Pro Bono News

Above & Beyond: Sanctuary for Families Recognizes Pro Bono Attorneys for Exceptional Effort on Behalf of Survivors of Domestic Violence & Sex Trafficking

Thursday, October 30, 2014

  • Sanctuary for Families

New York, NY (October 30, 2014) - At its 12th annual Above & Beyond Awards for Excellence in Pro Bono Advocacy on October 28th, Sanctuary for Families honored dozens of outstanding lawyers from 13 law firms for their exceptional legal efforts and advocacy on behalf of survivors of domestic violence and sex trafficking. Their legal and appellate work covers a wide range of areas including matrimonial cases, family law, immigration and the international Hague Convention.

Also singled out for her extraordinary service was Yolanda Jimenez, Executive Director of the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation. Ms. Jimenez, recipient of Sanctuary's Above & Beyond Leadership Award, previously served as the first commissioner of the Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence (2002-2014) where she oversaw the streamlined delivery of domestic violence services through a network of new Justice Centers throughout New York City.

"This extraordinary group of lawyers - and their law firms - have dedicated thousands of hours of their time and expertise assisting survivors of domestic violence and related forms of gender violence. Sanctuary for Families is humbled by their selfless commitment. We are also proud to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of former Commissioner Yolanda Jimenez, who altered the landscape of resources available to victims of domestic violence in New York City," said Judy Harris Kluger, Executive Director of Sanctuary for Families.

The lawyers honored at this year's event represented the following firms: Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP; Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP; Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP; Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP; Debevoise & Plimpton LLP: Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP; Hogan Lovells; Jenner & Block; Latham & Watkins LLP; Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP; Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP and WilmerHale. Also recognized for her outstanding pro bono representation and consultation with Sanctuary clients was attorney Jill Foley.

The Sanctuary for Families' Center for Battered Women's Legal Services Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Advocacy was established in 2003 to honor attorneys who provide outstanding pro bono advocacy and representation for clients of Sanctuary for Families.

The Above & Beyond event is spearheaded by Sanctuary's Pro Bono Council, a group of committed professionals who support and promote the work of Sanctuary for Families and, in particular, its Legal Center. The Legal Center's 37 staff attorneys, 12 project assistants and 22 legal interns, along with over 500 pro bono attorneys and 400 law student advocates annually, represent and advise more than 5,000 domestic violence and trafficking survivors in cases including orders of protection, child custody and visitation, child and spousal support, divorce, prosecution of batterers, and an array of complex immigration and asylum matters. Legal Center staff also develops and provides comprehensive training to community partners and advocates for legislative and policy changes to protect survivors of gender violence.

For more information about the Above & Beyond awards, visit


Sanctuary for Families is New York's leading service provider and advocate for survivors of domestic violence, sex trafficking, and related forms of gender violence. Each year, Sanctuary empowers thousands of adults and children to move from fear and abuse to safety and stability, transforming lives through a comprehensive range of services.