The Legal Aid Society announced that Julia McNally is the new attorney-in-charge of its Queens Neighborhood Office in Kew Gardens, where she will lead a staff of more than 60 staff to provide comprehensive civil legal services to the borough’s residents.
McNally previously served as director of housing in Queens, where she led a team of 33 staff members and acted as a leader within Legal Aid’s citywide team defense practice. McNally oversaw a period of significant growth with the rollout of Right to Counsel in Housing Court.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as the attorney-in-charge of the Queens Neighborhood Office,” McNally said. “During the challenges of the past two years, it has been humbling to witness the perseverance, creativity and resourcefulness of the staff at the Queens Neighborhood Office. I look forward to deepening my relationship with every team member in Queens in our joint efforts to empower clients, reform law and policy, and challenge systems of oppression.”
McNally first joined Legal Aid in 2010 as a staff attorney at the Bronx Neighborhood Office after returning to New York following 27 months of serving as a Peace Corps volunteer. She distinguished herself as an excellent litigator and mentor, successfully representing tenants in a variety of litigation, according to Legal Aid. Early on in her career she drafted motions to dismiss four cases brought by a scatter-site landlord to displace 238 clients; secured 60% abatement following NYCHA trials; brought litigation to make clients co-op shareholders; secured affordable lifetime rents for clients; and negotiated a settlement of nonpayment in which the landlord paid out $15,807.92.
The Queens resident maintains strong relationships with stakeholders, community-based organizations, legal service providers and elected officials. Her willingness to connect community, organizers and other legal services organizations to one another have led to a successful alignment of policy goals and key interventions to the benefit of clients.
“We are proud to welcome Julia to this new role, leading our amazing team of civil defenders in Queens,” said Adriene Holder, chief attorney of the Civil Practice at The Legal Aid Society. “The Queens Neighborhood Office will have a fierce new champion to address the critical needs of the communities we serve.”
In addition to her work with Legal Aid, McNally is an adjunct professor at NYU Law School and she is a founding director of Pathways Togo, a nonprofit which provides young women with scholarships and leadership opportunities. Prior to joining Legal Aid, McNally was an Honors Associate/Agency Attorney for the New York City Housing Authority Law Department.