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Pro Bono

NY Judge Honored for Efforts to Assure Immigrants Have Lawyers

By Tony Mauro
For years before he became a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in 1999, Robert Katzmann challenged the legal profession to redouble its pro bono efforts for the underserved. But it was his work as an appellate judge in the last decade that made it clear to Judge Katzmann how serious the problem is, and how great is the need for attorneys to step up to the plate.

Help Is on the Way for Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

By Andrew Keshner
The courts will sponsor pilot programs in Orange County - described by Judge Lippman in an interview as "a prototypical suburban homeowners county - and Queens, which has one of the highest loan default rates in the state.

Partnering with

One lawyer can make a difference -- Join an online community providing critical legal help to those in need. is a one-stop location for connecting with pro bono opportunities; finding resources, training and events; and building bridges. Join the more than 17,000 attorneys across the country who are helping to safeguard individual rights and livelihoods. Visit today!

City Bar Seeks Volunteers for Foreclosure Project

The Foreclosure Project of the City Bar Justice Center will hold its next training for attorneys interested in providing pro bono assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure on March 1.

Lippman Encourages More Civil Pro Bono

By Joel Stashenko
Warning that history will judge New York in part by how it meets the legal needs of its most vulnerable citizens in times of financial distress, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman issued a call to arms yesterday for attorneys to provide more pro bono representation to poor civil ligitants.

BigLaw and NYCLA Launch Pro Bono Program to Represent Taxpayers in Court

By Nate Raymond
Tax attorneys at firms including Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe and Fulbright & Jaworski last month began attending calendar call sessions at the U.S. Tax Court in an effort to assist the more than 70 percent of taxpayers who go to court without a lawyer.

Cravath to the Rescue

By Gina Passarella
After five law firms pitched the Harrisburg City Council to help the financially beleaguered city through a potential bankruptcy, media reports said billing rates ranged by firm from $200 to $975 an hour. It was assumed at the time that New York heavy hitter Cravath Swaine & Moore, by far the largest of the five firms, was the one with the $975 hourly rate. But that is no matter now that the firm has decided to represent the city pro bono in what the law firm called �one of its most significant public service commitments in years.�

Chief Judge Expands Reach of "Emeritus" Effort

By Noeleen G. Walder
Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman announced yesterday the expansion of a program that pairs "emeritus" attorneys with pro bono opportunities to include practicing as well as retired attorneys. The initiative was designed to tap into the large number of retiring baby boomers to boost the ranks of lawyers available to represent poor New Yorkers.

Pro Bono Inspires New BigLaw Practice Group

By Petra Pasternak
Orrick's pro bono work has led the firm to launch a social sector finance practice group, the firm announced this week. Unlike the firm's public or private finance lawyers, the social sector finance attorneys work with clients that take a "triple bottom line" approach to investing, with an eye not just on financial returns, but also taking into account social and environmental concerns.

Lawyers Alliance Recognizes Pro Bono Efforts

By NYLJ Staff
The Lawyers Alliance for New York on Wednesday honored Linklaters and Weil, Gotshal & Manges with its 2010 Cornerstone Awards, which recognize "outstanding pro bono legal services to nonprofit groups that are improving quality of life for low-income and disadvantaged New Yorkers."

Pro Bono Institute To Honor DLA Piper

By NYLJ Staff
The Pro Bono Institute has selected DLA Piper as this year's John H. Pickering Award winner for "outstanding commitment" to pro bono service. The award will be presented at the institutes' annual dinner at Gotham Hall on Nov. 4.

Breaking Tradition, Firm Puts a Price Tag on Its Pro Bono Work

By Suzi Ring
Clifford Chance has estimated the value of its pro bono activities last year at �17 million - breaking convention among City firms by defining the value of its non-profit efforts. The figure is contained in the firm's 2010 Corporate Responsibility Report, which estimates the value based on 57,071 hours invested by its lawyers in community and pro bono efforts.

Mississippi, Hot Damn!: State Eyeing Mandatory Pro Bono

By Karen Sloan
The Mississippi Supreme Court is considering requiring attorneys to perform 20 hours of pro bono service or else pay a $500 fee. If adopted, Mississippi would be the only state to require pro bono service, according to the American Bar Association.

NY Partner and Associate Aid Haitian Farmers

By Thomas Adcock
Ralph Delouis and R. Andrew Richards scarcely knew one another at the New York offices of McCarter & English before their June mission to Haiti, which had been ravaged by the aftermath of January's earthquake. But what they had in common was personal experience in how random disaster may alter and upend everyday life. And each knew that their own well-being carried with it a debt to others.

Supporting Rape Victims 'Left Behind' by Rwandan Genocide

By Thomas Adcock
Two women who have always known safety and material comfort � attorney Lauren J. Wachtler and filmmaker Francine A. LeFrak � are helping women halfway around the world forge new lives after the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, during which they were raped and their husbands hacked to death by machete-wielding militiamen.

NY Lawyers Honored for Service

By Jessica Lauredan
Stuart Saft, a partner at Dewey & LeBoeuf, and Volunteers of Legal Services were among 17 recipients of the 2010 New York City Neighborhood Achievement Awards. Established in 2002, the awards recognize efforts that foster economic opportunity.

Deferred Associates Put Pro Bono Time to Good Use

By Jeff Jeffrey
Initial reports from a Pro Bono Institute survey suggest that the push to have deferred associates spend their downtime at pro bono organizations worked out better than expected � or feared. Institute President Esther Lardent said that many of its member law firms and public interest groups had worried about how well young lawyers who had expected to join Big Law would fit in at public interest groups.

Lippman Boosts Efforts to Tap Retired Lawyers for Pro Bono

By Jeff Storey
The court system has enlisted more than 120 retired lawyers since January to offer free legal advice and representation to poor New Yorkers in foreclosure, debt collection, housing, family and other civil cases—the first of what could be "thousands" of attorney volunteers, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman said last week.

NY Lawyers Honored for Public Service

By Jessica Lauredan
Bernard W. Nussbaum, a partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, and John R. Dunne, a senior counsel at Whiteman Osterman & Hanna, will be honored by the Fund for Modern Courts on May 10. Also, The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University honored Dewey & LeBoeuf with its Special Achievement Award, accepted by firm chairman Steven H. Davis, and other good works by the New York legal community are recognized.

NY Bar Groups, Lawyers Pressure ABA to Move Conference Out of Arizona

By Nate Raymond
The American Bar Association is facing mounting pressure to move a conference in Phoenix scheduled for next week after its co-sponsor backed out and two New York public interest law groups called for a boycott to protest Arizona's controversial new immigration law.

The Innocence Project Has Sparked a Movement, Founder Says

By Meredith Hobbs
The effort to free wrongfully convicted people from prison has grown from a few projects to an "international human rights movement in pursuit of the rule of law," said the Innocence Network's co-founder, Peter J. Neufield, at the group's 10th annual conference Friday.

Pro Bono Hours Double Under New York State Bar Program

By Joel Stashenko
Nearly 1,500 lawyers donated at least 50 hours of pro bono legal work last year to earn designation by the New York State Bar Association as "Empire State Counsel."

In Search of Volunteer Lawyers for Death Row Inmates

By Tony Mauro
For several months last year Robin Maher, director of the American Bar Association Death Penalty Representation Project was feeling like the proverbial Maytag repairman. "I could not even get a return phone call," she said, from law firms she had called in search of volunteers to help the hundreds of death row inmates nationwide who are without counsel.

Deferred Associates Scorecard: So How Was That Pro Bono Gig?

By Nate Raymond
Nearly three-quarters of deferred associates in New York who placed with public interest groups developed a stronger interest in pro bono work because of the experience, according to a report released last week by the New York City Bar.

For NY BigLaw Pro Bono Boss, Best Thing Is Switching Firms

By Emma Sadowski
Allen & Overy has recruited the founder of Advocates for International Development, Chris Marshall, as the head of its pro bono and community affairs department. Marshall will join the magic circle firm in the New Year after spending six years at Reed Smith, where he was pro bono and community manager for the firm's Europe, Middle East and Africa offices.

Kaye Scholer Deferred Lawyers to Work on Pro Bono at Firm

By Nate Raymond
Kaye Scholer plans to split up its incoming first-year deferred associates, with half working on pro bono work for a reduced salary. The 500-lawyer firm had already delayed start dates for its 40 incoming associates to January. Now, 20 of the new lawyers will work in its pro bono program at the firm for a $60,000 salary, managing partner Barry Willner said yesterday.

Pro Bono at the Crossroads

By Kevin J. Curnin
Mr. Curnin writes: "Our first National Pro Bono Week comes at an interesting time. We may or may not be heading toward an era of greater balance between Wall Street and Main Street, between our appetites and our planet, but so long as we remain a 'country of laws,' there will be a place in it for the pro bono lawyer."

ABA President: Pro Bono Week Underscores Bar's Commitment

By Karen Sloan
Beneath the ornate rotunda of a New York State trial courthouse in downtown Manhattan, a handful of in-house lawyers and law firm attorneys were honored on Oct. 26 for their pro bono work in areas ranging from immigration to helping disabled students in public schools. The event was one of about 500 planned during the first National Pro Bono Week, a project of the American Bar Association's standing committee on pro bono and public service.

Deferred Associates "Hit the Ground Running" at Non-Profits, DA's Offices

By Nate Raymond
Had the economy not gone into a tail spin, Christopher Reid would likely be elbow-deep in research for discovery in a patent lawsuit at Ropes & Gray. Instead, Ropes & Gray announced in March that it was delaying start dates for new associates and those who chose to could work at non-profit agencies for a $60,000 stipend. Mr. Reid said he was initially "freaked out" but later decided the non-profit work might pull him out of his research comfort zone by forcing him into court with clients. "I thought it was good to do something that wasn't natural to me so I'd learn the most," said Mr. Reid, who said he is working on housing cases in Brooklyn for the Legal Aid Society.

NY BigLaw Pro Bono Team Wins Client New Trial in 1977 Slaying

By Joel Stashenko
Exculpatory evidence unearthed by pro bono attorneys that was not turned over at trial to a defendant convicted of a 1977 murder has persuaded a judge to reopen the case. Acting Dutchess County Court Judge James T. Rooney granted defendant Dewey Bozella's motion to set aside his conviction and ordered a new trial in the killing of 92-year-old Emma Crapser as she returned to her Poughkeepsie home after a night of bingo. WilmerHale senior associate Ross E. Firsenbaum, partners Peter Macdonald and John Hintz and associate Shauna Friedman worked on the case, logging an estimated 2,500 hours worth $950,000 at customary rates on the Bozella case since it took the matter over late in 2007.

BigLaw Firm Struggling With Downsizing and Pay Cuts Revamps Pro Bono Program

By Deborah C. Espana
Holland & Knight has overhauled its pro bono efforts to expand a program centered on litigators to all attorneys at the firm. The pro bono transformation at the 1,100-attorney firm is among several structural changes at the firm latel: The firm reduced associate pay by an average of 7 percent in July and at least two rounds of layoffs have slashed the associate and staffer ranks.

NY Courts to Host Pro Bono Expo on Thursday

Attorneys interested in learning about the state court system's pro bono programs are invited to an expo on Thursday from 5-7 p.m. hosted by the Access to Justice Program of the New York State Courts at 111 Centre St.

BigLaw Hires NY Death Row Defender to Head New Pro Bono Push

By Marcia Coyle
Squire, Sanders & Dempsey has tapped veteran death penalty litigator George Kendall, formerly of Holland & Knight, to head a new program combining pro bono litigation, public policy reform and public education. He brings with him to Squire Sanders three associates who will work on pro bono matters: Samuel Spital, Corrine Irish and Carine Williams.

Firm Wins Pro Bono Fight on the Home Front

By Lynne Marek
This week Katten Muchin Rosenman, along with the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, won a major hate crime award � $520,000 � for a Puerto Rican family who had been repeatedly harassed by a neighbor.

Storms Rage, But BigLaw Firm Is Committed to Helping Victims

By Karen Sloan
Instead of wielding spatulas over the barbeque this Labor Day, a group of attorneys and staff members from Sonnenschein Nath and Rosenthal will spend the long weekend with power tools and shovels in hand, helping to rebuild a Boy Scout camp in Iowa that was destroyed by a tornado last summer.

Outreach Program Works to Introduce Minority Youths to Careers in Law

By Vivian Yee
Twenty-five years ago, Harvard Law graduate James O'Neal decided to help young, underprivileged students grow up to be lawyers. As the recipient of a Harvard Public Interest Law Fellowship, Mr. O'Neal had taught law to at-risk students in Harlem, the South Bronx and Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Through the teaching he realized he could spark enthusiasm among the students by applying legal ideas to many of the problems in their communities.

Pro Bono Hours Rise at BigLaw Firms

By Karen Sloan
Between attorney layoffs, dipping profits and a lack of business, 2008 was a brutal year for many major law firms. But these difficult economic times have been a boon to one practice area: pro bono. A survey by the Pro Bono Institute at Georgetown University Law Center found that pro bono hours increased by 13% in 2008 among 135 of the firms involved in the institute's Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge � a jump the report called "extraordinary."

BigLaw Associate Helps Iraqi Translator to New Home in US

By Jordana Mishory
For four years a young woman went on combat patrols with U.S. troops, translating for them as they hunted for insurgents and terrorists. She barrelled into torture houses, got caught in the middle of skirmishes and stood feet away from soldiers cut down in the crossfire and blown apart by improvised explosive devices. But that wasn't enough to convince immigration officials she had earned a chance at a new life in the New World.

Failure to Supervise Pro Bono Attorney Dooms Divorce Pact

By Noeleen G. Walder
A state judge has cautioned law firms and volunteer groups that in taking on pro bono cases, they should ensure that counsel "receive appropriate support and supervision, so that they can provide pro bono clients with the same careful legal representation that they provide to paying clients." The ruling comes at a time when law firms facing a decline in legal business and a surplus of attorneys are working with pro bono organizations to increase the number of cases they handle on a volunteer basis.

Accolades: NY Attorneys Honored for Service

By Scott Pegram
At its 10th anniversary program, The Burton Foundation, a nonprofit academic organization, will present its 2009 Awards for Legal Achievement in recognition of effective legal writing. The Lifetime Reform in Law award will be presented to former New York Chief Judge Judith Kaye.

For NY Lawyers, Foreclosure Intervention Training Resumes

By Noeleen G. Walder
On Wednesday and Thursday, the Lawyers' Foreclosure Intervention Network will hold its next training for attorneys interested in providing pro bono assistance to homeowners in danger of foreclosure. In exchange for 12.5 free CLE credits, attorneys must attend both days of training and represent at least one client pro bono.

Attorney Volunteer Effort Meets

NYC Legal Outreach will hold its second meeting tonight to recruit attorneys to provide pro bono representation for the growing number of unrepresented consumers with financial and immigration problems. The campaign is a joint effort by the judicial and executive branches to expand pro bono legal assistance.

These Lawyers Have No Borders

By Karen Sloan
During the mid 1990s, attorney Christina M. Storm went looking for opportunities to do pro bono legal work abroad. Storm, a litigator who is a partner in Byrne & Storm in Hartford, Conn., had developed mediation skills that she figured could be put to use in other countries, but she had a hard time finding organizations doing international pro bono work with which she could volunteer. Frustrated with the lack of options, in 2000 she founded Lawyers Without Borders, an organization that connects attorneys with pro bono projects in Africa and elsewhere.

NY Attorneys Honored for Service

By Scott Pegram
Bentley Kassal, litigation counsel at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, will be inducted as a Chevalier of the National Order of the Legion of Honor, presented by French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Normandy on June 6, the D-Day anniversary.

Debt-Free JD

By Karen Sloan
It is one thing to express concern for the plight of migrant farm workers. It's another to live and toil alongside them and attempt to fully understand the challenges they face, as Thomas Fritzsche has done.

Economic Crisis Brings Pro Bono to the Crossroads

By the Staff of The National Law Journal
As Wall Street's scandals and woes cast shadows over the country's fiscal health as a whole, scholars, practitioners and students weigh in on changes to legal services for the poor.

JD Debt-Free

By Karen Sloan
It is one thing to express concern for the plight of migrant farm workers. It's another to live and toil alongside them and attempt to fully understand the challenges they face, as Thomas Fritzsche has done. Mr. Fritzsche will not have to worry about paying off a crushing law school loan debt on a public interest salary. Dallas litigation boutique Bickel & Brewer paid for his legal education.

Associates Provide Pro Bono Aid in Family Kidnapping Cases

By Tasha Norman
Three years ago, Sullivan & Worcester partner Barry Pollack launched the S&W International ChildFind Program, which provides pro bono legal assistance to parents of limited financial means whose children have been kidnapped by family members and taken overseas.

Tough Times Have BigLaw Firm Reassessing Its Commitment to Pro Bono Work

By Alana Roberts
The recession�s harsh impact is forcing Holland & Knight to reconsider its commitment to pro bono work, which has been a key part of the firm�s culture and legacy of the firm�s founder.

MegaFirm Takes on Pro Bono Work Combating Sex Assault in Zimbabwe

By Zach Lowe
Nine DLA Piper lawyers are assisting the nonprofit AIDS-Free World in documenting dozens of politically motivated rape cases committed during the 2008 presidential election campaign in Zimbabwe.

NY Lawyers Volunteer Assistance to Binghamton Shooting Victims

By Daniel Wise
Lawyers mobilized by the New York State Bar Association traveled to Binghamton last week to provide free legal advice to the families of 13 persons slain by a lone gunman at an immigration services center on Friday, April 3.

NY Attorneys Honored for Public Service

By Scott Pegram
John DeWitt Gregory of the Hostra University School of Law, Michael D. Fricklas of Viacom Inc., and Sondra Youdelman of Community Voices Heard will be honored by the National Center for Law and Economic Justice at its annual awards dinner on June 2.

Local Partner Offers Helping Hand to the Hungry in These Hard Times

By the Staff of the New Jersey Law Journal
Loryn Riggiola began distributing hot lunches to the homeless on Mondays outside Newark, N.J.'s Penn Station in November 2003, after she learned a local soup kitchen was closed that day. In a short while, her colleagues at Sills, Cummis & Gross wanted to join her. Now, a core group of four, and other lawyers and staffers who help out on a rotating basis, are marking their sixth winter assisting the firm's disadvantaged neighbors.

Looking for Tax Deductions? Don't Forget Pro Bono

By Barbara A. Ruth
Lawyers frequently provide pro bono services to charitable organziations but often overlook the potential tax benefits associated with providing such services.

NY Firms, Attorneys Honored for Public Service

By Scott Pegram
Recipients of this year's George A. Katz Torch of Learning Award, given by the American Friends of the Hebrew University, were Gary P. Naftalis, a partner at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, and Mary Jo White, a partner at Debevoise & Plimpton. Other honors were also handed down recently. Read on.

Simpson Thacher Sends Some Associates on Year-Long Pro Bono Stints

By Leigh Jones
Amid a slowdown in funding for public interest legal work and a downturn in business at private law firms, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett is sending some of its associates to year-long stints at nonprofit organizations.

Diversity, Pro Bono Directors: Tempting Cuts in Downturn?

By Gina Passarella
Diversity and pro bono initiatives took root in many firms over the past few years, but the economy might make having individual directors at the fore of those programs a less tenable prospect. When Saul Ewing laid off 12 people earlier this year, the cuts included the firm's full-time diversity program manager and its full-time pro bono counsel.

Pro Bono Increasingly Seen as an Investment, Not a Cost

By Michael Moline
Annual survey by The National Law Journal notes pro bono trends, and spotlights leading firms for their work on struggles that took on particular resonance in 2008.

BigLaw Associate's Big Day

By Gina Passarella
Most BigLaw thirty-somethings are focused on making partner or, in this economy, keeping their jobs. But Dechert 9th-year Jason Murtagh, 33, won't be toiling away at his desk this morning on one of his typical products liability cases. He is down in Washington, D.C., making his case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

NY Pro Bono Lawyer Swims the English Channel, And Says It Boosts His Firm

By Peter Page
Steven Reiss, a litigation partner at Weil Gotshal & Manges in New York and co-chairman of the firm's pro bono practice, swam the English Channel last August to raise research funds and awareness for Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, a rare genetic lung disease.

BigLaw Firm Takes on Fight to Overturn Same-Sex Marriage Ban

By Zack Lowe
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher filed an amicus brief late Monday, on behalf of 43 state legislators supporting same-sex couples who are challenging California's new gay marriage ban (Proposition 8) as an overly broad revision of the state's constitution.

Firm Forms New Group to Focus on Pro Bono Work

By Mary Pat Gallagher
Lowenstein Sandler, already New Jersey's leader in pro bono legal work, is taking it up a notch. The Roseland firm announced the launch of its Center for the Public Interest, headed by partner Kenneth Zimmerman and staffed by five associates, who will each devote 25 percent of their time for one year.

NY Judge's Remarks Cause Stir Over Goal of Pro Bono Work

By Mark Hamblett
Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit raised some hackles earlier this month with a speech which promised at the outset to be "unusually provocative." The judge said straight away, "My point, in a nutshell, is that much of what we call legal work for the public interest is essentially self-serving: Lawyers use public interest litigation to promote their own agendas, social and political - and (on a wider plane) to promote the power and the role of the legal profession itself."


By Thomas Adcock
Two hundred lawyers representing 40 private firms and corporate law offices were honored earlier this month by MFY Legal Services for their volunteer counsel to indigent New Yorkers during a breakfast reception at the offices of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

Pro Bono Team Wins $4.6 Million For Aggrieved Food Deliverymen

By Thomas Adcock
Thirty-six bicycle deliverymen will soon split a $4.6 million bounty won on their behalf in litigation against a restaurant that cheated them out of fair wages, assessed illegal "fines" for "perceived infractions" of work rules and then fired them when the owners sensed they might be sued.

NY BigLaw Teams Win Release of Guantánamo Detainees

By Thomas Adcock
After years of litigation against the Bush administration, attorneys from two large Manhattan firms have won release of their ethnic Chinese clients from custody at the Guantánamo Bay naval base in Cuba, where they had been detained by U.S. military authorities as enemy combatants.

Bar Associations Nationwide Bulk Up Pro Bono Efforts in Foreclosure Cases

By Vesna Jaksic
Lawyers across the country are doing their share to help homeowners facing foreclosures stemming from the subprime mortgage crisis. From Massachusetts to California, bar associations have formed task forces and organized pro bono projects offering services such as hotlines and free consultations regarding foreclosures, an issue many lawyers say could only get worse.

"Actual Factual" Innocence?

By Thomas Adcock
The fate of Fernando Bermudez, ever hopeful of leaving the cell he has occupied at Sing Sing since his 1992 conviction in the fatal shooting of a teen following a dispute at the Marc Ballroom on Union Square, now rests with a solo practitioner who operates from her suburban home office, backed up by a BigLaw attorney.

BigLaw Chairman Is KEEN on Aiding Disabled Youths

By Thomas Adcock
Elliott I. Portnoy calls his longstanding involvement with an international pro bono project that helps children with mental and physical disabilities to engage in athletics an "extraordinary and transformative" experience, both personal and professional.

Public Interest Projects: NY Lawyers Doing Good

By Thomas Adcock
A team of NY junior associates teach a twice weekly course called "Surviving the Streets: Know Your Rights" for New York City teens at risk. Also, two young lawyer join forces to help Rwandan villagers market art objects at fair trade rates.

Wachtell Team Worked Pro Bono on Fannie/Freddie Bailout

By Marisa McQuilken
A team from Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz that drafted key components of the federal government's bailout plan for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae did the work on a pro bono basis.

BigLaw Firm Provided $1 Million in Pro Bono Work for Pentagon Memorial Fund

By Peter Page
Many employees from Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, ranging from senior partners to clerical staff, have VIP seating at the dedication of the memorial for the 184 people killed at the Pentagon during the Sept. 11, 2001, attack.

Humans Rights Group Enlists NY Firms to Monitor War Crimes

By Thomas Adcock
With only four lawyers besides herself to monitor and analyze jurisprudence and courtroom policy in historic trials of dictators accused of monstrous crimes, Elise Keppler called for help at two large Manhattan law firms whose volunteer attorneys now occupy seats on a stage the whole world is watching.

NYC Bar Groups band Together for Pro Bono Effort

By Thomas Adcock
A trio of bar groups yesterday announced the formation of the Bar Association Foreclosure Network of New York City, a cooperative pro bono effort by lawyers in three boroughs.

Firm Donates $$50,000 in Fees From Pro Bono Fight

By Amanda Bronstad
Fenwick & West has announced that it is donating about $450,000 in attorney fees to its co-counsel, the Public Interest Law Firm (PILF), from a settlement involving inmates of a California jail.

No More Teacher's Dirty Looks: Skadden Wins School Fight

By David Bario
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom won a settlement in February for two Jewish families in rural Delaware whose local school district sponsored Christian prayers and allowed teachers to pass out Bibles in school.

Identity Crisis

By Thomas Adcock
A baby-faced team of young NY BigLaw lawyers won a decision last week preserving, at least for the time being, a controversial pact of confidentiality between the city of New Haven and thousands of undocumented immigrants who hold municipal identification cards allowing them access to banks and public services.

NY Partner Faces Off Against U.S. in World Court in Pro Bono Fight

By Nate Raymond
In the race to stop the execution of a Mexican citizen in Texas, a Debevoise & Plimpton lawyer has found himself facing off against the United States in the World Court. On Wednesday, the International Court of Justice ruled the U.S. must take "all measures necessary" to stop the executions of five Mexican nationals facing death sentences in Texas.

Casualties of War

By Claire Duffett
Disabled veterans, facing a blizzard of paperwork when they return from service, have had little legal support. But as the toll from Afghanistan and Iraq mounts, more lawyers are stepping in to help.

BigLaw Partner Targeted by White Supremacists Over Pro Bono Case

By David Bario
When Troutman Sanders took on a seemingly straightforward fair housing pro bono matter early last year, it never imagined that the lead partner on the case would become the target of a network of white supremacists.

Bonds for the Poor

By Julie Triedman
By providing increasingly sophisticated cross-border finance work to the microfinance industry, several law firms are enabling borrowers around the world to build small businesses.

BigLaw "Angels" Help Out Small Theater

By Amy Kolz
Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but not when it comes to Broadway shows. That was the case with a Chicago nonprofit group's production of Urinetown: The Musical. Facing an expensive court battle on several fronts, the theater operators secured the help of Lawyers for the Creative Arts, a Chicago-based legal services firms, which in turn recruited Foley & Lardner.

BigLaw Lawyers Help Holocaust Survivors

By Marisa McQuilken
A few years ago, Latham & Watkins associate Mia Sussman watched her grandparents � both Holocaust survivors � apply for reparations from the German government. Both were turned down and have since passed away. So when Sussman had the chance to help survivors apply for a new round of reparations, she jumped at it.

Associate Honored for Asylum Work for Deaf Victim of Genital Mutilation

By Zack Needles
When Jason A. Leckerman was assigned a pro bono asylum case involving a deaf Guinean refugee, the young attorney had no idea what he was in for. What followed was a long, arduous journey through a young woman's violent past in a war-torn African nation and an eventual victory that gave her a new home and a new opportunity to start over.

NY Lawyer's "Magic" Earns State Bar Honor

By Joel Stashenko
A Long Island attorney who annually helps provide Christmas presents and holiday activities to children and families in crisis is the 2008 recipient of the Root/Stimson award from the New York State Bar Association.

BigLaw Firm Names New Pro Bono Partner

By Lynne Marek
Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal has hired Benjamin Weinberg as its new partner in charge of pro bono work following the departure earlier this year of Terry Norton, who held the post previously.

BigLaw Patent Litigator Wins 12-Year Battle for Death Row Client

By Thomas Adcock
Roman Catholic parishioners of a historic church in Manhattan's East Village are fighting a legal struggle against annihilation by wrecking ball, a city epic coming to closure, thanks to the intervention of a mysterious financial savior and in part to attorneys believed by a lay leader to be "angels from God."

Honoring NY Lawyers

By Tom Adcock
The annual awards luncheon to benefit A Better Chance, the New York-based national scholarship program for minority youth, honored its longtime law firm supporter Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom May 30 at the Pierre Hotel. Skadden partner Peter Atkins accepted the award on behalf of the firm.

BigLaw Patent Litigator Wins 12-Year Battle for Death Row Client

By Janet L. Conley
When Ann G. Fort launched her latest effort to save the life of convicted murderer and death row inmate Samuel David Crowe, she didn't just rely on the law. The law, after all, had not gone her client's way in a protracted series of motions, appeals to state and federal courts . . .

Economic Downturn Drives Rise in Domestic Violence

By Tom Adcock
The tenth anniversary of the Domestic Violence Clinical Center, an initiative of the New York Legal Assistance Group, comes at a time when its attorneys and law students expect greater need, given the historic corollary between economic downturns and the abuse of women and children.

60 Minutes Profiles Three BigLaw Firms on Iraqi Asylum Work

By Brian Baxter
Last week's edition of 60 Minutes highlighted the pro bono work of three Am Law 200 firms -- Holland & Knight, Mayer Brown, and Proskauer Rose -- on behalf of Iraqi refugees seeking asylum in the United States.

How One BigLaw Firm Handled California's Same-Sex Marriage Case Pro Bono

By Nate Raymond
�A lot of people will be getting over a fairly massive hangover,� Stephen Bomse predicted on Thursday. The Heller Ehrman antitrust partner was referring to the immediate outcome of the California Supreme Court's decision Thursday to strike down the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

Federal Reserve Joins Bankruptcy Pro Bono Efforts

By Thomas Adcock
A unique partnership between the federal government and the New York City Bar Association is the latest of several initiatives by which attorneys are volunteering to help individuals caught in the kind of financial distress registered by record numbers of bankruptcy filings, home foreclosures, evictions and debt recovery litigation.

Making Seven Minutes Count

By Mark Fass
Volunteer lawyers from BigLaw firms and mjor corporations show litigants how to make their case before a Brooklyn Family Court judge.

NY BigLaw Leader Hires Ex-Prosecutor as Pro Bono Coordinator

By Thomas Adcock
The former deputy chief of the criminal division at the Southern District U.S. Attorney's Office has joined Davis Polk & Wardwell as a special counsel for pro bono.

NY Lawyers Working on Public Interest Projects

By Thomas Adcock
The Pro Bono Clinic, launched this spring at Brooklyn Law School, provides eight students the opportunity of working on a variety of cases with Holland & Knight lawyers who make up the firm's Community Services Team.

New Software Speeds Pro Bono Work

By Mark O'Brien
Pro Bono Manager can be compared to client relationship management software -- on steroids. It not only helps administrators manage and promote pro bono opportunities, it helps them connect the right project to the right lawyer. And it was created with the help of 10 AmLaw 100 firms.

In-House Counsel Reaches Out

By Douglas S. Malan
Pro Bono Partnership, itself a nonprofit, uses corporate attorneys to provide free legal services and educational workshops to community-based nonprofits. Priya Morganstern, a member of the group, recently won a tax fight on behalf of a West Indian dance troupe.

MoFo Fights for Wounded Vets in Landmark Benefits Case

By Brian Baxter
The firm is pro bono co-counsel with Disability Rights Advocates in a suit against the Department of Veterans Affairs.

For Its Anniversary, Small Firm Donates $125,000 to Food Bank

By Petra Pasternak
Fitzgerald Abbott & Beardsley really knows how to throw an anniversary party -- out the window. Instead of cocktails and caviar, the firm celebrated its 125th anniversary by donating lots of cash and spending a day in a warehouse, sorting food and packing up boxes for needy families

BigLaw Firm Takes on Asylum Cases for Kids Fleeing Violence

By Kellie Schmitt
Reed Smith has launched a program on behalf of Central American children fleeing violence. As a result, the firm has taken on 12 new related cases dealing specifically with children, a change from its previous work dealing mainly with adults.

Lawyer Shows She Has Heart and Fashion Sense

By Christian Nolan
Natalie Holder-Winfield would rather help prevent sexual harassment in the workplace than litigate a sexual harassment claim. The young employment lawyer applies that same philosophy of staying ahead of the curve to her volunteer commitments as well.

Groups Offer Civilian Lawyers for 'High-Value' Gitmo Detainees

By The Associated Press
The American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers said they are assembling teams of civilian attorneys to help defend some of the most notorious terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay.

1,100 Lawyers Volunteering to Stave Off Foreclosures, Gov Says

By The Associated Press
Gov. Ted Strickland says 1,100 Ohio attorneys have volunteered under a state-coordinated program to give legal services to struggling homeowners facing foreclosure.

A Year in Africa

By Thomas Adcock
Ashley E. Hufft is now back at Alston & Bird in New York, but her recent sabbatical abroad doing good works might result in a potential new practice area for the firm.

BigLaw Firm Fights for Child Prostitute in Suit Against Her Pimps

By Evan Hill
Two attorneys from Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton used a novel approach to win a settlement for a client who probably wouldn't have put an Am Law 100 firm high on her list of likely knights in shining armor � a former child prostitute.

Fighting the Good Fight

The latest reinforcements in the pro bono battle on behalf of veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and their families are the lawyers of the Veterans Rights Project.

Out of Africa

By Christian Nolan
In the wake of decades of civil conflict breeding horror and grinding squalor, local BigLaw lawyers take up the cause of Liberian refugees.


By Thomas Adcock
Reversing the murder conviction of Martin H. Tankleff took 12 years of tenacity by a legal team led by a Brooklyn prosecutor turned Long Island solo practitioner, with pro bono backup from attorneys at three large firms.

Good Works and Bad Paper

One local solo has devised a tongue-in-cheek economic formula that firms big and small can use to evaluate their pro bono programs. He says "intentional" pro bono should equal "inadvertent" pro bono: work for billable clients who don't pay.

BigLaw Firm Fills Pro Bono Post

By Lynne Marek
McDermott, Will & Emery has hired its first pro bono counsel, picking up a former Sidley Austin associate in Chicago to fill the role.

Pro Bono Victories Trigger Fee Fights

By Amanda Bronstad
Two recent instances of large firms collecting large fees in pro bono cases point to an increasingly controversial issue.

Pro Bono Partners Find Strength in Numbers

By Niraj Chokshi
When Maureen Alger, Cooley Godward Kronish's pro bono partner, met up with four of her counterparts from other firms, they all realized something � their ranks were swelling.

NY Pro Bono Team Aids Aged, Ill Immigrants

By Thomas Adcock
To a penniless, ill 100-year-old refugee, a merciful court is something new under the sun. So, too, is the idea that attorneys who will work for years - for free - to ensure that government is responsible for the likes of him.

Tankleff Pro Bono Effort Born of Ex-Classmate's Law Paper

By Thomas Adcock
Attorneys from New York and Latin America prepare to launch effort to boost pro bono efforts in Central and South America, beginning with a project in Mexico City next month.


By Thomas Adcock
Two jurists and Columbia Law School were honored by the Association of Judges of Hispanic Heritage.

Tankleff Pro Bono Effort Born of Ex-Classmate's Law Paper

By Thomas Adcock
Laura R. Taichman was a law student at Northeastern University School of Law in Boston in the early 1990s. Assigned to prepare a paper for her advanced criminal procedure class, her choice of topic was a natural: the 1988 slayings of Arlene and Seymour Tankleff in her hometown of Belle Terre, Long Island. Ms. Taichman's paper would come to inspire a pro bono legal team of 13 years' standing, a team composed of lawyers from several of the nation's biggest firms whose members estimate they have contributed several million dollars worth of time to the defense of Martin H. Tankleff.


By Thomas Adcock
Five New Yorkers are among this year's 47 newly elected members of the American Law Institute, which recognizes people for "significant professional achievements and a demonstrated interest in the improvement of the law." Also, The Brooklyn Bar Association's Volunteer Lawyers Project and Manhattan Legal Services have honored attorneys for their pro bono work.

NYCLA Launches Major Pro Bono Efforts

By Thomas Adcock
The New York County Lawyers' Association will begin the New Year with a pair of major pro bono initiatives intended to help those plagued by consumer debt and former prison inmates struggling to start a new life in the face of bureaucratic obstacles.

Attorneys Aid Iraqis at Peril For Helping U.S. Government

By Thomas Adcock
The violent complexity that is Iraq includes professionals now fleeing their country in fear of tormentors who consider the assistance they gave American lawyers in Baghdad during the trial of Saddam Hussein to be a holy crime, akin to that of collaborating with Christian crusaders of centuries past. But the cause of the tormented has became the passion of two pro bono attorneys.


By Thomas Adcock
This year's Cornerstone Awards for pro bono services, given by the Lawyers Alliance of New York, went to two institutions and 10 individual attorneys from private firms and in-house corporate legal departments. Singled out for its wide range of pro bono social services to elderly New Yorkers was Citigroup, Inc. Lawyers Alliance also honored Hughes Hubbard & Reed for what the organization called a "substantial breadth, complexity and significance" of pro bono transactional work on behalf of nonprofit groups.

NY State Bar Appoints New Pro Bono Director

By Joel Stashenko
Gloria Herron Arthur has become the new director of pro bono affairs for the New York State Bar Association.

Local Bar Musters to Help Troops, Veterans

By Thomas Adcock
Just as some local immigration attorneys and a pair of law students were preparing for the worst - mass arrests of undocumented Latino laborers on Long Island - the worst indeed happened. Now many leading firms are coming to their aid.

Pro Bono Lawyers Fight for Undergrads Right to Party

By Mary Alice Robbins
Hundreds of college students between the ages of 18 and 20 are receiving free representation from about 20 attorneys participating in a pro bono project.

Local Bar Musters to Help Troops, Veterans

By Vesselin Mitev
Returning veterans will now have access to free legal help from nearly 40 lawyer volunteers through a new committee formed by the Nassau County Bar Association.

Advocates for Vets

By Thomas Adcock
The New York City Bar and several Manhattan BigLaw firms are joining forces to launch a legal clinic for veterans.

BigLaw Firm Counting the Non-Billable Hours It's Keeping Client Alive

By Attila Berry
As the Supreme Court considers lethal injection, one man on death row in Georgia is living on borrowed time, his execution averted -- for now -- by lawyers from Clifford Chance.


By Thomas Adcock
As a boy, Andrew Friedman promised his immigrant grandparents that he would somehow see to it that New York City lived up to the poetic pledge of Emma Lazarus . . .

BigLaw Firm, Others Honor NY Judge, Partner

By Thomas Adcock
Eastern District Senior Judge Jack B. Weinstein will be honored during annual Abely Awards program at Davis Polk & Wardwell, co-sponsored by Columbia Law School and the Center for Battered Women's Legal Services at Sanctuary for Families.

Open Door Policy

By Thomas Adcock
Opportunity literally knocked on Robert D. McCreanor's door one evening in 2002 when some of his fellow tenants in a Queens apartment house heard their new neighbor was a lawyer.

BigLaw Supports the Troops

By Lynne Marek
Law firms, corporate legal departments and law schools are setting out to help thousands of disabled soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan receive fair and timely benefits.

City Bar Names New Head of Pro Bono Arm

By Thomas Adcock
Lynn M. Kelly has been named the new executive director of City Bar Justice Center, the pro bono arm of the New York City Bar Association.

'84 and Everything After

By Thomas Adcock
1984. A catchy title, but not a good year for lawyers advocating for the homeless and down-and-out. Ronald Reagan was president and wildly popular, criticizing Cadillac-driving "welfare queens."

Lawyers in Love

By Thomas Adcock
As proof of his promise - "Love blooms through pro bono work" - Jeffrey S. Trachtman offers the example of two lawyers whose journey to marriage began not long ago as idealistic young NY associates.

Solo Defending YouTube Clowns Goes Up Against BigLaw Opponent

Two brothers sued by A&P over their gangsta-rap parody video, "Produce Paradise," now have a pro bono lawyer.

A Taxing Problem

By Thomas Adcock
A BigLaw firm project that aids financially stressed seniors keep their homes seeks to become a model for efforts nationwide.

NY Lawyers Working in the Public Interest

By Thomas Adcock
On behalf of two federal inmates, a team of lawyers from NY's Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison filed a class-action suit claiming that the government has banned numerous religious texts from its chapel libraries, and other pro bono projects . . .

Honoring Pro Bono Achievements

By Thomas Adcock
Professor Aaron D. Twerski of Brooklyn Law School has been awarded the ABA's 2007 Robert B. McKay Law Professor Award, and other recent accolades . . .

Legal Services Group Sues FEMA

By Mark Donald
A legal services group alleges that FEMA has violated its First Amendment rights by denying its attorneys access to FEMA's disaster recovery centers to offer legal counsel to survivors.

BigLaw Partner Plumbs God's Plan and Pro Bono's Glamor

By Rachel Heron
Pro bono has a glamorous side, according to Pepper Hamilton partner Eric Rothschild�s send-off speech to participants in the Anti-Defamation League�s Summer Associates Research Program.

Firm Honors Partner's Memory With Pro Bono Award

By Gina Passarella
Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll created a pro bono award to honor the memory of former partner Alan J. Davis, who died in May at the age of 70.

NY Lawyers' Pro Bono Effort Results in Reformed Mental Health Laws

By Thomas Adcock
After a woman was killed last year by her mentally ill adult son, three local attorneys took up the cause of the dead woman's husband.

BigLaw Firm Builds Interest in Pro Bono Through Scholarships

By Attila Berry
Law students torn between large-firm salaries and public interest work have new options.

Best of Both Worlds

By Brittney Pescatore
Some BigLaw firms allow summer associates to split time between tradional internships and public interest.

Winning Battles, Losing the War

By Thomas Adcock
Molly Doherty and her small staff of attorneys and community organizers are in a Sisyphean struggle against owners of New York City's dwindling number of single-room occupancy hotels, havens of cheap shelter for the poor and lonesome, most old from struggle, and sometimes daft.


By Thomas Adcock
The founding chapter of the National Organization for Women, based in New York City, honored Cathy Fleming, a litigation partner at Nixon Peabody, with its 2007 Women of Power & Influence Award.

Cravath Aids War-Torn Land From Gotham Offices

By Daphne Eviatar
Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, is not an easy place to do business. Fourteen years of civil war have left most of the city without electricity or running water. To send e-mail, government officials have to go out to an Internet cafe and use a Yahoo account. Not the conditions BigLaw attorneys are used to . . .

Shhh! Pro Bono's Not Just for Liberals Anymore

By Vivia Chen
Very quietly, BigLaw firms are taking on conservative causes as well.

Pro Bono Bridges the Generation Gap

By Thomas Adcock
Ethan Horwitz grew up with a grandmother in his home, and a family custom of everybody spending lots of time at the home of his other grandmother and grandfather. So it was that Mr. Horwitz found Dorot - the Hebrew word for "generations," though the agency is ecumenical - and its mission of helping the elderly.

For Better or Worse, Firms Make Pro Bono News

By Gina Passerella
When The American Lawyer ranked AmLaw 200 firms by their pro bono performance, Pennsylvania firms had a presence in all the notable categories -- some good, some not.

Public Interest Projects

By Thomas Adcock
Fifteen juniors from public high schools in all five New York City boroughs received a total of $130,000 in college scholarships during last month's fifth annual O'Melveny & Myers scholarship awards ceremony. Also, the New York City Bar Association recently announced the winners of this year's Thurgood Marshall Fellowships, and the Point Foundation - The National LGBT Scholarship Fund - granted a record number of scholarships this year.

Pro Bono Starts at the Top

By Ben Hallman
For firms that have strengthened their pro bono commitment, charity begins in the managing partner's office.

Young Partner's Race Is at an End

By Zusha Elinson
While the public, press and politicians writhe over last week's U.S. Supreme Court ruling limiting the use of race in school integration programs, the lawyer who took on the pro bono case in its infancy is on cloud nine.

Law Students Take On BigLaw -- and Win

By Mike McKee
Aspiring attorneys from a California law school defeated AmLaw 100 firm Seyfarth Shaw recently, lending credence to their clinic's self-stated goal of letting students "learn from real practice, develop confidence in performing lawyering skills and articulate their own visions of effective lawyering."

Dead NY Attorney's Work on Death Row Lives on in His Prot�g�

By Thomas Adcock
Young David A. Kochman will fly to Montgomery soon for talks with the Alabama Attorney General in the cause of freedom for a pro bono client of NY labor lawyer David "Duff" Dretzin, who died a year ago next week.

Bank of America forms NYC Pro Bono Program

By Sandhya Bathija
Financial institution's legal department will partner with Greenberg Traurig and Shearman & Sterling.

BigLaw Firms Unite in Pro Bono Effort for Wounded Soldiers

By Tresa Baldas
Wounded soldiers who allege that the government is downplaying their injuries and cheating them out of benefits have some new legal ammunition: three major law firms offering free legal services.

BigLaw and the Humane Society Show Their Puppy Love

By Lynne Marek
Team to file first class action suit of its kind against "Wizard of Claws."

BigLaw Firm Helps Girl Scouts Cross the Street

By Kellie Schmitt
Earlier this month, more than 100,000 Girl Scouts from across the country stood on the National Mall for their 95th anniversary sing-along � and gave a special shout out to Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

Human Rights Lawyer Plots Future

By Meredith Hobbs
Lisa Kung, director of the Southern Center for Human Rights, keeps busy battling bad prisons and bad laws and protecting the poor.


By Thomas Adcock
More than 50 law firms across the country will be honored for providing pro bono counsel to detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guant�namo Bay.

Top NY Firm Takes Pro Bono Role in Virgina Tech Shooting Probe

By Stacey Laskin
The Virginia Tech Review Panel, responsible for investigating the Apr. 16 shooting that killed 32 people at the school and injured many others, has enlisted the help of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

Brooklyn Lawyers Dodge "Manhattanization"

By Thomas Adcock
Something about Brooklyn evokes the visceral among natives and newcomers alike. Of late, this includes dozens of resident lawyers personally fighting to save their leafy neighborhoods.

Public Interest Projects

By Thomas Adcock
Corporate lawyers often have difficulty finding pro bono opportunities that fit their areas of expertise, but not at one top NY firm.

NY BigLaw Team Scores Big Win for Disabled

By Thomas Adcock
Elegant outrage from a federal judge has a team of New York lawyers talking of their recent courtroom victory as potential landmark law.

Lawyer-Vet's Mission

By Douglas S. Malan
It doesn't matter if he supports or objects to the war in Iraq, says attorney Kevin E. Creed -- he has a duty, like all of us, to those who go in harm's way.

Spotlight on Pro Bono

By Thomas Adcock
When it comes to totting up a firm's annual pro bono hours, every little bit counts.


By Thomas Adcock
Lawyers for a prominent Wall Street brokerage and a professional sports league were recently honored for their community service.

NY BigLaw Leader Scores $1 Million Fee in Pro Bono Case

By Mark Hamblett
A NY judge awarded nearly $1 million to lawyers who successfully challenged the withholding of tips from waiters, busboys and captains at a popular Chinatown eatery.

State Bar Honors NY Attorney For Pro Bono Efforts

By Rosamaria Mancini
Saying no does not come easily to Lewis C. Edelstein. "I can count on him every time I call for help. He has never refused a case," said Miriam Pismeny, managing attorney of Hempstead-based Nassau/Suffolk Law Services' Volunteer Lawyers Project.

NY Lawyers Honored

The Fund for Modern Courts confers its first Lifetime Public Service Award on a former NY judge.

At 95, NY Lawyer Fights a Neverending Battle for Fellow Seniors

By Janine Friend
Elizabeth Fass, signed onto the Brooklyn DA's seniors bureau in 1992 and has spent the last 14 years educating the elderly on how to avoid becoming crime victims.

Public Interest Projects

By Thomas Adcock
Young NY associate David Friar recently helped a 23-year-old male refugee from Colombia who had been repeatedly attacked by violent gangs due to his homosexuality.

Suit Filed Over Conditions at NY Psychiatric Hospital

By Tom Perrotta
With the help of Kirkland & Ellis and the NYCLU, a group fights for better conditions for the mentally ill.

US Firm Has China School Named After It

By Kellie Schmitt
Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker is putting its stamp on China. Literally. The firm is paying at least $40,000 toward the construction of a facility in China's remote Longqui village that will soon bear its name: the Paul Hastings Hope Elementary School.

New York State Bar Presents Pro Bono Awards

By Thomas Adcock
The New York State Bar Association presents its 2007 President's Pro Bono Awards to 13 attorneys, two law firms, a law campus organization and two law students.

Firm Does Pro Bono With a High-Tech Edge

By Greg McConnell
One of the challenges of pro bono at a BigLaw firm is making opportunities to do some good available to hundreds of attorneys.

Volunteer Group Continues Campaign for More Minority Partners

By Thomas Adcock
Twenty-three years ago, a handful of Manhattan attorneys determined to change the face of big firm law did exactly that. Now, PALS - Practicing Attorneys for Law Students - is at a turning point in its mission.

Columbia Law Panel Probes Slow Response to Katrina

By Thomas Adcock
In assessing the sham after the storm - government ineptitude, opportunistic real estate developers and foot-dragging insurance companies - Damon T. Hewitt spoke of the power of institutional racism in holding back progress in predominantly black New Orleans.


By Thomas Adcock
Randy M. Mastro, a litigation partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, was honored recently with The Jewish Theological Seminary's Simon H. Rifkind Award for distinguished public service and devotion to the Jewish community.

Associate Works With Other Lawyers to Support Micro-Loan Efforts

By Zusha Elinson
April Rinne has worked on M&A deals for the likes of Citibank and McKesson. But she also takes an interest in transactions worth a lot less: specifically, loans worth just hundreds of dollars, made to small entrepreneurs in developing countries.

Public Interest Projects

By Thomas Adcock
Twenty-six law-related public programs in eight cities were awarded grants last month by The New York Bar Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the 72,000-member New York State Bar Association.

Firm Raises First-Year Pay and Urges Associates to Take on Pro Bono Work

By Daniel Ostrovsky
Greenberg Traurig on Monday raised the starting base salaries of its rookie lawyers in Miami and Fort Lauderdale to $135,000 and their total compensation packages to more than $150,000. At the same time, the firm announced a major change to its pro bono policy in South Florida.

Fund-Raiser Nets $450,000 for Legal Services Group

By Daniel Wise
Legal Services for New York City hosted a March 28 gala, first citywide fund-raising event in the organization's 40-year history, which included dinner and a performance by jazz vocalist Catherine Russell.

NY's Legal Community Turns Spotlight on Due Process for Detainees

By Thomas Adcock
As the United States began its fifth year of war in Iraq last week, symposia, teach-ins, lectures and the screening of a new documentary, all addressed the question of legal rights for prisoners in places such as Guant�namo Bay.

Honoring the NY Bar's Women (and Some Men)

By Thomas Adcock
The latest report on New York lawyers being acknowledged for their commitment to the community includes a roundup of events related to the observance of Women's History Month.

Conversation with Jeffrey S. Trachtman

By Thomas Adcock
. . . the longtime chairman of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel's pro bono committee who has a date in San Antonio next month.


By Thomas Adcock
One-third of all the food collected through the special "Street Fleet" program administered by City Harvest now comes from the daily efforts of some 30 lawyers and 20 support staffers of DLA Piper.

With Full-Time Focus, Firm Doubled Pro Bono Hours in 2006

By Zushe Ellinson
Living in India put a young Amanda Smith in the mind to help others. Now, the San Francisco lawyer is getting to do just that for a full-time job as the first pro bono counsel at national firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.

Partners Achieve Another Milestone in Long Pro Bono Fight Bound for Silver Screen

By Kellie Scmitt
Two attorneys whose crusade to exonerate a former death row inmate is now being made into a major motion picture helped client John Thompson receive a $14 million verdict from a federal jury in New Orleans this month.

Spotlight on Pro Bono

By Thomas Adcock
Were it not for a small effort by his lawyer, an immigrant New York City janitor faced the bleak prospect of a six-month layoff - not to mention the difficulty of scraping up the $70 it could cost to renew his federal Form 175 Employment Authorization Document.

Public Interest Projects

By Thomas Adcock
For the first time since the Skadden Fellowship Program was created in 1988, this year's crop of graduating law students and judicial clerks taking their first positions in poverty law careers includes an overseas post.

Intel Recruits Firms for Pro Bono Partnerships

By Jill Nawrocki
It is not unusual for companies to fashion requests for proposals on standard business matters, but when Intel Corporation put out an invitation for help with pro bono, it was onto something new.

Pro Bono Team Made a Difference in Chinatown

By Thomas Adcock
The talk of Mott Street this week is the long-sought victory in federal court by a team of three Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom lawyers on behalf of 11 waiters and busboys at a Chinatown restaurant who were cheated out of tips by their employers.

NY Firm Schools Kids in Transactional Law

By Anthony Lin
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft has unveiled a pro bono program aimed at introducing New York City elementary school students to the world of transactional law.

Top NY Firm's Pro Bono Effort Frees Man Wrongfullly Convicted of Murder

By Thomas Adcock
A Brooklyn man imprisoned for nearly six years after a wrongful homicide conviction based on false eyewitness testimony was freed Tuesday, due to a three-year volunteer effort by a team from Davis Polk & Wardwell.

Big Easy Judge Seeks HELP in the Big Apple

By Thomas Adcock
A Louisiana judge traveled to Manhattan on Wednesday - to enlist New Yorkers in his cause and to thank the roughly 100 lawyers from Citigroup and seven private firms already signed on for duty.

Despite DOD Predictions, Clients Back Firms Representing Gitmo Detainees

By Beth Bar
Assistant Secretary of Defense Charles "Cully" Stimson may not have expected the swift and forceful backlash that followed his comments last week that elite law firms representing Guant�namo Bay detainees would lose business as a result of their pro bono work.

Winter Break In New Orleans

By Thomas Adcock
More than 500 law students from 28 campuses across the country headed south this winter during the semester break to again assist communities in Louisiana and Mississippi that remain devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Large-Firm Life

By Lisa Bebchick and Elana F. Sinensky
As diverse as the vast pool of large-firm associates is, all agree on one thing: Some of the most satisfying days in practice are the result of representing clients pro bono. Resolve to help others and yourself this year by getting involved.

In the Business of Doing Good: Pro Bono Projects Help Firms Define Their Identities

By Michael Moline
With its annual Pro Bono Awards, The National Law Journal again recognizes the firms that met the call from people or organizations that otherwise might not have benefited from the advice of counsel.

Belief in Pro Bono Client Brings Shattered Family a Happy Ending

By Thomas Adcock
From time to time, a child born to some hard-luck home comes to a lurid end, prompting disapproving stories about the place meant to protect the young and vulnerable: New York City Family Court. This is not one of those stories . . .


By Thomas Adcock
For the first time in its 18-year history, the Mexican Bar Association has bestowed its National Jurisprudence Prize to a foreigner - Donald Francis Donovan, a litigation partner at Debevoise & Plimpton.

For Law Grads, Private Practice Pay Tough To Pass Up

By Douglas S. Malan and Sandhya Bathija
Recruitment woes for those competing with law firms persist despite increased loan relief efforts, as most law schools send only between 1 percent and 5 percent of their students into public interest jobs, an Equal Justice Works study found.

CA, Nixon Peabody Win Asylum for Kenyan Reporter

By Rosamaria Mancini
Nahason Orenge, a journalist harassed in his homeland in Kenya for articles critical of the government, was afraid he would be killed if he returned to the African nation after covering a human rights conference in the United States.

Pro Bono Without the Heavy Lifting

By Douglas S. Malan
Legal services clinics allow lawyers to give back to the community at their own pace.

She'll Be Home for Christmas

By Thomas Adcock
A "Kafkaesque" situation ends on a heartwarming note, as a team of NY lawyers tackles red tape to gain housing for a homeless woman.


By Thomas Adcock
A first-year associate at Chadbourne & Parke who co-founded the Student Hurricane Network to aid Gulf Coast victims of Hurricane Katrina was honored by Equal Justice Works during its annual banquet in Washington, D.C.

Effort Aids Businesses Devastated by Katrina

By Thomas Adcock
Three lawyers who knew one another only slightly a year ago are set to clear the final hurdles in their efforts to secure $100 million for mom-and-pop business owners in New Orleans who were victims of Hurricane Katrina.


By Thomas Adcock
The Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund conferred a Pro Bono Publico Award during its annual banquet last night at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on a litigation team from Dewey Ballantine.


For its 8,000 hours of volunteer work on behalf of victims of Hurricane Katrina, a team of 20 attorneys and paralegals at Schulte, Roth & Zabel was recently honored by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty.

NY Lawyers Working on Public Interest Projects

By Thomas Adcock
A pledge of 5,000 hours of legal work on behalf of low-income children facing suspension from public schools and federal funding cuts for Head Start programs has been made by DLA Piper US.

City Bar to Host Pro Bono Opportunity Event

The City Bar Public Service Network will host "Celebrating Service: 100,000 Hours and Beyond" on Thursday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the New York City Bar.

Fordham Law Launches Center for Social Justice

By Thomas Adcock
The Feerick Center for Social Justice and Dispute Resolution at Fordham University School of Law has opened for business as a new resource for the city.

Public Interest Projects

By Thomas Adcock
An associate at Kramer Levin successfully challenged a Florida law making it difficult for civic groups and labor unions to register new voters. Elsewhere on the election rights front, Paul Weiss pro bono counsel blocked enforcement of a Washington state law that would have kept eligible voters off the rolls because of minor bureaucratic foul-ups such as typing errors.

Double Duty: Program Serves Working Poor, Alumni Seeking to Go Solo

By Lindsay Kennedy
Armed with an English-Chinese dictionary and lots of patience, attorney Juliette Chinaud is trying to make a difference in Flushing, Queens, one person at a time.

Public Interest Projects

By Thomas Adcock
North Carolina's two-century-old ban on unmarried heterosexual couples living together was struck down in a suit brought by pro bono attorneys at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft.

Public Interest Projects

By Thomas Adcock
Fifty attorneys, recently graduated from 34 law schools across the country, were given two-year fellowships this month through Equal Justice Works.

The A-List 2006: The High Ground

By Brenda Sandburg
Hogan & Hartson pumped up its pro bono performance. The result: A first-time berth on The A-List.


By Lindsay Kennedy
Attorney Gerard Wallace recently came to Greenberg Traurig to address the first-ever training session of the Kinship Caregiver Law Project, which provides legal services to grandparents and other relatives raising children not their own.

NY Attorney Honored for Outstanding Community Service

By John Caher
Buffalo attorney Arnold B. Gardner of Kavinoky Cook will receive the New York State Bar Association's prestigious Root-Stimson Award.


By Lindsay Kennedy
A senior partner at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal and founding member of the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies has been honored for his philanthropic efforts by the Lawyers' Division of the UJA-Federation of New York.

Attorney to the Stars Says It's His Pro Bono That's Most Exciting

By Mike McKee
When he had the chance, Thomas Mesereau Jr. didn't brag about his successes in defending pop star Michael Jackson or former television actor Robert Blake. Instead, he talked about the joys of doing pro bono work.

Public Interest Projects

By Thomas Adcock
After nearly three years, political asylum was granted late last month to a couple from the embattled West African nation of Togo, thanks to pro bono representation by a litigation associate with DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary.

NY Lawyers Honored for Work With the Disadvantaged

By John Caher
Three attorneys will receive the biennial 2006 Denison Ray Awards for providing outstanding civil or criminal defense legal services to low-income or disadvantaged clients at the 2006 Legal Assistance Partnership Conference in Albany on Wednesday.

A Global Outlook: Lawyers Share Expertise Abroad

By Lindsay Kennedy
Working with the International Senior Lawyers Project has provided Barbara J. Putta with a meaningful way to spend part of her retirement.

NY Associate Keeps Plate Full With Food Bank Effort

By Thomas Adcock
If you knew Daniel S. Kahn was trolling for a million pounds of food, you might think he had quite an appetite. And you would be right. But the 28-year-old attorney hungers to help the hungry -- something he has been doing since he was a kid.

Public Interest Projects

By Thomas Adcock
A second-year Arnold & Porter associate has started the "Give a Little 2006 Campaign," a special appeal to young lawyers from big firms across the country to pledge part of their recent salary boosts to the public good. Also, the New York office of DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary has a new pro bono manager.

Public Interest Projects

By Thomas Adcock
An unlikely alliance of lawyers, small business owners in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans have begun to rally under the banner of "Second Wind," a nonprofit advocacy group.

Firm to Associates: Pro Bono Hours Count Toward Billables Total

By Kellie Schmitt
Over the past year, Gibson, Dunn has concentrated efforts to formalize its pro bono policy, resulting in a 49 percent increase in overall hours from the prior year, according to partner Scott Edelman, who is serving as the firm's national pro bono chairman.

Public Interest Projects

By Thomas Adcock
A social activist from Zambia who fled her country after being raped and tortured by police was granted political asylum in the United States, thanks to Constance M. Boland, a litigation partner at Nixon Peabody.

Former Corporate Litigator Now Aids 'Most Vulnerable' Clients

By Thomas Adcock
He was born into modern-day slavery in the Himalayan kingdom of Nepal in 1971. From her windowless office in Manhattan, a young American lawyer is helping him scale the final obstacle in a long struggle for freedom -- for his people, his family and himself.

Lawyers Respond to Human Rights and Nature's Challenges

By Michael Moline
The legal profession had cause for pride, but not complacency, in its dedication to pro bono service in 2005.

NY Associates Aid in Victory for Low-Wage Workers

By Thomas Adcock
A freshly retired Manhattan litigator and a young activist with the Brennan Center for Social Justice triumphed last week, defending Santa Fe's right to set local minimum hourly pay at $8.50 for workers in both the public and private sectors.

Public Interest Law

By Martin A. Schwartz
Martin A. Schwartz, a law professor at Touro College's Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center, writes that a federal appeals court recently held that municipals entities are "clients" protected by the attorney-client privilege. Of course, a municipality can communicate with municipal counsel only through its officials and employees. Who, then, is the "client," the official (or employee) or the municipality?

New Yorkers Honored for Pro Bono Work

By Thomas Adcock
For outstanding pro bono business counsel given to nonprofit organizations, the Lawyers Alliance for New York presented its annual Cornerstone Awards to Proskauer Rose and Shearman & Sterling, nine individual attorneys and a Columbia Law School professor.

30 Firms Sign City Bar Statement Pledging Lawyers Will Log 50 Pro Bono Hours a Year

By Thomas Adcock
Nixon Peabody yesterday announced its first pro bono partner, Stacey Slater, a litigator in the business, technology and intellectual property groups for the past 10 years. Also, read about more pro bono news.

Commemorating NY Lawyers' Pro Bono Efforts After 9/11

By Thomas Adcock
Thirty of the 55 large Manhattan law firms asked by the New York City Bar Association to endorse its aspirational "Statement of Pro Bono Principles" did so yesterday.

Public Interest Projects

By Thomas Adcock
Nixon Peabody yesterday announced its first pro bono partner, Stacey Slater, a litigator in the business, technology and intellectual property groups for the past 10 years. Also, read about more pro bono news.

NY Associates Regain Custody of Son for Falsely Accused Immigrant

By Thomas Adcock
Third-year litigation associates Sally Kim Christie and Virginia H. Johnson of Weil, Gotshal & Manges learned a powerful lesson in a lawyer's obligation to sometimes perform above and beyond the neat strictures of the law.

Pro Bono Bankruptcy Push Trying to Beat the Clock

By Thomas Adcock
With ten days remaining before the new, more restrictive bankruptcy code becomes effective, John McManus has never been busier in his 35 years of representing low-income clients in emotional and financial distress.

Aid for Katrina Victims Continues to Pour In

By Thomas Adcock
A national teleconference for attorneys involved in environmental and energy issues in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita was held yesterday, with a panel of speakers that included the former general counsels for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Public Interest Projects

By Thomas Adcock
The Lawyers Alliance for New York and the New York-based real estate services firm TitleVest have established a new pro bono partnership that will provide significant cost savings for low-income home buyers and nonprofit housing organizations. Also, the New York County Lawyers' Association honored several attorneys for public service at an awards program last night.

Hurricane Help Update

By Thomas Adcock
One more law firm in New York donated money and personal items this week to victims of Hurricane Katrina, while a second firm upped its $100,000 commitment with another $70,000 and is providing administrative support and volunteers to Habitat for Humanity.

Web Site Will Coordinate Aid to Hurricane Victims

By Thomas Adcock
A new Web site enabling lawyers to volunteer assistance to victims of Hurricane Katrina, as well as helping evacuees in search of counsel, was launched today. It was created by Pro Bono Net, a New York-based organization that assists nonprofit legal groups by coordinating volunteer attorneys via the Internet, and is sponsored by the American Bar Association, the Legal Services Corporation and the National Legal Aid & Defender Association.

Associates Join Clinton Initiative, Firm Goes Global With Pro Bono Involvement

By Thomas Adcock
If proximity to power is the sine qua non for idealistic young attorneys aiming to create a better world, then 11 associates at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson have just entered the ground floor of what Bill Clinton, for one, envisions as something capital-B big.

Aid From Manhattan On Way to Victims Of Hurricane Katrina

By Thomas Adcock
The pro bono affiliate of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York has established two hotlines for victims of Hurricane Katrina relocated to New York City. The hotlines may also be used by local attorneys to aid affected lawyers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. So far, about 100 New York attorneys have registered as volunteers to help in matters such as insurance, immigration and government relief applications.

Attorneys, Bar Groups Draw on 9/11 Experience To Aid Legal Community Devastated by Katrina

By Thomas Adcock
Fifty lawyers experienced in emergency pro bono service after the terrorist attacks on Manhattan four years ago held a summit yesterday to begin planning organized aid to victims of Hurricane Katrina. The early morning meeting at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York gathered pro bono coordinators from major Manhattan firms and corporate legal departments. It was one of several efforts begun this week by local and state attorneys, bar groups and law schools to assist individual citizens and legal colleagues in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

Brother, Can You Spare 20 Hours?

By Aric Press
When it comes to pro bono work, never have so many owed so much to so few lawyers. But firms can improve, if they want to. Read how three of this year's most-improved elevated their pro bono practices, and see where all the firms ranked.

Pro Bono Digest

By William J. Dean
William J. Dean, executive director of Volunteers of Legal Service, reviews the Department of City Planning report, which contains a treasure trove of information for lawyers who perform pro bono work on behalf of foreign-born New Yorkers, who are more likely than not to be poor and have civil legal needs.

Public Interest Projects

By Thomas Adcock
In a victory for one of the first private law firms to join professors and human rights agencies seeking to aid some 500 detainees at the U.S. military prison in Guant�namo Bay, Cuba, a team of attorneys from Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison has won freedom for a pro bono client.

LexisNexis and Martindale Hubbell
Award Public Interest Fellowship

By Thomas Adcock
Laurie Parise is the first recipient of a new semiannual fellowship created by LexisNexis and Martindale Hubbell. Her nonprofit Legal Action Center was granted $15,000 to support her work educating employers and litigating for those claiming employment discrimination.



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