In Memory Of
Long time Legal Aid paralegal and disability advocate Cynthia Richard passed away on November 14, 2017 after a fall near her home. She will be deeply missed by colleagues and clients alike. Cynthia was a tireless advocate for the poor and under served, having helped hundreds of clients over her decades long career at Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York, Inc. and Legal Aid for Broome and Chenango Counties.
Although representing some of the most vulnerable members of the community – low income persons with severe physical and mental disabilities, Cynthia never waivered in her determination and perseverance on their behalf, nor did she shy away from complex cases involving multiple legal issues. As just one example of her holistic approach to client service, Cynthia successfully represented a client who had a psychiatric breakdown leading to job loss and threat of foreclosure due to his inability to pay his property taxes. Cynthia stepped in and succeeded in getting his appeal heard on an emergency basis, both winning the appeal and convincing the judge to reopen a prior application. Her quick action and strong advocacy resulted in a combined award of over $70,000, which also provided the funds necessary to save her client’s home.
Many of Cynthia’s clients kept in touch with her long after their cases were resolved as she was a person who demonstrated tremendous compassion for all of those she helped. Cynthia was equally admired by those at the hearing offices where she regularly appeared, who praised her excellent advocacy skills, and care and concern for clients. To her colleagues she was “a great person and a kind soul who was always kind to everyone who walked through our doors,” and “a tireless advocate with boundless enthusiasm for her work and clients.”
While Cynthia’s work was clearly her main passion she also greatly enjoyed her pet felines, chinese food, and wearing the large colorful hats that were her trademark. She will be remembered with great affection and respect by all of us whose lives she touched.