Legal Advocacy Specialist
Areas of Expertise
Trauma-informed legal advocacy
Law and the legal process
Training and facilitation
Orly Tamayo is the Legal Advocacy Specialist for NJCASA, where she develops and manages a program that supports survivors throughout the state with navigating the legal process. She has studied at Hofstra University, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and will earn her undergraduate degree in Justice Studies from Southern New Hampshire University this Spring.
After 14 years, Orly left her profession at Verizon as a Force Administrator to pursue her passion and began her career in law and advocacy. In 2013, she joined the New Jersey Judiciary as a Judiciary Clerk on the domestic violence team in Mercer County Family Court, then later joined the drug court team in Monmouth County Criminal Court. During her time in family court, she was appointed as the only Judiciary Clerk member of the Mercer Vicinage Access and Fairness Committee, where she worked with judges, vicinage management, and judiciary staff on strategic planning, implementation and monitoring of recommendations in areas that required development to ensure court users were being treated fairly and with equal access to the courts.
In 2017, Orly was appointed by the mayor of South River to the South River Human Relations Commission where she served for a year. As a part of the commission she made recommendations to the governing body for the development of policies, procedures and programs to aid in eliminating discrimination based on race, creed, color, ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, nationality, sex or origin.
In the same year, Orly joined Women Aware, Middlesex County’s lead domestic violence agency, as a legal advocate. During her time there, she delivered trauma informed legal advocacy to over 1,000 victims of domestic violence, developed and provided comprehensive education on the judicial process, court preparation, and community resource availability, while co-located in the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office. She now has over five years of specialized experience working in law and advocacy.
As a survivor, Orly has experienced the challenges many survivors face when reporting—an unawareness of legal rights, feeling intimidated by the judicial process, not having access to legal assistance, and feeling let down by the judicial system. Her experiences have been the driving force behind her unwavering commitment to legal advocacy, victim rights, educating others on the judicial process, and paving the way for improvements to the justice system to ensure all survivors have access to justice and are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.
Orly is a native New Yorker who has lived in New Jersey since 2006. When she is not advocating, she enjoys hiking and spending time with her blended family and English Bulldog.