Advancing the rights of working families.

ABB Staff

Dina Bakst, Co-President, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dina Bakst is a Co-Founder and Co-President of A Better Balance.  Dina features regularly in local and national news coverage of work-family issues. Her 2012 New York Times op-ed, Pregnant & Pushed Out of A Job, inspired the introduction of the federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which she helped draft, and contributed to passage of the New York City Pregnant Workers Fairness Act of 2013.  Dina is a co-author of the recently published Babygate:  What You Really Need to Know About A Pregnancy & Parenting In The American Workplace, a national know-your-rights book covering pregnancy discrimination, family leave, caregiver discrimination, breastfeeding rights, workplace flexibility and more.  Dina has written numerous articles and reports on workplace fairness including, most recently, “It Shouldn’t Be a Heavy Lift:  Fair Treatment for Pregnant Workers.”

Prior to co-founding A Better Balance, Dina was an attorney with the NOW Legal Defense & Education fund (now Legal Momentum) where she pursued litigation and public policy advocacy on a wide range of women's issues including economic justice, child care and reproductive rights. Dina is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Michigan. She also served as a litigation associate with Kaye, Scholer LLP.

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Risha Foulkes, Staff Attorney, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Risha joined A Better Balance in 2014.  Previously, she worked as an attorney with The Legal Aid Society’s Employment Law Unit, where she advocated for low-wage women facing gender discrimination and worked in collaboration with A Better Balance.  She was also a Skadden Fellow & Staff Attorney at the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, where she litigated and advocated on behalf of low-income women workers in rural and urban industries. During law school, she interned with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Employment Law Project, Legal Momentum, and the Rutgers Urban Legal Clinic. Prior to law school, she was the Deputy Director of Development at the Guttmacher Institute and a Program Development Specialist at the New York Association for New Americans.  Risha was honored for her professional work in 2010 with a “40 Under 40: The Future of Feminism award” from the CUNY Feminist Press.  She received her J.D. from Rutgers School of Law–Newark (cum laude), her Master’s from the University of Cambridge in England (with distinction), and her B.A. from the University of Chicago (Phi Beta Kappa).  She is also a parent.

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Elizabeth Gedmark, Staff Attorney/Director of the Southern Office, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Elizabeth Gedmark, Staff Attorney/Director of the Southern Office, joined A Better Balance in September 2011 and served as an NYU Law Carr Center for Reproductive Justice Fellow from 2011-2012. She graduated in May 2011 from the New York University School of Law, where she was co-chair of the Mental Health Law Association and a Feminism & Diversity co-chair of Law Women. She interned over the summers at the ACLU of Tennessee and the New York Legal Assistance Group's Special Litigation Unit. She also interned one semester at the New York Civil Liberties Union Reproductive Rights Project. As a part of NYU Law's Federal Defender Clinic, Elizabeth acted as co-counsel on a criminal defense case in a federal bench trial. She also argued before the Second Circuit on a separate clinic case. Elizabeth was a member of the Medical-Legal Advocacy Clinic, where she assisted individuals with civil legal needs. Elizabeth graduated cum laude from Wake Forest University in 2006 with a degree in Psychology and a minor in International Studies.

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Sherry Leiwant, Co-President,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sherry co-founded A Better Balance in 2005. From 2005 to 2006, she was an Adjunct Professor of Law at CUNY School of Law teaching an upper level class on civil rights. From 1996 until 2005, Sherry was a senior staff attorney at NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund running the State Advocacy Project, working on issues intersecting women’s rights and poverty, including reproductive health, violence and child care. Prior to joining NOW Legal Defense Fund, she spent 12 years as a senior staff attorney at the Welfare Law Center, a national legal organization doing litigation and public advocacy on a variety of income support issues around the country. Prior to that, she was a staff attorney at the Department of Health Education and Welfare and an Assistant US Attorney in the Southern District of New York. Sherry graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University and from Columbia University School of Law School. She has three children and has served on the Boards of Bank Street College of Education and Basic Trust Infant and Toddler Center.

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Jared Make, Senior Staff Attorney,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jared Make joined A Better Balance in September 2010 and served as an NYU Law Carr Center for Reproductive Justice Fellow from 2010-2011. He graduated in May 2010 from the NYU School of Law, where he served as President and Vice President of the HIV Law Society and volunteered with OUTLaw, the National Lawyers Guild, and Law Students for Human Rights. He also interned at the Brooklyn Family Defense Project and South Brooklyn Legal Services’ HIV Project. As a member of NYU’s Comparative Criminal Justice Clinic, Jared helped to expand an LGBTQ Domestic Violence Initiative at the Urban Justice Center, a project that involved extensive outreach, coalition-building, and community education. Based on his efforts in both this clinic and the Children’s Rights Clinic, Jared was honored at convocation with the Ann Petluck Poses Memorial Prize for outstanding work in a clinical course requiring student practice. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wesleyan University and cum laude from NYU School of Law.

 

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Jake McDonald, Carr Center Fellow, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jake McDonald joined A Better Balance in September 2014 as an NYU Law Carr Center for Reproductive Justice Fellow.  He graduated in May 2014 from the New York University School of Law, where he was the Schulte, Roth, & Zabel Fellow at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest and served on the boards for the Mental Health Law Association and R.E.A.C.H. (Research, Education, and Advocacy to Combat Homelessness).  During law school, Jake interned at the Center for Popular Democracy and the New Economy Project, where he worked to expand the rights of low-wage workers and provide assistance to those facing economic justice issues.  Jake spent his summers working at ABC for Health in Madison, Wisconsin, helping to obtain health coverage for low income Wisconsinites and Lawyers Alliance for New York, providing legal assistance to non-profit community groups.  Formerly, Jake spent four years as a public school teacher in New Orleans, Louisiana.  He is a 2007 graduate of the University of Notre Dame.

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Liz Reiner Platt, Law Fellow,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Liz Reiner Platt joined A Better Balance in September 2013 as an NYU Law Carr Center for Reproductive Justice Fellow. She graduated in May 2013 from the New York University School of Law, where she was co-chair of the Prisoners’ Rights and Education Project and an Articles Selection Editor for the Review of Law and Social Change. During law school, she interned at the New York Civil Liberties Union and Urban Justice Center Sex Workers Project. She also participated in two clinics—the Medical-Legal Advocacy Clinic with LegalHealth, a division of the New York Legal Assistance Group, and the Brennan Center Public Policy Advocacy Clinic. Her article documenting and critiquing the expansion of offender registries earned her the Flora S. and Jacob L. Newman Prize for most outstanding note written for the Review of Law and Social Change, and it will be published in that journal in the fall of 2013. Prior to entering law school, Liz was a Health Care Assistant at Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington. She graduated from the University of Chicago in 2008 with a degree in U.S. History.

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Phoebe Taubman, Senior Staff Attorney,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phoebe started working with A Better Balance in 2007 as a volunteer and served as an Equal Justice Works Fellow with A Better Balance from 2008-2010.  Prior to joining A Better Balance, Phoebe served as a law clerk to the Honorable Faith S. Hochberg of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey in Newark and as a litigation associate at Mayer Brown in New York City.  She has also worked as a consultant with Third Way, contributing research and policy analysis to their middle-class project on work-family policy, and as an independent consultant with WorkLife Law.  She is a graduate of Harvard University and of Georgetown University Law Center and is a mom.

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Molly Weston, Liman Fellow, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Molly Weston joined A Better Balance in fall 2014 as a Liman Fellow. She graduated from Yale Law School in 2013, where she served as Scholarship and Advocacy Chair for Yale Law Women, an Articles Editor for the Yale Law Journal, and a member of the Ethics Bureau at Yale. Prior to joining A Better Balance, Molly clerked for the Honorable Thomas L. Ambro of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Wilmington, Delaware.  She is the author of One Person, No Vote: Staggered Elections, Redistricting, and Disenfranchisement, published in the Yale Law Journal in 2012. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa with high honors from Swarthmore College.


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