Director of Development and Communications
Cara Cancelmo is CVLC’s Director of Development and Communications. She is a graduate of Skidmore College which is where she developed her passion for social justice work as a political science major and through her training as an interracial dialogue facilitator.
Howard R. Udell Staff Attorney
Sharon Fialkovich is CVLC’s Howard R. Udell Fellow in Veterans Justice representing veterans in the Hartford area. Prior to joining CVLC, she worked as an Agency Attorney for the City of New York Department of Social Services. Before her time at DSS, she worked as a Staff Attorney at Womankind (former New York Asian Women’s Center), where she headed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Project and assisted trafficking and domestic violence victims seeking immigration remedies. Sharon received her J.D. from the City University of New York School of Law and her B.A. from the State University of New York Binghamton. She is admitted to practice law in Connecticut and New York.
A graduate of George Washington University National Law Center, Christy has an impressive resume in public interest law. Her previous experience includes working as Director of George Washington University’s Consumer HELP Bankruptcy Clinic, the Managing Attorney at Valley Legal Assistance, and the Deputy Director at New Haven Legal Assistance. Christy has also worked as a Visiting Clinical Instructor at Yale Law School and served on the Board of Directors at the Columbus House and Washington Council of Lawyers.
Carolyn Harriston fills the Veteran Liaison position and is responsible for screening all veteran inquiries. Prior to joining CVLC, she worked as a bookkeeper for a local newspaper. Carolyn has worked for and volunteered for several non-profits in the past serving the at-risk. She is very pleased to return to the non-profit world, assisting service men and women. She attended Bowdoin and Albertus Magnus College, and has an MBA from Willamette University’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management.
Director of Operations / Staff Attorney
Cindy Johnson is a Staff Attorney at Connecticut Veterans Legal Center. Prior to pursuing her dream to become a public interest lawyer, she had a 25-year career in Software Development. She is a graduate of University of Connecticut School of Law. While finishing her law degree, she interned with CVLC and could not bear to work anywhere else. She is admitted to the Connecticut State Bar and is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association (CBA). She is the Secretary for the Veterans and Military Affairs Section of the CBA.
Nicola Kelsey is a paralegal at Connecticut Veterans Legal Center. Nikki comes to us with a diverse legal background. Prior to this position, Nikki worked at the U.S. District Court clerk’s office as the Operations Supervisor in the Hartford division, and previously as a case administrator in the New Haven division. Before her time at the Court she worked for almost ten years as a paralegal at Wiggin and Dana LLP in New Haven and she worked over six years as a legal assistant for the Subway franchisor in Milford, CT. Nikki is a graduate of Wellesley College with a B.A. in history.
Staff Attorney/Discharge Upgrades
Margaret Kuzma is CVLC’s military records corrections attorney (commonly referred to as “discharge upgrades”). Prior to CVLC, she worked as a Skadden Fellow at the Legal Assistance Foundation in Chicago, Illinois where she served low-income veterans and military families. Before deciding to become a public interest attorney, Margaret worked as the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator for Fort Benning and USAG Baumholder. Margaret received her J.D. from DePaul University, College of Law and her B.A. from Brown University. She is admitted to practice law in Connecticut and Illinois.
Discharge Upgrade Coordinator
Erin McBurney is CVLC’s Discharge Upgrade Coordinator. She graduated from Yale College and then joined the USMC where she served as Battalion Adjutant and Regimental Legal Officer at the Infantry Training School, Camp Pendleton, and as an Intelligence Officer in the 1 st Marine Aircraft Wing, Okinawa. Erin received an M.A. and PhD in History from Columbia University and taught early modern military history at the London School of Economics.
Co-Founder & Executive Director
Margaret Middleton serves as Executive Director of Connecticut Veterans Legal Center which she co-founded. She is also a Clinical Visiting Lecturer in Yale Law School’s Veterans Legal Services Clinic. Previously, she was an Emerson Fellow at David Rosen and Associates in New Haven and a law clerk to The Honorable Janet C. Hall of the U.S. District Court in Bridgeport, CT. She is a graduate of Cornell University and the New York University School of Law.
Darren works as a staff attorney for Connecticut Veterans Legal Center. He has focused his career on helping the less fortunate, motivating him to become a public interest attorney. Prior to this position, he was running a small practice focused on “low bono” representation. He graduated from Quinnipiac University School of Law, has a Master’s in Education from Hofstra University, and a Bachelor’s degree in sociology from the College of the Holy Cross. He is admitted to practice law in Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts.
Before joining CVLC, Sarah taught social science study design and legal research courses at Yale Law School, and Communication, Public Affairs, African Studies, and Gender Studies courses at Baruch College (CUNY), The University of Texas at El Paso, Ohio University, and Capital University. From 2001-2004, Sarah ran the Bronx Defenders Debate Initiative, an after-school program serving Title I schools in Harlem and the Bronx. Sarah received an M.A. and Ph.D. From Ohio University, a J.D. from Quinnipiac University School of Law, an M.L.S. from Texas Woman's University, and a B.A. from Capital University.