Tout Haiti

Le Trait d'Union Entre Les Haitiens


Jacques Leandre, NYC Council Democratic Candidate

jacques-leandeJacques M. Léandre is married to Christela Leandre and they are the proud parents of 2 children ages 8 and 13. Léandre is the son of parents who migrated to the United States from Haiti in the early 1970's. Both his mother and father worked for Flushing General Hospital for more than 25 years and are proud members of SEIU 1199. Watching his mother and father take principal positions with their union to fight, and sometimes strike, for workplace fairness gave Léandre a profound appreciation for working families who labor hard and long just to subsist. These experiences molded Léandre as he matriculated through Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia where he earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in finance and later earning a Juris Doctor degree from the CUNY School of Law at Queens College.

In fact, as a law student, Léandre sacrificed his winter recess breaks to work for the Greater Miami Legal Services' Haitian Asylum Project and for the Center for Constitutional Rights' Illegal Redistricting Project in Greenwood, Mississippi. While interning for the Greater Miami Legal Services, Léandre assisted Haitian immigrants overcome the disparate policies that unfairly targeted Haitian asylum seekers. Upon graduating from law school in 1997, Léandre began his legal career in the criminal law field with the New York City Department of Correction. In his capacity as a Legal Coordinator for the Department of Correction, Léandre assisted adults and adolescents, who were being detained at Riker's Island and the Brooklyn House of Detention, with legal research, trial preparation, post conviction appeals, and Habeas Corpus filing.

In 1999, Léandre commenced practicing civil law as a staff attorney for MFY Legal Services. At MFY Legal Services, he coordinated the New Starts Initiative project whose primary purpose was to assist low-income women with legal issues while they attempted to transition from welfare to self- sufficiency. Specifically, he represented numerous clients on a variety of poverty law issues by litigating housing, government benefits, and family law cases before administrative law judges and civil court judges. After several years of practicing law in the public sector, Léandre accepted an in-house managing attorney position where he supervises 18 attorneys and 6 paralegals. While effectively utilizing his legal training in both the public and private sector, Léandre always remained committed to his local community by volunteering in many civic and social organizations. Léandre served as the Vice President of the Concerned Citizens of Laurelton where he championed numerous initiatives. For instance, he has coordinated block associations in southeast queens, halted the building of a "Hot Sheets" hotel across from street from Springfield Gardens H.S. and J.H.S 231, worked with elected officials to renovate the Laurelton Long Island Railroad Station (LIRR), stopped a 24 hour drug den disguised as a "Mega Laundromat" on Merrick Blvd., facilitated the donation of several hundred books to the community library every year.

Currently, Léandre serves as the President of his childhood sports organization, the Rosedale Jets Football Association, where he facilitates the following annual programs for 250 children: Rights of Passage Football and Cheerleading Camp in Upstate New York, and Harve Pierre Scholarship Fund.
LEGAL EXPERIENCE Law Offices of Karen C. Dodson, New York, NY 2003-Present Associate Manager - Trial Attorney – Team Leader for Trial Litigation Unit Supervise the daily workload of 24 attorneys and 7 paralegals. Coordinate strategic legal initiatives for Claims Partner. Facilitate office strategic business plan by leveraging office talent, resources, and business relationships. Provide comprehensive representation in civil jury and non-jury First Party cases. Engage in all phases of pre-trial and trial matters in civil court. Successfully tried numerous cases to verdict. Formulate trial strategies and litigation plans for trial team. Advise claims department on various no-fault legal issues.

MFY Legal Services Inc., New York, NY 2001-2003 Employment Law Specialist and Coordinating Attorney for Employment Law Project Advised indigent clients with respect to a wide range of employment law matters, including FMLA, FLSA, wrongful discharge, employment contracts, and severance programs. Lead attorney for major FLSA unpaid wage litigation. Successfully litigated numerous administrative employment law cases.

Coordinating Attorney – New Starts Initiative Project 1999-2001 Chair – New Starts Initiative Working Group Project's primary organizer and legal advocate. Responsibilities included: representing clients on a variety of poverty law issues by litigating housing, government benefits, and family law cases before administrative law and civil court judges; working with a diverse group of stakeholders, including law firms and bar committees, to address the needs of low-income individuals; providing periodic financial and narrative reports to foundation grantors and Federal auditors; conducting government benefits advocacy training for community-based organizations and individuals; As Chair, moderated monthly New Starts Initiative Working Group meetings and implemented approved recommendations. New Starts Initiative Working Group was composed of office personnel, community partners, and guest discussants who assessed projects and made recommendations.

New York City Department of Correction, Queens, NY 1997-1999 Legal Coordinator Assisted adult and adolescent detainees with legal research, trial preparation, post conviction appeals, and Habeas Corpus and administrative filings at Rikers Island and Brooklyn House of Detention. Supervised the daily operations of several law libraries in the detention facilities.

Center for Constitutional Rights, Greenville, MS Winter 1995 Legal Intern Researched, analyzed and prepared legal memoranda for case assessment and strategic planning of municipal redistricting lawsuit. BUSINESS EXPERIENCE Bankers Trust Company, Jersey City, NJ 1992-1994 Senior Administrator for Defined Contributions Managed defined contribution plan accounts for employees of Fortune 500 corporations. Created financial spreadsheets to monitor investment performance for clients. Computed daily unit values for mutual fund and company stock accounts. Verified stock positions and asset portfolios on a daily basis. Managed sale/purchase schedules for securities affected by market fluctuations.


CUNY School of Law, Juris Doctor, 1997 Activities: New York City Law Review, Staff Writer 1995-1996 Housing and Community Economic Development Clinic 1996-1997 Bar Admission U.S. District Court Southern District of New York; New York State Bar Morehouse College,

Bachelor of Arts in Finance, cum laude, May 1992 Honors: Dean's List Goldman Sachs Economic Scholarship Activities: Morehouse Varsity Football Morehouse Business Association Morehouse Mentoring Program

LANGUAGES Fluent in Creole, with a working knowledge of French


Rosedale Jets Football Association, Inc. 1995 - Present President
Rosedale Civic Association, Inc. 2011 – Present Board Member
National Action Network 2012 - Present Member – Election Committee
Macon B. Allen Bar Association 2003 - Present Member
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. 2003 - Present Member
The PeaceKeepers 2010 – Present Management Team
Concerned Citizens of Laurelton 2001- 2009 Vice President Chair – Youth Development Committee
Million Man March Local Organizing Committee 1995-2001 Chair – Youth Development Committee