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Public Employee Press

Edited by Alfredo Alvarado

Municipal Employees Legal Services celebrates 40th anniversary

MELS Director Joan Beranbaum (second from left) and Associate Director Robert Martin (behind her) welcome former MELS attorneys.
The Municipal Employees Legal Services celebrated its 40th anniversary in September.

Since 1977 union members have been able to count on the MELS staff of attorneys, paralegals and social workers to help them resolve a variety of legal issues. From drafting wills, to handling divorce matters and representation in Housing Court against landlords, the dedicated MELS staff has helped thousands of DC 37 members through difficult times.

“MELS is the greatest equalizer we have at this union,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido, at the celebration on Sept. 15. “On behalf of our members, I thank you for the great work your staff has done for 40 years.”

Joan Beranbaum, director and chief counsel of MELS, greeted the audience at the celebration, which was attended by many former MELS attorneys who are now judges at various courts in the city.

“MELS has always been a voice for the voiceless,” said Sylvia Hinds-Radix, who is now an Appellate Division judge. She worked at MELS for 16 years.

New York Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper was one of early attorneys at MELS. “It was an honor to be part of the MELS team and help the members,” he said.