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Staff & Volunteers

Warren J. Sinsheimer, President, founded Partnership for Children’s Rights (PFCR) in 1999. A corporate lawyer for more than 35 years, Warren retired in 1995 as a partner of Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP. He then volunteered as an attorney for Westchester/Putnam 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, including the 1997 New York State Bar Association President’s Pro Bono Service Award, 1999 American Bar Association Senior Lawyers Division Pro Bono Award, 2002 Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Drew University, 2004 American Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Award, 2006 Encore.org Purpose Prize, 2010 Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) Diane Lipton Award for Outstanding Advocacy, and 2011 NYU Law Judge Edward Weinfeld Award. In 2012, Warren was honored by the Brooklyn Family Defense Project for his longstanding support of civil legal services work.

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. He also provides direct legal representation to students with disabilities and their families as part of PFCR’s special education practice. Todd’s work at PFCR continues his career as an advocate for children. 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 represented hundreds of children in child protective, custody/visitation, and juvenile delinquency proceedings in New York State Family and Supreme Court and served as Attorney-in-Charge of the Kings County office.

Erin McCormack-Herbert, Deputy Executive Director, is a 2005 magna cum laude graduate of NYU School of Law. She joined PFCR in 2005 as a Skadden Fellow. As a law student, Erin was an editor of the Law Review, a teaching assistant in the Lawyering Program, and a member of the steering committee of Law Students for Human Rights. She is a long-time volunteer at the Mid-Hudson Valley Camps serving children with deafness and other disabilities. Erin received her Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude from Fordham University in 2002.

Matthew Ahn, Sinsheimer Fellow, is a 2014 graduate of the New York University School of Law. Prior to joining Partnership, Matthew served as an Appellate Fellow at Center for Appellate Litigation, representing indigent defendants in the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court; and clerked for the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York. An avid musician, transit enthusiast, and all-around polymath, Matthew recently reclaimed his Guinness title for the fastest trip to each New York City Subway station. 

Ellen Dykema, Volunteer Consulting Social Worker, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and New York State Licensed School Social Worker, is a graduate of Hunter College School of Social Work. Ellen’s areas of expertise are early childhood education and evaluation of children presenting with developmental delays, psychiatric and behavioral disabilities and children on the Autism Spectrum. Her work includes family assessments and helping parents to understand their child’s needs and to advocate on their behalf. Ellen has worked in a variety of educational and hospital settings as a member of interdisciplinary treatment teams. Ellen has volunteered her services at PFCR since May 2011.

Hannah Flegenheimer, Volunteer Education Specialist, holds a Doctorate in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. 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 later spent five years as Executive Director of the Learning Disabilities Association of New York City and served as a member of its Board. Hannah 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.

Michael D. Hampden, Volunteer Attorney, has been with PFCR since 2000. A graduate of Haverford College and Harvard Law School, he has more than 45 years of experience representing low-income families in a broad range of civil legal issues. He has 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 2005 Legal Services Award from the New York City Bar Association. Michael has trained public interest lawyers in diverse practice areas and was a lecturer and author at the Practising Law Institute’s Third Annual School Law Institute.

Janny Huisman, LMSW, Director of Social Services, holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan and joined PFCR in 2002. With more than 20 years of experience in the field of social work, Janny’s expertise is in child and family assessment, problem solving and planning for appropriate educational, psychological and social services. As an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the NYU Silver School of Social Work, she has trained and supervised graduate-level interns at PFCR and Brooklyn Family Court. She has authored a report on pro-se litigants for the Eastern District Civil Litigation Fund and created educational/training manuals for parents and professionals to negotiate the special education process.

Marjorie Jones, Bookkeeper, joined PFCR in 2008. She is a graduate of the College of Arts and Technology at the University of the West Indies and received a Bachelor of Science in finance from Baruch College. Marjorie worked for 30 years as a controller and office manager for the Enwood Personnel Agency. She is a resident of the Bronx, where she is actively involved in Trinity Episcopal Church and its community programs.

Leslie Kimball, Volunteer Attorney, joined PFCR in 2013. She is a graduate of California State University and the University of San Francisco Law School. She has worked as Counsel at Hogan & Hartson, LLP in New York and as Senior Staff Attorney at Pro Bono Partnership in White Plains. Most recently, she worked at the Law Office of Leslie Y. Kimball, where she provided low-cost legal advice and education to New York child care providers. Leslie has lived and worked in Japan and served as Acting Director of Temple Law School in Japan for one semester.

Ana E. Lazo, Administrator, joined PFCR in 2008. A lawyer in her native country of Colombia, where she graduated with a Juris Doctor from Universidad del Norte in June 1998, Ana is currently enrolled in the LLM program at Brooklyn Law School. 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. Ana received a certificate in English and Computer Management from Long Island University and a certificate in ESL from New York College of Technology’s Adult Learning Center.

Sharon Mack, Staff Attorney, is a 2012 graduate of Fordham University School of Law, where she was a Stein Scholar. She participated in Fordham’s Family Advocacy Clinic as a legal intern, research assistant, and then teaching assistant. Prior to attending law school, Sharon worked for two years as a special education teacher in Donna, Texas through Teach for America. Sharon received her Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude from Cornell University.

Daniel McCarey, Staff Attorney, is a 2016 graduate of the CUNY School of Law. During law school, Daniel worked on a wide variety of civil rights issues, ranging from "Know Your Rights" workshops for underserved communities to serving as a legal intern for the HIV Law Project. A 2006 graduate of Ithaca College, Daniel previously worked with the Boston Children's Hospital, and has volunteered for the Prison Book Program in Quincy, Massachusetts. 

Nicole Saldana, Volunteer Attorney, is a seasoned litigator who has worked as Counsel at Jackson Lewis LLP in New York, Assistant City Solicitor with the City of Cincinnati, and Assistant Prosecuting Attorney with the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office. Nicole’s passion for advancing the rights of children stems from her early career as an advocate for abused and neglected children. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati Law School, Nicole moved to New York City in 2004 and joined PFCR in 2014.

Charles Scholl, Staff Attorney, is a 2009 graduate of CUNY School of Law. He worked as an attorney at Friedman & Moses LLP, representing students and families in special education cases, prior to joining PFCR in 2011. During law school, he interned with the New York City Department of Education.A graduate of Springfield College in Massachusetts, Charles has worked as a middle school teacher in the San Diego City School District as well as in a charter school in Washington, D.C.

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