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Lucia della Paolera

Lucia began working with African Services Committee in 2014 as a Spanish-English legal translator. Since July 2019 she has been working with her own client docket as a Department of Justice Accredited Representative. Beyond ASC, della Paolera is an artist and translator, working across music, performance, film and literature. She is also a Grant Writer, Translator and Special Projects Director for immigrant arts organization ID Studio in the South Bronx. She has a BA from the University of Pennsylvania (2010).

Maura Heron

Maura Heron is Legal Program Manager at African Services Committee where she manages a team of attorneys who assist clients with a variety of civil matters, including immigration, housing, family law and public benefits. She graduated from Brooklyn Law School and was admitted to the New York bar in 2016. Prior to law school she worked in the fields of domestic violence and international development.  In addition to her JD, she holds a Masters in Public Administration from Suffolk University and a bachelor’s degree in Hispanic Studies from Lewis and Clark College.  Maura speaks Spanish and some French.

Zachary Phan-Everson

Zachary Phan-Everson, a graduate of UCLA School of Law, is a staff attorney at ASC's Benefits Counseling Program. He has previously practiced immigration law in both Los Angeles and New York. Prior to his legal career, he worked in education in rural Japan for many years. He speaks French, Japanese, and Spanish. He has also begun studying Vietnamese, but that is going to require some patience.

Franco Torres

Franco Torres is the Supervising Attorney for the Legal Department at the African Services Committee (ASC). He supervises a team of attorneys, paralegals, accredited representatives, fellows, and student-interns. He represents ASC’s legal department before the wider community of legal services providers and advocacy partners. He oversees a portfolio of legal initiatives and assists management in the preparation of grant applications to seek ongoing and sustainable funding for the legal department programs. He manages compliance with various program reporting requirements, such as maintaining monthly statistics and case reports, and reporting to funders and stakeholders. He oversees the Immigrant Community Law Center, a low-bono clinic, including practice development and financial performance tracking.  In collaboration with the Pro Bono Coordinator, he oversees ASC’s pro bono and volunteer program development. He also advises ASC leadership on a variety of policy and advocacy initiatives. 

Prior to his work at ASC, Franco served as a supervising attorney at Catholic Charities Community Services in New York City. He was also an adjunct instructor at the St. John’s School of Law Immigrant Rights and Refugee Litigation Clinic, where he taught both immigration law and practice. He created and presented a weekly segment on Univision New York’s nightly news where he informed and educated the public about immigration related issues. Prior to his work at Catholic Charities and St. John’s, Franco was awarded an Equal Justice Works Fellowship to work in Miami, Florida. There he created a program to provide Know Your Rights presentations, free legal screenings and pro bono legal services to over a thousand men detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement throughout the state of Florida. 

Franco received his Juris Doctorate from Boston University School of Law where he graduated with honors and with a concentration in Litigation and Dispute Resolution. He was the recipient of the Warren S. Gilford Humanity and Law Prize for his work both representing indigent criminal defendants before the Boston Municipal Court; and representing immigration detainees pro bono. 

Franco also holds a Master’s degree in Education from Pepperdine University; and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Stanford University. He is a member of both the Florida and New York Bars. He is fluent in Spanish. He was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. 

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