Nancy Umana-Melendez is Legal Assistant and Paralegal with LPJ legal team. She is a first-generation college graduate with a master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration from CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice. As former paralegal with Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County she worked hand in hand with criminal defense attorneys helping individuals navigate the court systems. While at the public defender’s office, she also spent some time doing post-conviction work, volunteering with Breaking Barriers. Nancy’s work in the criminal legal system, stems from being involved in the first NYS Prison-to-College Pipeline Program, which she later helped pilot in South Africa. Her passion to help those affected by the legal system and has been evident in the work she has done throughout her time at the public defender’s office, as well as American Prison Data Systems, PBC bringing education to prison facilities, and interning at Senator Gillibrand’s Office, helping constituents maneuver their immigration issues with federal agencies.