Ilissa Brownstein - Founding Partner

Ilissa Brownstein is the founding lawyer of Brownstein Legal. Ms. Brownstein has a long history of successfully winning criminal defense cases in New York City.  

Ilissa Brownstein, Esq., Founding Partner 


Brownstein legal focuses on civil rights law representing people who has been falsely arrested, maliciously prosecuted, violated by the police and people in jail whose rights have been violated.

Ilissa Brownstein is a third generation criminal defense attorney, following in the footsteps of her father Howard Brownstein, her grandfathers Aaron Slavetsky and Charlie Brownstein, and her great-uncle Morris Slavetsky

A Strong Commitment to Criminal Defense

Ilissa Brownstein attended Georgetown University Law Center where she received her Juris Doctorate in 2003 and made Dean’s List.  She attended college at the University of Michigan where she graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa.  At the University of Michigan, Ms. Brownstein volunteered at a Juvenile Detention Facility and went to various jails and prisons to celebrate holidays with prisoners.  She also worked with the Ann Arbor homeless population. 

Exemplary Legal Accomplishments:

At Georgetown Law, she  participated in the country’s preeminent Criminal Justice Clinic, fighting for underprivileged clients in criminal court.  She worked with Georgetown Law Professor, Abbe Smith, on a clemency petition to release New York’s longest serving female prisoner from her murder sentence. Ms. Brownstein also served as Assistant Editor on Georgetown Law’s prestigious American Criminal Law Review, a publication relied on by attorneys who practice white collar crime across the country.  She also published an article on Employment Crimes.  Ms. Brownstein wrote her law school thesis on sex in prison, studying relationships between inmates, and between guards and inmates.

Ilissa Brownstein worked as an attorney at Cahill Gordon & Reindel, the Law Offices of Lawrence Gerzog, Esq. & Jeremy Gutman, Esq. and The Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Defense Division. 

Ilissa Brownstein is on the “Best Lawyers” inmate-made list at Rikers Island and The Tombs.