PLS ALBANY OFFICE

PLS ALBANY OFFICE​​​​

41 State St., Suite M112
Albany, NY  12207
(518) 438-8046


Sophia Heller, Acting Managing Attorney. Sophia joined PLS in 2011 after graduating from Georgetown Law. As a student attorney, Sophia represented indigent defendants facing trial for misdemeanor cases in D.C. Superior Court, and those convicted of crime in parole and probation hearings. She also served as an Executive Editor of the Georgetown Journal on Legal Ethics. Prior to law school, Sophia earned a B.F.A. in film and a Ph.D. in mythology. Her dissertation, The Absence of Myth, was published by SUNY Press in 2005. Sophia was also a contestant on NPR’s “Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me!” and proudly uses Carl Kassell’s recorded greeting on her voicemail to this day.

​Kathleen Anderson, Legal Secretary. Kathleen started as Legal Secretary at PLS’ Albany Office in September of 2015. She grew up in Hudson, a small urban community in Columbia County, New York. Kat graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy and Political Studies from Bard College in May 2013. Before coming to PLS Kat worked as a group facilitator and community organizer for the Apogee Mental Health Recovery Center, an organization that works to empower individuals who struggle with mental health recovery in Columbia County. Kat has also participated in a variety of volunteer initiatives, including AmeriCorps’Hudson Promise Corps, and Bard College’s New Orleans Summer Teaching Program at Wilson Charter School in Broadmoore, New Orleans. In her spare time, Kat facilitates a Spoken Word group that shares poetry and performs original poems at venues around Columbia County. She enjoys cooking, gardening, writing, and spending time with her two children

James Bogin, Senior Supervising Attorney. Mr. Bogin graduated from Cornell Law School in 1984, and was a staff attorney at North Country Legal Services from 1985 to 1987. In 1987 Mr. Bogin joined the Albany office of PLS as a Staff Attorney.  Between 1994 and 2000 Mr. Bogin worked at times as a Staff Attorney and at times as Managing Attorney of the Albany office. He served as the Managing Attorney of the office continuously from 2000 - 2017.

Mary Cipriano-Walter, Supervisor, Family Matters Unit & Staff Attorney. Mary became a staff attorney in the Albany Office of PLS in January 2015. Before becoming a staff attorney, Mary interned at the Albany office from June 2013 through April 2014. Mary is a graduate of Albany Law School, where she studied civil rights law and served as the project director of the Pro Bono Society’s Prisoners’ Rights Project.

Matthew McGowan, Staff Attorney. Matt joined the Albany office of PLS as a staff attorney in 2013. His experience in the fields of prisoners’ rights and public interest advocacy includes fulltime internships with Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts, the Legal Aid Society’s Civil Law Reform Unit, and the AIDS Legal Referral Panel. He also served as a judicial intern for the Hon. Shirley S. Abrahamson, Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. He is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law, where he completed clinical programs in both Prisoners’ Rights and Poverty Law and Practice.

Sydney Tarzwell, Staff Attorney. Sydney (Syd) joined the Albany office as a staff attorney in December 2017. Syd comes to PLS after spending 6+ years representing Alaska Native Tribes in child welfare litigation. In Alaska she also worked with the Northern Justice Project to implement a prisoners’ rights practice, addressing issues such as Alaska’s use of administrative segregation for juveniles caught up in the adult criminal system and the denial of parole to prisoners with guilty but mentally ill verdicts. Syd isn’t totally new to New York State practice: After graduating from Columbia Law School and then clerking in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, she was a Skadden Fellow/Staff Attorney and then Project Managing Director at Urban Justice Center, Peter Cicchino Youth Project in NYC, where she focused on the legal needs of LGBTQQ homeless youth. 

Ketienne Telemaque, Law Graduate. Ketienne received her JD from Mercer University School of Law in 2016. Prior to law school, she earned a Master of Professional Studies in Criminal Justice Leadership at St. John’s University to further understand the complexities of the criminal justice system. During law school, she volunteered with several different organizations surrounding issues of human rights, the school to prison pipeline and criminal defense. These included internships at the New York University School of Law Human Rights Project, The Georgia Appleseed Center in Macon, Georgia, and the Houston County Public Defender’s Office in Warner Robbins, Georgia. She also volunteered her time with the National Lawyers Guild Parole Preparation Project and has assisted several prisoners with their parole application to the New York State Board of Parole.