The Connecticut Community Law Center, an initiative of UConn School of Law and the Hartford County Bar Association, is a postgraduate program for recently admitted lawyers that helps them develop sustainable legal practices to help bridge the civil “justice gap” in the Greater Hartford Community. It provides reasonably priced legal help to people who traditionally have been underserved by the justice system: low- and moderate-income individuals who do not qualify for free legal services but cannot afford to pay high hourly rates.
The center is located in William F. Starr Hall on the UConn Law campus, 45 Elizabeth Street, Hartford, Connecticut.
The Connecticut Community Law Center provides office space and support for solo practitioners as they establish their law practices. The subsidized working environment allows them to provide legal services at a modest cost to low- and moderate-income clients.
Lawyers who establish solo practices at the Connecticut Community Law Center are members of the Connecticut Bar in good standing and insured. The lawyers work with the support and guidance of volunteer mentors from the practicing bar and UConn School of Law. They typically spend 24 months at the center, learning skills necessary to manage a successful practice while committing themselves to the highest degree of ethics, professionalism and advocacy.
Tom Eisenmann is a 2016 graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Law, where he focused on employment law. Before establishing his independent law practice at the Connecticut Community Law Center, Eisenmann had a multifaceted career in human resources roles, serving employers and clients in biotechnology, financial services, information technology and academia. Over that time, he developed expertise in executive recruitment and compensation, Fair Labor Standards Act and Affirmative Action Plan compliance, retirement plans, relocation management, and employment related immigration. Eisenmann plans to focus his law practice in the areas of probate/elder law, family law, employment and immigration. He started his professional life as a middle school and high school teacher in New York City.
Eva Jacobson is a 2016 graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Law. She handles immigration, custody, divorce, landlord/tenant, criminal, and Social Security Disability cases. Prior to opening her law practice at the Connecticut Community Law Center, Jacobson worked as an immigration lawyer at the Hartford Public Library, where she represented clients before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services with their citizenship, naturalization, and green card applications. Jacobson has worked at Lawyers Without Borders for seven years, managing several U.S. Department of State grants in East Africa and the Latin America and Caribbean region. She also holds a Master of Public Administration and Certificate in Public and Nonprofit Management.
Santolo Odierna is a May 2016 graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Law and is admitted to the bar in the State of Connecticut, United States Court for the District of Connecticut, and the United States Tax Court. Odierna started his own firm as a part of the Connecticut Community Law Center in March 2017. He practices primarily in the area of family law, handling divorces, child custody, and child support cases. He also represents clients in other areas of civil law, including Chapter 7 bankruptcy, foreclosure defense, landlord/tenant, and federal and state tax debt resolution. He is a resident of Bloomfield, Connecticut, with his wife and their son.
Lynn Marie Perry, a 2014 graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Law, has focused her practice on legal life planning, concentrating on families with dependent children and young adults. In law school, she worked with the Mediation Clinic and concentrated on access to justice issues. She has been a television producer and studio coordinator for more than 20 years and maintains a franchise services business.
Penelope Petzold practices exclusively in the area of special education for families of children with disabilities. She is a graduate of the Quinnipiac University School of Law. She is also a graduate of Wrightslaw’s Institute of Special Education Advocacy through William and Mary Law School and of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates’ New Attorney Training. She has volunteered for SpEdConnecticut, a non-profit agency in Hartford that helps families of children with disabilities, and served as a family faculty member for the Leadership Excellence in Developmental Disabilities program and the Partners in Policymaking program at the UConn Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. She is the proud mother of three children.
Too many people face legal problems concerning essential human needs without proper representation because they fall into the growing access-to-justice gap, between the very poor who qualify for legal aid and those with the financial means to pay a private lawyer.
Director, Connecticut Community Law Center
Mark Schreier is the Connecticut Community Law Center’s inaugural director. A graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, Schreier relocated to Hartford after almost three decades as a civil litigator in Michigan, where he specialized in representing victims in catastrophic injury claims and insurance law matters.
Mark most recently served as vice president and a member of the Management Committee at Miller & Tischler, P.C., in metropolitan Detroit. In 2018 the Hartford County Bar Association presented Mark with the Liberty Bell Award, given annually to a person who has promoted a better understanding of the rule of law, encouraged greater respect for law and the courts, stimulated a sense of civic responsibility, and/or contributed to good government in the community.
The Connecticut Community Law Center thanks Thomson Reuters for its generous support.
University of Connecticut Connecticut Community Law Center
45 Elizabeth Street
Hartford, Connecticut 06105 Maps & Directions