After 27 years, Albany ‘do-gooder’ retiring from Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York

November 28, 2022

In 1995, when Lillian Moy became executive director of the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York, the job she would hold for the next 27 years, nonprofit law firms that provided civil legal services for the poor were hardly major political players.


By Moy’s second year, their funding was on the chopping block in Congress.


“One of my friends said that year that the only thing less popular in Washington D.C. than a poor person was a poor person with a lawyer,” Moy said recently.


In more than a quarter-century since that time, Moy led the society to expand its services to litigants, its level of financial and volunteer support from law firms and its coverage area from six upstate counties to 16.  After 27 years, Moy will retire on Dec. 16, capping a career that’s brought much-needed legal representation for the underserved, as well as accolades from some of the highest-profile legal minds in Albany and beyond.


“Her passion, perseverance, and tireless pursuit of justice are inspiring. We could not have asked for a better leader,” James Hacker, a managing partner in the firm of E. Stewart Jones Hacker Murphy and the chair of the society’s board of directors, said at a gala celebration in Moy’s honor at the Albany Capital Center on Nov. 9.


“Lillian has been a driving force in increasing access to justice to meet the needs of our low-income communities,” Hacker said. “Her work has helped tens of thousands of families and individuals access the legal services they need to help with unemployment, homelessness prevention, education, disability, and hundreds of other civil legal matters.”


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