Raun J. Rasmussen Appointed Executive Director of Legal Services NYC

Raun J. Rasmussen June 22, 2011, New York, NY—The Board of Directors of Legal Services NYC (LS-NYC) is pleased to announce that it has selected Raun J. Rasmussen to be the organization’s next Executive Director.  Mr. Rasmussen will begin his tenure on June 27th and will immediately succeed Interim Executive Director Michael D. Young, who was elected Vice-Chair of the LS-NYC Board of Directors in May.

Mr. Rasmussen has been part of the LS-NYC family for over 25 years, and has served as LS-NYC’s Chief of Litigation and Advocacy since 2003.  As such, he directs the LS-NYC Legal Support Unit, which provides litigation and advocacy leadership and support, training, coordination and assistance to legal services providers across New York City.

“We chose Raun because of our confidence in his ability to manage our complex organization and move it forward as we face new challenges,” said LS-NYC Board Chair Joseph S. Genova.  “Raun also is nationally recognized in the legal services community for developing creative and effective ways to deliver legal services to low income people and communities.  We are especially pleased to bring Raun's vision to the helm of our organization.”

Said Mr. Rasmussen of his selection, “I am incredibly happy to be able to work with our staff and Board in this new capacity.  Every day our dedicated advocates and support staff fight for justice for low income New Yorkers.  There is no more important work, and I’m proud to be part of our citywide efforts—and those of the rest of the poverty advocacy community—to improve services for our clients.”

Mr. Rasmussen began his career as a housing attorney at South Brooklyn Legal Services (SBLS is a program of LS-NYC).  He later became SBLS’s Director of Litigation, supporting the development of affirmative litigation, helping to develop a highly successful foreclosure prevention project designed to combat predatory lending practices, and creating and supervising the Child Care Network Support Project, which continues to provide legal services and training to home-based child care providers.

Mr. Rasmussen has written numerous articles on residential displacement, foreclosure-related issues, ethics, affirmative litigation and child care work.  He has been a recipient of the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest Felix Fishman Award for Exemplary Service, the New York County Lawyers Association Public Service Award, and the New York City Bar Association Legal Services Award.  He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project and serves on the Advisory Committee of the Initiative for Neighborhood and City-Wide Organizing.  Mr. Rasmussen holds a B.A. from Amherst College and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Legal Services NYC is the largest organization in the United States devoted to providing free civil legal services to low income people, with neighborhood offices in every borough of New York City.  It provides free help on cases involving housing, family issues, domestic violence, public benefits, income tax, employment, education, consumer rights and economic development.

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