Meet the Bloggers

Patty Mullahy Fugere
Executive Director, WLCH

Patty Mullahy Fugere was one of the co-founders, and previously served as Board president, of the Legal Clinic. Prior to assuming the position of director in 1991, she was engaged in the private practice of law for seven years, specializing in affordable housing and homelessness issues.

Patty is responsible for the overall management of the Legal Clinic and guides the organization’s work toward realizing its vision of a just community. She is a member of the DC Access to Justice Commission and serves on the Steering Committee of the Fair Budget Coalition and the Advisory Committee of the DC Fiscal Policy Institute. She is also a board member of the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project and the National Center for Housing and Child Welfare. Patty is an adjunct faculty member at the Georgetown University Law Center, where she teaches a course on “Homelessness and Legal Advocacy.”

Marta Beresin
Staff Attorney, WLCH

Marta Beresin joined the Legal Clinic’s staff in 2000, having had prior experience as a legal services attorney — first with the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau, including serving as Acting Chief Attorney of their Southern Maryland Office, and with the Homeless Persons Representation Project in Baltimore. Marta’s family law expertise complements the expertise of other staff attorneys at the Clinic.

Marta’s work focuses on improving the lives of families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. She case counsels volunteers who do intake at the Family Resource Center and maintains her own caseload as well. Most of her clients have legal problems with shelter, TANF, or locally- or federally-subsidized housing. Her systemic advocacy focuses on improving and expanding the programs that low-income families rely on (affordable housing, shelter, welfare, emergency assistance, and school access for homeless children). Marta is a member of the Fair Budget Coalition and the DCHA Advocates Group, and co-chairs the DC Domestic Violence and Housing Taskforce. She also presents legal rights workshops on  shelter, housing, and public benefits programs to client groups.

Julie Broas
Staff Attorney, WLCH

Julie Broas joined the Legal Clinic in September 2010 as the Jones Day Senior Fellow, after practicing as a member of Jones Day’s Labor & Employment group for over twenty years. A former Board member and volunteer with the Legal Clinic since 1999, Julie also founded and supervised Jones Day’s team of Legal Clinic volunteers, who perform monthly intake sessions at the CCNV Unity Health Care intake site. Julie currently case counsels volunteers at Unity, where she focuses primarily on public benefits, shelter, and locally and federally-subsidized housing matters.  In addition, she engages in legislative and policy advocacy with the DC Housing Authority and the Department of Human Services, particularly with regard to the District’s performance of its legal obligations during hypothermia season. Julie also works to strengthen law firm and individual attorney partnerships with the Legal Clinic, and assists with various fundraising and development initiatives.

Amber W. Harding
Staff Attorney, WLCH

Amber W. Harding is a staff attorney and founder and director of the David M Booth Disability Rights Initiative at the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless.  Ms. Harding joined the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless in 2003 as a Steptoe & Johnson Equal Justice Works Fellow after receiving a law degree from Georgetown University and a degree in anthropology from the University of Arizona.

Through direct legal representation and policy advocacy, Ms. Harding advocates for the rights of District of Columbia residents with disabilities to equal access to emergency shelter and housing.  Her work focuses on improving the disability-rights compliance of DC, particularly the DC-funded emergency shelter system; developing, improving, and monitoring subsidized housing resources (including permanent supportive housing); enforcing the right to shelter in severe weather; improving access to the courts for persons with disabilities; and fighting zoning discrimination and “NIMBYism” that prevent the siting of affordable housing and supportive services across the city.  In 2007, she received the Citizen Advocate award from the DC Center for Independent Living. In 2011, her work on improving the accessibility of emergency shelters was cited as a “particularly noteworthy” example of a successful reform campaign by the Shriver Center’s Federal Practice Manual for Legal Aid Attorneys.

Scott McNeilly
Staff Attorney, WLCH

Scott McNeilly joined the Legal Clinic in April of 1994 after more than five years at the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau where he handled domestic violence, child welfare, landlord-tenant, consumer and public benefits cases.

Scott case counsels volunteers at our CCNV, Church of the Brethren and Miriams Kitchen sites. He is responsible, along with other case counseling attorneys, for recruitment, training and general support of the volunteers in our pro bono program. Scott is also a member of the Districts Interagency Council on Homelessness and chairs the ICH Steering Committee.

Nassim Moshiree
Staff Attorney, WLCH
(202) 328-1261

Nassim joined the staff of the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless (WLCH) as a staff attorney in July of 2008, after graduating from The George Washington University law school.  During law school, through her participation in the George Washington International Human Rights Law Clinic, Nassim worked alongside Amber Harding of WLCH to represent a client in a disability rights case before the D.C. Office of Human Rights.

Nassim leads WLCH’s Client Rights & Education efforts, for which she conducts trainings and workshops designed to educate shelter residents about their legal rights.  She also works on the Disability Rights Initiative, and provides direct legal representation to clients in shelter whose disability rights have been violated.  Her policy work focuses on the following objectives: improving access to safe shelter for clients, enforcing DC government and provider compliance with the laws governing the emergency shelter system in the District; legislative and policy advocacy with the DC Council to further WLCH’s goals of ending homelessness in the District; and budget advocacy with the Fair Budget Coalition.

Becky O’Brien
Staff Attorney, WLCH

Becky OBrien rejoined the Legal Clinic staff in December 2008. She was an Equal Justice Works Fellow with the Legal Clinic from 2000-2002 and remained as a staff attorney until fall 2003. She moved to Boston where she continued to work in legal services. She was a staff attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services working in the Elder and Housing Units. While in Boston, Becky specialized in public benefits cases and landlord and tenant issues. She case counsels volunteer attorneys who do intake at Thrive and Rachels Womens Day Center. She maintains her own case load and participates in systemic advocacy on a variety of legal issues.

Ann Marie Staudenmaier

Staff Attorney, WLCH

Ann Marie Staudenmaier joined the Legal Clinic staff in 1996, after working for several years at Marylands Legal Aid Bureau as both a staff attorney and Chief Attorney in various local offices. She is a poverty law generalist, having practiced in virtually every area of civil legal services over the past 20 years.

Ann Marie spends much of her time at the Legal Clinic training, mentoring and case counseling volunteer attorneys at several Intake Sites, in addition to maintaining her own caseload. She also coordinates all the police-related civil rights work in the office, which includes monitoring police treatment of homeless persons in D.C.; filing citizen complaints with the Office of Police Complaints; researching trends in criminalization of homelessness; conducting Street Rights seminars; doing outreach and education to local businesses on the rights of homeless persons; working on litigation strategies related to criminalization issues in D.C.; and conducting Homelessness 101 trainings for all Metropolitan Police Department recruit classes.


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