LAC Legal Director Sally Friedman Honored by New York Nonprofit Media as a “Front-Line Hero”

New York, NY – The Legal Action Center is delighted to congratulate our Legal Director, Sally Friedman, on being selected to receive a New York Nonprofit Media Front-Line Heroes Award for her outstanding commitment and dedication to serving those in need.

Created in 2016, the award recognizes committed and innovative human services practitioners, who advocate on the front lines for change in New York and display excellence in their dedication to those they serve.

LAC Director/President Paul N. Samuels said, “I could not create a more perfect description of Sally. She has been on the frontlines of the Legal Action Center’s important work for over two decades. Her leadership of our legal team and compassionate understanding of clients’ lives lead to transformative changes for individuals – and society overall through her work to improve policies.”

Since joining the Legal Action Center as a Staff Attorney in October of 1993, Sally has protected the rights and privacy of countless individuals with HIV/AIDS, criminal records, and/or substance use disorders. Sally was a legal champion during the darkest days of the AIDS epidemic, helping thousands of clients maintain their homes, benefits, livelihoods, privacy, and their dignity, even as they were losing their health to the ravaging disease. One of her landmark discrimination cases ruled that a day camp violated anti-discrimination laws by excluding a boy with AIDS. Sally has also advised and trained hundreds of organizations across the country as well as authored a multitude of publications on civil rights protections and confidentiality issues.

Sally is incredibly grateful to be recognized by the New York Nonprofit Media: “Being selected for this award is an enormous honor, and one that I share with the unbelievably talented legal team at the Legal Action Center, whose members are truly on the frontlines with their clients each and every day to help people rebuild their lives with dignity”.

As LAC’s Legal Director, Sally directs a team of attorneys and paralegals to help nearly 2,000 clients annually overcome discriminatory barriers to employment, housing, and education. In addition to her leadership of the HIV project and reentry work, Sally’s next mission is to remedy the growing opioid epidemic. In 2011, she wrote the report, “Legality of Denying Access to Medication-Assisted Treatment in the Criminal Justice System,” and in 2016, wrote “Medication-Assisted Treatment in Drug Courts: Recommended Strategies.” She also has been mounting legal challenges to courts that deny individuals access to their vital addiction treatment contrary to a physician’s recommendations. Through all of her efforts, Sally steadfastly serves as a frontline hero for the marginalized populations of New York and throughout the US.

About the Legal Action Center:
The Legal Action Center is the only non-profit law and policy organization in the United States whose sole mission is to fight discrimination against people with histories of addiction, HIV/AIDS, or criminal records, and to advocate for sound public policies in these areas.

For four decades, LAC has worked to combat the stigma and prejudice that keep these individuals out of the mainstream of society. The Legal Action Center is committed to helping people reclaim their lives, maintain their dignity, and participate fully in society as productive, responsible citizens.

For more information, visit  or follow LAC on Twitter and Facebook.

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