Michael Lee, Esquire is a practicing human rights attorney in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Shortly after graduating in Drexel Law School’s Inaugural Class of 2009, Mr. Lee co-founded the Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity (“PLSE”). As managing attorney for its keystone project, the Criminal Record Expungement Project, Mr. Lee has trained pro bono attorneys, organized hundreds of community education events, and argued thousands of expungement and redaction petitions. In addition to providing direct legal aid, Mr. Lee advocates for progressive criminal record reform.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Mr. Lee is a graduate of the two hundred and fifty-ninth graduating class of Central High School and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from the George Washington University. Mr. Lee is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association‘s Bar Leadership Institute Class of 2013- 2014, and currently serves on the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Diversity Task Force.
Mr. Lee has received several awards for his cutting-edge legal work with PLSE as well as his service to the community. In 2013, Mr. Lee received a Diverse Attorney of the Year from the Legal Intelligencer, and the F. Sean Peretta Service Award from the Young Lawyer’s Division of the Philadelphia Bar Association. He was also named one of Drexel’s 40 under 40 in 2014, recognizing Dexel’s “most interesting, entrepreneurial and creative young graduates,” for his work as co-founder of PLSE. In 2015, Mr. Lee has been recognized by the Barristers Association of Pennsylvania as the Outstanding Young Attorney, the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania with the La Justica Award, and the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Excellence Award.
Zane Johnson, Esquire
Equal Justice Works/AmeriCorps Employment Opportunity Legal Corps Fellow
Zane Johnson is currently serving as PLSE’s Equal Justice Works/AmeriCorps Employment Opportunity Legal Corps Fellow. As a fellow, M. Johnson is working to remove legal barriers to employment through litigation, education, and community outreach. Mr. Johnson received his undergraduate degree from Muhlenberg College where he studied Political Science and African American Studies.
He is a graduate from Temple University Beasley School of Law where he co-author a report on improving the experience of returning citizens with the Philadelphia Traffic Division. Zane won the Tau Epsilon Rho Law Schwartzberg Prize for legal writing, and Clinical Legal Education Association Award for his distinguished performance in clinical classes. Mr. Johnson was also named an Eve Biskind Klothen Law Student Award winner in recognition of his commitment to pro bono service while in law school.
Michael Hardiman, Esquire
Michael Hardiman brings decades of experience with employment and civil rights litigation to PLSE. For the last seven years of his career, he served as Chief Counsel for the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. He began his employment with the Commission in January 1979 as an Assistant General Counsel in the Commission’s Harrisburg Regional Office. In July 1982 he was promoted to supervising attorney and moved to the Philadelphia Regional Office where he remained until June 2005 and his appointment as Chief Counsel. His primary work concentration centered on employment discrimination litigation. In addition, he was involved with a number of urban area school district desegregation and educational equity cases. He also litigated sex equity/athletic program cases; physical disability/accessibility cases; age discrimination/pension cases; and private club/access cases.
Mr. Hardiman received his undergraduate degree from Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and he graduated cum laude from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Tobey Oxholm joined PLSE in October 2016 as a volunteer attorney. His legal career includes almost thirty years as a trial lawyer in Philadelphia with some of the city’s most notable firms, including Dechert, Fox Rothschild, and Hangley Connolly, as well as service as Chief Deputy City Solicitor for the City of Philadelphia and General Counsel for Drexel University. He left the practice of law in 2007 when he became Drexel’s Executive Vice President, and has worked in the leadership of higher education ever since, currently as Special Assistant to the President of Rowan College at Burlington County (New Jersey). Among other things, he helped found three pro bono law projects – Philadelphia VIP, the Homeless Advocacy Project, and the Consumer Bankruptcy Assistance Project – was a trustee of Community Legal Services for twenty years, and a leader of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s pro bono efforts for fifteen years. He reactivated his law license so that he could work with PLSE.
He received his Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, from Amherst College, his Master of Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and his JD, cum laude, from Harvard Law School.
Sonya joined PLSE in March 2017 as a volunteer paralegal student. Prior to returning to school, she had a successful fifteen-year career in banking as Vice President and Branch Manager for one of the largest community banks in the region. She is currently completing her senior year at Community College of Philadelphia’s, ABA-approved, paralegal studies program. She is an entrepreneur and the owner of MVA Virtual Administrative Services. MVA provides customized virtual administrative support services to small businesses.
In 2014, she started the women’s community group called Determined Women of God, lovingly referred to as D.W.O.G., the group is a non-denominational group dedicated to empowering women to strive for Excellence with their finances, health & wellness choices, and active citizens in our communities through grass-root activism. We hope to inspire change and encourage the “Paying-It-Forward” mentality.
She holds a certificates of achievements in the following areas, team coaching and development from the Dale Carnegie School of Business, Business Finance & Accounting from the Omega Group School of Business Training, and she is a certified notary public for the state of Pennsylvania, and she’s currently studying for her notary signing agent license.
Henry M. Sias, Esquire
Mr. Sias has clerked at the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, and manages an appellate-oriented civil rights and immigration practice in Philadelphia. Mr. Sias graduated magna cum laude from Western Michigan University, and received his law degree from Yale Law School.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Ryan Allen Hancock, Esquire
Mr. Hancock is Of Counsel and chair of Willig, Williams & Davidson’s Employment Group where he counsels and represents clients in matters relating to sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation and whistleblower actions, wrongful termination, employee benefits, overtime and wage and hour concerns, and employment agreements, including contract negotiation, non-compete agreements, and severance.
Prior to joining Willig, Williams & Davidson Mr. Hancock was Assistant Chief Counsel with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, the Commonwealth’s civil rights enforcement agency. As Assistant Chief Counsel, Mr. Hancock successfully litigated a wide range of discrimination matters including but not limited to claims of: sexual orientation, religious accommodation, disability, race, sex and denial of employment based on a criminal record. Mr. Hancock is the principal author of the Commission’s proposed policy entitled Disparate Impact Discrimination Implications Related to a Denial of Employment Based on a Criminal Record.
Mr. Hancock received his law degree from Rutgers School of Law in 2003 and subsequently clerked in Camden County Superior Court, Criminal Division for the Honorable David G. Eynon. Mr. Hancock co-founded and is currently Board Chair for the Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity (PLSE) and its Criminal Record Expungement Project (C-REP) and is a member of the Bethesda Project’s Young Professional Advisory Board.
Mr. Hancock is the author of The Double Bind: Obstacles to Employment and Resources for Survivors of the Criminal Justice System, 15 U. Pa. J.L. & Soc. Change 515 2011-2012 and served on the board of Penn Law’s Journal of Law & Social Change. He has also served as the supervising attorney for Penn Law’s International Human Rights Advocates (IHRA) and has co-convened the Drexel Summer Theory Institute at the Earle Mack School of Law from 2011
Jennifer H. Sperling, Esquire
Ms. Sperling is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Villanova University School of Law and Interim Director of the Civil Justice Clinic. The Civil Justice Clinic represents low-income individuals in a range of issues, including landlord-tenant, support and custody, employment, disability benefits, and expungement of child abuse records. Ms. Sperling has lived and worked in Philadelphia since 2008. She moved to Philadelphia to clerk for the Honorable Anita B. Brody in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, after which she served as a Staff Attorney for the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit from 2009-2011, and in-house counsel for Greenpeace USA from 2011-2013. Ms. Sperling received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 2005.
Cherylle C. Corpuz, Esquire
Cherylle C. Corpuz, Chair of Reger Rizzo & Darnall’s Immigration Practice Group, focuses her practice on immigration and nationality law. She is a leader in the immigration field, having spent more than 22 years counseling a broad range of individual and institutional clients on immigration matters and advocating before the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of State, and immigration and federal courts.
Ms. Corpuz began her career at Nationalities Service Center, where she directed the non-profit legal services department and served as Vice President responsible for the overall operations of this refugee resettlement organization. Ms. Corpuz then established her own firm providing counseling in immigration matters and representation in all venues to individuals as well as organizations, including businesses, hospitals, social service agencies, and criminal defense firms. For four years, Ms. Corpuz managed the immigration practice for a Philadelphia-based AmLaw 100 firm, where she was responsible for visa and compliance work with multi-national corporations, universities and high net worth individuals. During this time, she established the pro-bono domestic violence representation project, Safety in Numbers, which was adopted firm-wide and is still in practice today.
Outside of the office, Ms. Corpuz is a frequent speaker at CLE-accredited courses and is a mentoring attorney, as well as a former instructor with the Temple University Beasley School of Law Immigration Clinic. She is also a member of several legal and community-focused organizations, including the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Citizens Diplomacy International, the National Asian Pacific American, the National LGBT and the Philadelphia Bar Associations, as well as the Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity, among others.
Lisa Campbell, Esquire
M. Campbell has been a public defender at the Defender Association of Philadelphia since 2004. Currently, she is the Assistant Chief of the Juvenile unit of the Defender Association. After graduating cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law school, M. Campbell clerked for the Honorable Mary A. McLaughlin on the United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania. As a public defender, M. Campbell has handles countless adult and juvenile ceases during rotations through the various trial units. She has experience handling complex and serious juvenile cases, as well as leading and training teams of attorneys in the Juvenile Unit. M. Campbell has provided training for her office as well as attorneys across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on a variety of legal issues. She currently is researching and presenting on the issue of collateral consequences of juvenile adjudications and the need for expungement of juvenile records.
Yvettee Jones-Sizer works in Philadelphia media. She is also a case manager for The Montgomery County, PA Youth Aid Panel, a juvenile diversionary program that serves as an alternative to Juvenile Court or Magisterial District Court adjudication and provides the juvenile an opportunity to avoid a criminal record.
She is an executive of the NAACP in Montgomery County, PA and has also served as Director for the NAACP Youth and College Division. While serving in both NAACP executive roles Yvettee has been a driving force in creating both successful youth diversionary programs and mentoring programs as well as working in areas that address civil engagement, healthcare, criminal justice, economic opportunities, and media diversity.
Yvettee holds several board memberships and volunteer positions in Montgomery County, PA that serve/advocate for youth, women and minorities. Yvettee has a degree in Education.
Hillary Weinstein, Esquire
Hillary is a zealous advocate for nonprofit organizations. She believes that all clients, both large and small, deserve the best possible legal representation. With a background in criminal defense and big-firm litigation, where she represented clients in complex and highly sensitive matters, Hillary navigates difficult situations and facilitates positive outcomes with ease.
By establishing deep and lasting relationships, Hillary is able to truly understand what organizations need to succeed. An informed advocate and advisor, Hillary understands organizations’ missions and operations as if she were on staff. She provides valuable expertise and perspectives on matters before the courts, and also enjoys advising clients on their day-to-day legal matters.