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A career in legal aid: Perspectives from Sally Fisher Curran

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Legal Aid Work

Legal aid is crucial to those unable to afford legal services, and a career serving the underserved can be hugely rewarding. ABA Law Student Podcast host Meghan Steenburgh talks with Sally Fisher Curran about her passion for increasing access to justice and her career experiences working in legal aid.

About our guest

Sally Fisher Curran is the executive director of The Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County, Inc. (OnVLP), a pro bono legal services organization serving low-income people throughout Central New York. She has guided OnVLP through a spin off into an independent nonprofit, major technology upgrades, and expansion, including new programming to address immigration, family matters, LGBT rights, homeless needs and community economic development.

Prior to joining OnVLP, Sally had a family law practice in Portland, Maine, where she provided over 200 hours of pro bono service every year. Sally graduated summa cum laude from the University of Maine with degrees in Spanish Language and Women’s Studies and obtained her Juris Doctorate at the City University of New York College of Law. She is licensed to practice law in New York and Maine. From Fall 2016 through Spring 2018 she served as an Adjunct Professor of Law heading the LGBT Community Clinic for Cornell Law.

She serves on the Boards of the Housing and Homeless Coalition of Central New York and the Syracuse Parks Conservancy, and is a member of the NYSBA President’s Committee on Access to Justice and Committee on LGBT People and the Law. She is a former Board member of both the Onondaga County Bar Association and the Central New York Women’s Bar Associations and former member of the NYSBA Committee on Legal Aid.

About the Host

Meghan Steenburgh is a 1L in the JDi program at Syracuse University College of Law. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and holds a Master of Science in Broadcast Journalism from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications. Meghan’s status as a law school student follows a career in broadcast journalism, corporate communications, politics, and state government. Meghan is a fourth-generation harpist; she also enjoys mountain running and mountain biking. Meghan is married with four young children. She and her husband are active members of the Bridge Angel Investors of Sarasota, Florida.


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