Friday, 28 May 2010 08:31
Many members of the Nassau County Bar Association donate their time and talents to help make NCBA the best it can be. However, each year a few are singled out for special recognition by the NCBA leadership. NCBA President Emily F. Franchina announced that this year’s President’s Award is going to Linda Nanos of Bellmore and Howard Brill of Syosset, for their excellent guidance of BOLD – Bridge Over Language Divides – and the many ways they have worked to help the non-English speaking community.
“BOLD is one of the most important initiatives we’ve created in our Association for many years, and it will be with us for years to come,” explained Franchina. “We’re recognizing the changing demographics of our local community, which we always do so well at the Bar, and adapting to best meet the community’s needs.”
BOLD is an initiative launched this year to make the NCBA more responsive to the changing ethnic diversity of Nassau County by enhancing its ability to work with communities that speak languages other than English. In August 2009 Franchina appointed Nanos with Brill, both former chairs of the NCBA Immigration Law Committee, to work on this all-encompassing idea. In less than a year, Nanos and Brill’s leadership has led to BOLD being responsible for having Language Line added to Domus, which can translate incoming calls in 170 languages; quickly reacting to the devastating earthquake in Haiti by presenting an educational seminar in both Creole and English for local Haitians on TPS (Temporary Protected Status); reached out to the Spanish-speaking community to increase attendance at NCBA’s monthly Mortgage Foreclosure Clinics and providing Spanish-speaking attorneys; and hosting a free U.S. Citizenship Interview Demonstration for future American citizens. Many more changes are anticipated in the months and years ahead in the BOLD Task Force’s ambitious agenda.
Linda Nanos graduated from St. John’s University School of Law in 1980 and has been a practicing attorney in Nassau County for 29 years. Currently she has a tri-lingual law practice in Hempstead devoted to handling immigration matters. She is an honorary Board member of the Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN). At NCBA, Nanos is a member of the Grievance Committee, frequent lecturer for the Nassau Academy of Law and a former director on the Board of Directors. In addition, she published a novel, The Minor Respondent, about an immigrant’s struggles to unite his family.
Howard Brill is the founding partner of the immigration law firm of Howard R. Brill, P.C. in Hempstead, where for nearly 25 years he has represented individuals in immigration-related matters throughout the United States and has written extensively on immigration legal issues. He is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, has provided pro bono immigration law services at the New York County Bar Association and has lectured extensively at immigration law seminars. He was selected as a mediator for immigration-related cases before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and earned his law degree at Touro Law School.