Samuel J. Himmelstein

Samuel J. Himmelstein

New York, New York

Samuel J. Himmelstein, a graduate of Brooklyn College (1975, Psychology) and the New York Law School (1979, J.D., cum laude), concentrates on individual residential and commercial tenant and tenants' rights litigation, representation of tenant associations and cooperative conversions. He has practiced in the Housing Units of East Brooklyn Legal Services (1979-82) and South Brooklyn Legal Services (1982-83). He has written two manuals, A Tenant's Guide to Housing Court (1983) and How to Get Your Landlord to Correct Violations (1983) and a manual entitled Tenants' Rights and How to Protect Them, published by the New York City Commission on Human Rights in 1992. He has also served as legal advisor on two pamphlets, A Tenant's Guide to Subletting, Apartment Sharing and Apartment and Apartment Succession (1998) and A Tenant's Guide to High Income Decontrol Under Rent Regulation in New York State (2006). He is a frequent lecturer on the subjects of tenants rights and cooperative conversions, and has been a guest on WBAI's Housing Notebook, WNYC-AM's New York and Company, Tenant Talk, Crosswalks, Tenants and Neighbors and other television programs, and frequently teaches Continuing Legal Education courses and training sessions for attorneys and community advocates in landlord-tenant law. He is frequently quoted in the New York Times, The Village Voice, Time Out New York, The New York Law Journal and other publications, and has written articles published in the New York Law Journal. In the summer of 2008 he and William Gribben taught two classes for Housing Court Judges as part of the Judicial Seminars sponsored by the New York State Judicial Institute. In January, 2009, Sam was appointed a tenant representative on the Housing Advisory Council, the official body which screens Housing Court Judge applications and reappointments. In his spare time, Sam is a member of the rock band The Love Handles (keyboard and vocals), which plays regularly at The Cutting Room and other venues in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Areas of Practice

  • Individual Residential
  • Commercial Tenant
  • Tenants' Rights Litigation
  • Tenant Group Representation

Bar Admissions

  • New York, 1980
  • U.S. Federal Court, 1981


  • New York Law School, New York, New York
    • J.D. cum laude - 1979
  • Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, Brooklyn, New York
    • B.A. cum laude - 1975
    • Honors: With Honors
    • Major: Psychology

Published Works

  • A Tenant's Guide to Housing Court, 1983
  • How to Get Your Landlord to Correct Violations, 1983
  • Tenants' Rights and How to Protect Them, New York City Commission on Human Rights , 1992

Representative Clients

  • Metropolitan Council on Housing
  • New York State Tenant and Neighborhood Coalition


  • New York State Tenant and Neighborhood Coalition
  • Metropolitan Council on Housing
  • West Side Tenants Union


  • Frequent Lecturer, Tenants Rights and Cooperative Conversions

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • National Lawyers Guild, Member, 1976 - Present
  • New York County Trial Lawyers Association, Member, 1983 - Present

Past Employment Positions

  • Housing Units of East Brooklyn Legal Services , 1979 - 1982
  • South Brooklyn Legal Services , 1982 - 1983

Pro Bono Activities

  • Member, Rock Band The Love Handles (Keyboard and Vocals)

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