Saima Akhtar

Senior Attorney

Saima Akhtar joined NCLEJ in 2020 as a senior attorney with a focus on SNAP and Public Benefits, following 12 years at the Empire Justice Center. 

Saima has litigated matters related to accessing entitlement benefits and procedural due process extensively in both state and federal courts. She served as class counsel in a number of legal matters that were co-counseled with NCLEJ including Brooks v. Roberts and Richard C. v. Proud. At Empire Justice Center, she helped establish the right of individuals with Temporary Protected Status to receive New York State Safety Net Assistance in Karamalla v. Divine. She has provided continuing legal education sessions at the state and national level on topics such as SNAP benefits, New York State appellate practice, and basic lawyering skills. 

Saima is a graduate of Albany Law School and holds a Masters degree in Public Policy from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy. She is a recipient of Albany Law School’s Edward M. Cameron Memorial Prize for her contributions to the area of public interest law and was a 2006 Fellow of the Center for Women in Government and Civil Society.