Pro Bono News
ABA to honor three individuals, two law entities for their pro bono efforts (IL)
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
- American Bar Association
ABA to honor three individuals, two law entities for their pro bono efforts
"CHICAGO, May 20, 2020 — The American Bar Association will present awards to three individual lawyers, a law firm and a corporate law department for demonstrating outstanding commitment to volunteer legal services for the poor and disadvantaged at the upcoming ABA Annual Meeting, which will be virtual later this summer because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Pro Bono Publico Awards are the top honors given by the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, which over the years has spotlighted pro bono efforts of individual lawyers and small and large law firms, government attorney offices, corporate law departments and other institutions in the legal profession. The ABA Annual Meeting runs from July 29 through Aug. 4, and presentation details will be announced in the coming weeks.
Individual recipients of the 2020 Pro Bono Publico Awards are:
Leah Godesky, O’Melveny & Myers LLP
A litigation partner based in New York, Godesky leads the firm’s pro bono efforts for women’s reproductive rights and has won landmark victories against several states seeking to severely restrict access to abortion. She serves as co-counsel with the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project, Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights. In addition, Godesky co-chairs O’Melveny’s New York Women’s Employee Network, an office-wide committee focused on creating opportunities for women to motivate one another and advance their careers. Under her leadership, O’Melveny recently hosted in New York its third Career Ready Workshop for underserved, high-achieving ninth graders.
Neil Steiner, Dechert LLP
New York litigator Steiner has protected the rights of marginalized individuals to exercise one of their most basic freedoms — the right to vote. For nearly 15 years, Steiner, a partner in Dechert’s Trial, Investigations & Securities group and a trustee of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, has led pro bono teams at Dechert in challenging voting rights restrictions in 10 states, ranging from the failure to offer voter registration at public assistance agencies to the imposition of voter identification and documentary proof of citizenship. He is now working to ensure safe access to the ballot in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. He also has nurtured dozens of young lawyers at Dechert.
G. Allan Van Fleet, G. Allan Van Fleet, P.C.
Winner of the ABA Antitrust Law Section’s inaugural pro bono award, Van Fleet’s pro bono work dates to 1976 while he was a student at Columbia Law School. Now based in Houston and Galveston, Texas, Van Fleet worked with the legendary Jack Greenberg at Columbia, mainly assisting on briefs in death-penalty cases. His pro bono work has continued for nearly 45 years, and his section colleagues praise him for making extraordinary positive change for individual and institutional clients as well as whole communities. His legal work has been in indigent defendants’ rights, children’s rights, bail reform, immigrant rights, civil rights, and death penalty and wrongful conviction.
Legal entity recipients are:..."