Monica was born and raised in Miami. Her family instilled in her the value of service to give back for the opportunities that they were given upon arriving in this community. She is passionate about ensuring that others have access to these same opportunities. As an undergraduate at the University of Miami, she interned on Capitol Hill quickly grasping the impact that public policy and its implementation has on vulnerable communities and access to the opportunities her family described could be achieved through the law by providing access to justice. While at University of Miami’s School of Law, she began her career at Legal Services’ Homeless Legal Advocacy Project providing legal assistance to remove legal barriers to economic opportunities. She later went on to advocate for greater access to government’s safety net for families as well as healthcare access for children. As Executive Director, Monica is dedicated to ensuring equal access to justice – which for many is equal access to housing, education and healthcare.
Margaret Z. Moores
Deputy Director of Advocacy & Programs
A career Legal Services attorney and administrator, Margaret first forged her deep commitment to the law, justice and social activism as a student at the University of Wisconsin during the 1970s. After graduating from law school she practiced in Minnesota, Arizona, Wisconsin and South Florida, defending the rights of children, farm workers, tenants and the disabled as well as advocating for education equality.
Deputy Director of Operations
Born and raised in Miami, Vivian always knew she wanted to be a lawyer. Her mother was a legal secretary at Legal Services of Greater Miami so she had been exposed to public interest work at a very young age. Giving back to the community was something that Vivian observed growing up and was taught by her immigrant parents. While attending law school at Loyola University –New Orleans, Vivian took law and poverty, street law and was a student intern in the legal clinic handling various cases for vulnerable clients. Her time at Loyola solidified her desire to be a public interest lawyer at a legal aid agency. For the past 20 years Vivian has been at Legal Services.
Jeffery M. Hearne
Director of Litigation
Jeff serves as the Director of Litigation where he oversees the firm's significant litigation and appeals, and provides a strategic focus to the firm's advocacy in all of its practice areas. Jeff found his calling during his first summer of law school when he helped defend evictions while clerking at the AIDS Legal Referral Project in San Francisco. After graduating from the University of Texas School of Law in 2001, Jeff moved to Miami and immediately started working as a housing attorney at Legal Services. He is also the Director of the Tenants' Rights Clinic at the University of Miami School of Law which is based at Legal Services. In 2015, he received the Housing Justice Award from the National Housing Law Project for his “successful and dynamic pursuit of housing justice for people most in need.”
Chief Information Officer
Ilenia is the daughter of Cuban parents who came to Miami in the early 1980's as exiles. Her parents instilled in her the importance to help those less fortunate. While in law school Ilenia learned about Legal Services and volunteered for the Summer. She has been with Legal Services ever since.
Ilenia is a mom of 2 amazing boys who inspire her every day to try and make our community better for everyone.
Chief Diversity Officer & Pro Bono Advocacy Director
Jayme always knew that she had a passion to help people. From an early age she was taught that “strong people don’t put each other down, they lift each other up.” Jayme was raised by her single parent mom, a retired Air Force Veteran. Her mom worked hard to provide Jayme a great education and she was determined to do something important with that gift. Jayme received the Pro Bono Service Award when she graduated from Seton Hall College of Law. She enjoyed her work as a litigator in private practice, working in New York, New Jersey and Florida. Jayme made a conscious decision to follow her passion. She has dedicated her legal career to providing legal assistance to those who cannot afford it.
Director of Strategic Partnerships and Advocacy
Jocelyn is the advocacy director of the health and income unit. As an advocacy director Jocelyn leads her unit in developing strategies for the delivery of creative, effective advocacy in the areas of education, health, public benefits, immigration and tax. She works with unit staff attorneys on unit projects such as the LGBT Justice Project, Children’s Legal Services Project, Veteran’s Advocacy Project, Low Income Tax Clinic, Resident Re-Entry Project, Homeless Legal Advocacy Project, and the Ryan White Project. Jocelyn joined Legal Services as a staff attorney in 2007 immediately after earning her J.D. from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois.
Born to Cuban-American exiles, Jose developed a sense of hard work and fairness from his parents early on. In his last year of law school, Jose clerked at Legal Services of Greater Miami, where he found others willing to work hard to ensure fairness in the application of justice to low-income families. Inspired by the staff and one attorney in particular, Robert Hornstein, Jose found his calling and joined the team full time after graduating in 1994. Working to level the playing field for program clients, Jose has grown from law clerk to staff attorney to Advocacy Director, and has enjoyed providing guidance, mentoring, and instruction to law students and new attorneys to ensure the sense of fairness marches on.
After deciding to switch careers from finance to law, Mandy attended Florida International University College of Law where she became inspired by the work of Legal Services after participating in a community development clinic taught by a veteran attorney working for Legal Services. Mandy has spent the more than 10 years of her legal career at Legal Services where she's helped the disabled, working poor and elderly defend against foreclosure, deed fraud, auto fraud, student loan collection, and debt collection, as well as helped clients obtain and maintain public benefits, all through administrative, state, federal and appellate advocacy. She’s also had the opportunity to serve as a member of the Florida Bar’s 11th Circuit Grievance Committee “J,” to serve as a director of the Dade County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section, to sit on the board of the HIV/AIDS Partnership board for Miami-Dade County, and to spearhead Legal Services’ Small Claims Court Clinic.
Sean went to law school knowing he wanted to work at a non-profit firm. While in college, Sean became active in fighting for a number of causes at his university. His work, which made him more passionate about social justice issues, caused him to work closely with civil liberties attorneys in his community. This experience steered him in the direction of public interest law.
Chiara began her legal career as a social justice fellow witnessing the effects of poverty and the extreme lack of resources and supportive services for those most in need. Firmly believing that safe, decent, and sanitary housing is one of the pillars of a safe and vibrant community, Chiara is dedicated to assist nonprofit organizations that provide much needed affordable housing and other community based services to low income residents of Miami-Dade County.
Mary Ann David
Health and Income Maintenance
Mary Ann was introduced to the nonprofit world relatively late in her career and she's never looked back. After a short stint volunteering on a legal advice line here at Legal Services, Mary Ann was asked to put her CPA and legal skills to work temporarily managing our Low Income Taxpayer Clinic. It was a perfect match! Now Mary Ann advocates on behalf of low income taxpayers, helps resolve their disputes with the IRS, such as recovering their refunds, and educates them about their tax rights and responsibilities.
Guerby started with Legal Services during his budding law school days and never left. Not only is Guerby committed to public service, he is committed to the City of Miami. He is a product of Miami-Dade County and advocates for the rights of the low income community. Guerby is a member of the Tenants' Rights Unit, tackling issues such as housing discrimination, self help evictions, and subsidy terminations. Outside of being an attorney, Guerby is an avid runner. He now runs half marathons with the goal of running a full marathon in the future without huffing and puffing from the fatigue. In addition, Guerby is an amateur Nak Muay, participating in national and international tournaments and shows. Guerby also has a gentle side. He paints when he has time and takes lots of pictures with his Boston Terrier, Chief.
Senior Staff Attorneys
Senior Staff Attorney
Originally from Virginia, Matt Bayard was first introduced to public interest law while interning one summer many years ago at Neighborhood Legal Services Association in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After graduating law school, Matt was lucky enough to find a job in sunny Miami and has been working at Legal Services ever since. He is currently part of the Homeownership and Consumer Unit where he practices foreclosure defense, bankruptcy, and consumer rights litigation. When not at work you might see Matt hanging out at the park with his family, walking his dog Ringo around Coconut Grove, or riding around town on his comfortably slow beach cruiser.
Senior Staff Attorney
Lissie was born and raised in Miami and has a deep connection to its people and places. She studied acting and worked as a drama teacher in the New York City Public Schools before going to law school at Duke University. While there, she worked in various legal clinics providing free representation to low income individuals in cases involving healthcare and education. She returned to Miami in 2004 and joined Legal Services where she has spent her entire legal career devoted to defending the rights of the most vulnerable in her community. Although she has worked in many Legal Services practice areas, Lissie is currently the Senior Staff Attorney of the Tenants’ Rights Unit and litigates extensively in county court to ensure that poor families, the elderly, and the disabled are not wrongfully evicted from their homes.
Senior Staff Attorney
Rebecca Parsons Schram has always been an advocate for change, with an eye towards representing the interests of the less fortunate. Before coming to Legal Services, she organized a living wage campaign in Virginia, secured access to family planning resources for an indigenous community in Panama, and worked with adolescents at a drug treatment program in Dallas, Texas. Law school originally brought her to Miami, and, after living here for more than 10 years, she now considers it her home. Rebecca is now the Edie Laquer Foundation Endowed Attorney Chair for Women and Children's Rights at Legal Services. She is grateful to be able to represent her clients and strives to ensure justice for Miami-Dade and Monroe County's low income residents.
Born and Raised in Miami, Florida, Sha’Tarria begin her legal career serving her community as an Assistant Public Defender. After leaving the Public Defender’s office, Sha’Tarria furthered her work in public interest law by joining Legal Services of Greater Miami in the Tenant’s Right unit as a Staff Attorney. At LSGMI, Sha’Tarria continues to work with individuals to provide access to representation and defend the rights of the most vulnerable in her community.
At Legal Services of Greater Miami Sha’Tarria leads the Tenant Equal Justice Clinic and works on the Access to Justice Harvard Research project.
Health & Income Maintenance
Pamela Flores is a staff attorney at Legal Services primarily advocating for the rights of people with disabilities and the LGBT community. Previously, she assisted with the representation of non-profits developing or preserving affordable housing and community based facilities. Pamela's interest in public service began at a young age doing service work with her church. Through her volunteer work with low income communities, Pamela became aware of the systemic issues that plagued them. She learned that the law is a valuable tool in addressing these systemic issues and making meaningful changes in these communities. These experiences laid the foundation for her passion in public interest law. During law school, Pamela volunteered and worked for Legal Services as a clerk. This experience cemented her desire to become a public interest attorney. While she was in law school, Pamela earned awards from NSU Law and Legal Services for her dedication and commitment to public service. Pamela also volunteers as a Guardian at Litem for Florida's abused and neglected dependent children.
United Way Mission United Legal Advocacy Project
Erin’s work at the University of Miami School of Law Health Rights Clinic assisting veterans inspired her dedication to this important and vulnerable population. During law school, she was selected to be an Equal Justice Works Americorps JD in the Health Rights Clinic and served as a staff editor on the Race and Social Justice Law Review. Following law school, Erin was selected to be an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Fellow hosted by the University of Miami School of Law in partnership with Operation Sacred Trust, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to serving homeless veterans. At the conclusion of her fellowship, Erin continued with the University of Miami as a Lecturer and Staff Attorney in the Veterans Rights Project. Erin joins Legal Services to lead the United Way Mission United Legal Advocacy Project and continue her work advocating for the civil legal needs of our veterans.
Nerlande is born and raised in sunny Miami, Florida. Nerlande witnessed firsthand, the disparities and injustices that existed in her own backyard. This sparked her passion to pursue public interest and non-profit law. Before working for Legal Services, Nerlande represented abused, abandoned, and neglected children in foster care. At Legal Services of Greater Miami Inc, Nerlande is in both the Tenants’ Rights and Family Law units as a Staff Attorney. Nerlande also co-leads the Tenant Equal Justice Clinic and works on the Access to Justice Harvard Research project. Outside of work, Nerlande is a community organizer with the belief that the community has the power to help advocate and change the material conditions of their lives; they must be given the knowledge and tools and be empowered to do so.
Daniel Rowinsky Quintian
Health & Income Maintenance
Daniel’s work at the University of Maryland King Carey School of Law clinic assisting low-income immigrants with complex immigration proceedings made him appreciate the challenges underserved populations face when asserting their rights and the life-changing impact that being represented by counsel can make. Inspired by his experience in Maryland, Daniel joined Legal Services when he returned to Miami, his adopted hometown, in 2013 to make a difference in his community. Daniel currently works on several projects at Legal Services assisting vulnerable populations living in our community. He heads the Lazarus Project, which helps chronically homeless individuals living on the streets of Miami resolve the legal issues that prevent them from accessing affordable housing. He also directs two reentry projects that help ex-offenders to remove the legal barriers that hinder them from obtaining or maintaining gainful employment.
Paralegals & Legal Specialists
Michaelle was born in Haiti and raised in Venezuela lending her a unique perspective of the struggles and plight of the oppressed and less fortunate. She has always had an understanding of the plight of people who are oppressed, who feel weighed down by the anxiety of life, or who feel the burden of some distressing personal circumstances. Growing up, she watched her parents provide for a household of children in spite of all of the roadblocks they encountered. This had pushed Michaelle to offer her services to anyone who needs help or finds themselves in an unfortunate position. Due to her multicultural background, she speaks 3 languages which allows her to understand and better serve the clients. LSGMI has offered Michaelle the opportunity to help those in need and lighten their load.
Health & Income Maintenance
Jackie is a Haitian woman, who came to the United States in the early 70's. She was facing a custody issue and was desperate for help. Jackie learned about Legal Services from a neighbor. She met with an attorney who assured her that they would find out where her children are and helped her obtain custody of them.This experience inspired Jackie to want to be a part of the Legal Services team. She feels great helping others who are less fortunate than her.
Health & Income Maintenance
As a native Colombian from Bogota, Sebastian worked with the United Nations to reduce of level of poverty in Colombia. Working with this program, he saw first hand how important and valuable it is to be able to help those most in need. Every day at Legal Services Sebastian is able to help clients address their pressing legal needs. He feels a great satisfaction in contributing to improving their lives.
Jo Anna Virgile
Health & Income Maintenance
Jo Anna Virgile is a Haitian native and a loving and caring mother and wife. She has 3 beautiful children who inspire her each and every day. Due to her difficult childhood, she decided to find ways to help the less fortunate. She always wants to be a voice to the voiceless, an advocate for those who cannot afford it and becomes a representative to help those who are in dire need of help.
She studied Criminal Justice to better understand the criminal justice system and she started at Legal Services in February 2004. Working as a switchboard operator she fell in love helping the needy and developed a hunger to help others. She truly believes that there is hope in every situation one may face. She speaks three languages and is very patient and attentive while helping those in dire need of assistance.
Grants & Outreach Officer
Rochelle was born and raised in Miami and came to Legal Services more than 24 years ago looking for a job as a clerk. After constantly seeing former neighbors and classmates from her childhood neighborhood in the lobby needing assistance, she soon realized that her job was just a small part of providing assistance to those who had nowhere else to turn. Her job here soon turned to a career, and she now supports Legal Services by monitoring grant reporting and compliance, and facilitating Legal Services' community outreach. She is also the staff liaison for the Client Board and works with various committees of the Board. In her spare time you will find her spending time with her sons Jordan and Deion or running races, of which she has completed 5 half marathons.
Director of Special Events & Marketing
Marcia is deeply concerned about the prevalence of injustice in our world - whether it is the suffering of a human being or animal. Working within the Legal Services environment gives her he opportunity to be a minuscule grain of sand in helping to make a difference for those lesser served. She feels honored to be able to participate in this organization and is proud of the admirable work that is done here.
Director of Annual Giving