work has a particular focus on serving the
needs of detained immigrants, victims of crime, unaccompanied minors, and individuals with
physical or mental health disabilities. Huq’s fellowship focused on outreach and direct
representation related to gender-based immigration claims. She helped develop a unit specially
focused on issues related to gender, specifically handling claims of victims of domestic abuse,
female genital mutilation, rape, forced marriages, honor killing threats, and other forms of
gender-related violence. Huq also serves on the Board of Directors for the Refugee
Reunification Project, which raises and distributes funds to assist asylees with bringing their
family members to the United States. Raquiba is a graduate of Yale Law School and Princeton
Amy Meselson has been a staff attorney in the immigration law unit at the Legal Aid Society of
New York City since joining as a Liman Fellow in 2002. Her practice focuses on federal court
litigation primarily related to deportation and detention of non-citizens. Meselson is also a
Lecturer-in-Law at Columbia Law School, where she has taught courses on immigration. She
served as a law clerk to the Honorable Victor Marrero in the Southern District of New York and
is a graduate of Yale Law School. She holds an M.A. in philosophy from Harvard University
and a B.A. from Brown University.
J.L. Pottenger, Jr., is the Nathan Baker Clinical Professor of Law at Yale Law School and
President of the New Haven Legal Assistance Association. His subjects include housing and
community development, legislative advocacy, prison legal services, trial practice,
landlord/tenant law, and professional responsibility. Professor Pottenger received his A.B. from
Princeton and his J.D. from Yale.
Judith Resnik is the Arthur Liman Professor of Law at Yale Law School, where she teaches
about federalism, procedure, courts, prisons, equality, and citizenship. She is the founding
director of Yale’s Arthur Liman Program and Fund, supporting fellowships for law graduates
and undergraduates, and sponsoring colloquia and seminars on the civil and criminal justice
systems. From its inception in 1997 through 2014, 102 graduates of the Yale Law School have
held Liman fellowships. During the past few years, the Liman Program has been working on a
series of projects related to the isolation of individuals in prison -- in terms of both the
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geographical placements of prisons and the rules under which prisoners live. In September of
2014, the Liman Program released a report, Dislocation and Relocation: Women in the Federal
Prison System and Repurposing FCI Danbury for Men, examining the impact of federal prison
placement policies on women and their families.
Professor Resnik is also an occasional
litigator; she argued Mohawk Industries, Inc. v. Carpenter, decided in 2009 by the United States
Supreme Court. Her recent writings include Representing Justice: Invention, Controversy, and
Rights in City-States and Democratic Courtrooms (with Dennis Curtis, Yale University Press,
2011), which won the Order of the Coif award in 2014 for outstanding contributions to legal
scholarship, Migrations and Mobilities: Citizenship, Borders, and Gender (co-edited with Seyla
Benhabib, NYU, 2009), and Reinventing Courts as Democratic Institutions (Daedalus 2014).
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