FORMERLY Queens Law Associates

For legal help, call 1-844-QUEENSD (1-844-783-3673)

OUR TEAM LEADERSHIP and VISION

Our passion for pursuing equal justice begins at the top. Executive Director Lori Zeno co-founded Queens Defenders as Queens Law Associates in 1996 with her then-partner Joseph Vaccarino. Under Lori’s leadership, Queens Defenders grew to serve more than 25,000 clients each year. Critically, Zeno charged Queens Defenders with providing more than just legal defense. She extended the mission to helping clients address the challenges that landed them in the criminal justice system to begin with.

Zeno’s vision derives from the 10 years she served as a trial lawyer for the Queens Legal Aid Society. In that capacity, in which she represented thousands of Queens residents in all kinds of cases, she saw the same pattern—how intergenerational poverty, lack of educational resources, violence, and entrenched bias created the conditions prime for criminal activity.

For Zeno, winning a case wasn’t enough. She knew that, with the right resources and support, her clients could put their lives back together. In particular, she recognized the tragedy of youthful offenders entering the criminal justice system. With proper guidance and prevention measures, society could recoup these young people’s lost potential. Zeno bring this commitment—with an emphasis on youth development and prevention—to her leadership of Queens Defenders and has infused it in the organizational culture.

Ms. Zeno is a member of the Far Rockaway/Arverne Nonprofit Coalition (FRANC) and City Council Member Donovan Richard’s Dropout Prevention Task Force. She is a past board member of the New York Women’s Bar Association, a member of the Queens County Bar Association, New York State Defenders Association, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Chief Defenders Association of New York.

Lori Zeno

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OUR TEAM LEADERSHIP and VISION

Our passion for pursuing equal justice begins at the top. Executive Director Lori Zeno co-founded Queens Defenders as Queens Law Associates in 1996 with her then-partner Joseph Vaccarino. Under Lori’s leadership, Queens Defenders grew to serve more than 25,000 clients each year. Critically, Zeno charged Queens Defenders with providing more than just legal defense. She extended the mission to helping clients address the challenges that landed them in the criminal justice system to begin with.

Zeno’s vision derives from the 10 years she served as a trial lawyer for the Queens Legal Aid Society. In that capacity, in which she represented thousands of Queens residents in all kinds of cases, she saw the same pattern—how intergenerational poverty, lack of educational resources, violence, and entrenched bias created the conditions prime for criminal activity.

For Zeno, winning a case wasn’t enough. She knew that, with the right resources and support, her clients could put their lives back together. In particular, she recognized the tragedy of youthful offenders entering the criminal justice system. With proper guidance and prevention measures, society could recoup these young people’s lost potential. Zeno bring this commitment—with an emphasis on youth development and prevention—to her leadership of Queens Defenders and has infused it in the organizational culture.

Ms. Zeno is a member of the Far Rockaway/Arverne Nonprofit Coalition (FRANC) and City Council Member Donovan Richard’s Dropout Prevention Task Force. She is a past board member of the New York Women’s Bar Association, a member of the Queens County Bar Association, New York State Defenders Association, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Chief Defenders Association of New York.

Click below to view our video

Click below to view or download our legal service brochure


Legal Services Brochure

JOIN OUR MAILING LIST