Every year, about a third of the 25,000 families who visit Single Stop require legal counsel, and the legal mind and social conscience that have shaped this aspect of Robin Hood's Single Stop initiative belong to Marshall Green.
When Michael Weinstein, Robin Hood's senior vice president for programs, created Single Stop in the 1980's, Green was right by his side. Every week, on his own time and without compensation, he met desperately poor families in Harlem or the South Bronx. During the rest of the week, he worked on their problems. Green is a skilled and tenacious lawyer. Judges, landlords and banks tend to give him what he asks for. "I will fight them vigorously," he says, "but my adversaries respect me." Green's entire 33-year legal career has been with the Legal Aid Society, a vital New York City institution. It began with an unpaid internship on Staten Island. From his home in Far Rockaway, his commute took him through four boroughs. He's headed up Legal Aid's Bronx office for decades, and his commitment to the borough also includes 20 years of service on the board of the Citizens Advice Bureau, a Robin Hood partner. At 15 Single Stop sites, Legal Aid lawyers deal with eviction notices, deportation threats, custody disputes, cutoffs of food stamps and Medicaid, errors in criminal records and more. A competent and well-trained lawyer can intervene before the disasters pile up. Green espouses a non-confrontational style that brings opposing parties together to arrive at mutually beneficial solutions.