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Three Nixon Peabody Attorneys Recognized For ‘Pro Bono’ Efforts

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

  • Organization: Volunteer Legal Services Project
Three Nixon Peabody LLP attorneys Margaret Clemens, Carolyn Nussbaum, and Anita Pelletier, were recognized for their pro bono activities in the Rochester community by three separate organizations.

Clemens received the 2003 President's Pro Bono Service Award from the New York State Bar Association at the Association's awards luncheon May 1, 2003 in Albany. Nussbaum will receive this year's Hanna S. Cohn Pro Bono Award from the Women's Bar Association of the State of New York at the Association's annual convention today in Syracuse. Pelletier received the Volunteer Legal Services Project William E. McKnight Award at the Monroe County Bar Association's Law Day luncheon yesterday, May 1, 2003 in Rochester.

"Maggie, Carolyn, and Anita are true examples of attorneys in our firm who give back to their communities and help to make equal justice under law a reality," said David M. Schraver, Rochester office managing partner of Nixon Peabody.

Clemens is a partner in Nixon Peabody's Labor & Employee Benefits Group. She serves on the boards of Alternatives for Battered Women and the Girl Scouts of Genesee Valley, and is a member of the Governor's Task Force on Development of Model Domestic Violence Employee Awareness and Assistance Policies for Businesses.

Clemens has received a number of community service awards including the State Women's Bar Association Award for pro bono service in cases involving battered women, the Volunteer Service Award for her pro bono service in cases involving battered women, the 100 Heroines Rochester Area Honoree Award, and an Attorney Advisor Award for coaching the winning Monroe County high school Mock Trial team in a statewide tournament. She was a finalist for the United Way/J.C. Penney Golden Rule award for her outstanding pro bono legal work within the community, and was a nominee for President Clinton's Service Award and The Daily Record's Nathaniel Award.

Nussbaum is a partner in Nixon Peabody's Business Litigation Group. It is fitting that Nussbaum is receiving the Women's Bar award named after the late executive director of the Volunteer Legal Services Project of Rochester: in addition to representing clients pro bono through VLSP in a wide range of matters, Nussbaum is a long-time VLSP Board member and served as its president. Nussbaum was and continues to be a vocal advocate of permanent funding for legal services in New York State. After Cohn's untimely death, Nussbaum lead the effort to create and fund the Hanna Cohn/VLSP Fund for the Future as an endowment for VLSP, to make one of Cohn's visions for the agency a reality.

Nussbaum has also volunteered on a pro bono basis with the federal courts to represent inmates alleging violations of their civil rights. She is a former president of the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys, an alumni of Leadership Rochester, and has been a member of the Boards of many community and professional organizations, including Compeer, Inc., the Jewish Community Federation of Rochester, the Monroe County Bar Association, and an officer of Temple Beth El and the Jewish Community Center of Rochester. She received The Daily Record's Nathaniel Award in 2001.

Pelletier is an associate in Nixon Peabody's Business Group. She is active in community and local school activities. Pelletier handles child-custody cases through the Volunteer Legal Services Project. She has been with the firm since September 2001 and was admitted to practice in February 2002. Previously, she worked as a paralegal for Rochester-area family law attorneys.

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