14 Lafayette Square, Suite 510

Buffalo, NY 14203


Maria Pagano, Managing Attorney. Maria is a graduate of Barnard College and C.U.N.Y. Law School, class of ’93. She  has practiced public interest and poverty law for over 18 years in New York, Arizona, and on the Navajo Nation.   Prior to her current position at PLS, she was the Managing Attorney at DNA-People’s Legal Services in Flagstaff, Arizona where she practiced  family law, public benefits, consumer and housing law.  Maria is a member of the Erie/Niagara Prison Re-Entry Task force and is working with community groups and agencies to address the needs of people in prison who are returning to Western New York.

David Bentivegna, Staff Attorney. David attended Canisius College for his undergraduate education, successfully completing the school’s rigorous Honor’s program to graduate with Bachelor degrees in History and Philosophy. David next moved on to the University at Buffalo Law School where he earned his Juris Doctor in 2007. David has been a staff attorney with the Buffalo PLS office since  2010. Raised in Western New York, David is also an avid runner who participates in races for various charitable causes throughout the year.

Andrew Stecker, Staff Attorney.  Andrew joined PLS in November 2017.  He was previously a Staff Attorney at Disability Rights New York, where he advocated for the civil rights of people with mental illness in a variety of areas, including housing, employment, state prisons, and local jails.  Prior to his work at DRNY, Mr. Stecker served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Lawrence E. Kahn of the U.S. District Court for Northern District of New York.  He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2013

Monique Lewis, Legal Secretary. Monique joined Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York in 2016. After high school, she went to Villa Maria College in Buffalo, New York to complete her Associate Degree in Liberal Arts. Then she went on to Hilbert College in Hamburg, New York where she completed her Bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies. Monique enjoys listening to old and new music.