NYC Pro Bono Center Newsletter - December 2010/January 2011

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

  • Pro Bono Net

Pro Bono Center Newsletter

Happy Holidays!

Welcome to the December 2010/January 2011 edition of the NYC Pro Bono Center newsletter!  Read on to learn about the latest pro bono news, volunteer opportunities, upcoming trainings and new helpful resources.

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Outstanding Volunteers 

O'Melveny & Myers LLP Partners with The Legal Aid Society to Protect Hospitalized Inmates from Barbaric Shackling Practices
The Legal Aid Society's Prisoner's Rights Project and O'Melveny & Myers LLP obtained a highly favorable settlement in Reynolds v Horn, a high-impact civil rights case involving the treatment of inmates in prison psychiatric wards, as well as those out-posted to civilian medical wards under the supervision of New York City's Department of Correction.  Learn more

Vanessa Bressler, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
The City Bar Justice Center is pleased to recognize Vanessa Bressler, an associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, for her outstanding work as a pro bono attorney with the Refugee Assistance Project. In the Project, pro bono attorneys are trained and then paired with individuals seeking asylum. Learn more

We welcome your contributions! To nominate an outstanding volunteer, send an email describing the pro bono case or project to

Pro Bono News

City Bar Justice Center's Immigrant Outreach Project Transformed: Varick III
In December 2008, the City Bar Justice Center (CBJC), the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), and The Legal Aid Society launched the NYC Know Your Rights Project at the Varick Federal Detention Facility. Under the original model, “Varick I”, volunteer attorneys from participating law firms conducted interviews with Varick detainees to determine whether immigration relief was available and make appropriate referrals to pro bono (or “low bono”) counsel. Learn more

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP Receives the National Legal Aid and Defender Association's 2010 Beacon of Justice Award
Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP was awarded the 2010 Beacon of Justice Award by the National Legal Aid & Defender Association (“NLADA”) for its extraordinary commitment to providing pro bono legal representation in immigration cases. The presentation took place at NLADA’s Exemplar Award Dinner in Washington D.C. and was attended by firm partner Sarah Cave and associates Melissa Duffy, Andares Castrillon, Corinne Lane, and Michelle Mitchell. Learn more

Click here to read more pro bono news.

New Cases

URGENT: Veteran With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Seeks Pro Bono Counsel to Stave Off Eviction from His Long-Time Apartment
A long-time New York City Housing ("NYCHA") tenant and United States veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder is in danger of losing his home on the basis of in erroneous allegation by NYCHA.  The Legal Aid Society is seeking pro bono counsel to represent this U.S. veteran with mental disabilities at his January 7, 2011 hearingLearn more

URGENT: Homeless Man Under Psychiatric Care Seeks Pro Bono Representation for Social Security Disability Hearing
A homeless 42 year-old man and former foster child who is currently under psychiatric care requires assistance for his January 18, 2011 Social Security Disability hearing.  Pro bono counsel will work with a senior Legal Aid Society disability attorney to prepare the case and represent the client in the administrative proceedings. Learn more

HIV+ Individual from Guyana Seeks Pro Bono Counsel to Assist with Asylum Application
The HIV Law Project, Inc. seeks pro bono counsel to assist a 36 year-old gay male from Guyana who was diagnosed with HIV in 2007 and is afraid to return because he fears persecution based on sexual orientation and HIV status.  Despite being beyond the one-year filing deadline, the client has a viable argument to overcome the bar. Learn more


Click here to see more available cases.

Upcoming Trainings and Events

Thursday, January 13, 2011: New York City Housing Authority Training
The Legal Aid Society is offering a training on representing public housing residents in cases where the New York City Housing Authority is seeking to terminate tenancy due to alleged breach of lease or the Housing Authority's rules and regulations.  This session will give an overview of the substantive and procedural law, and train participants to engage in fact-finding and document discovery, prepare witnesses, and conduct direct and cross examination. (Part of The Legal Aid Society's 2010-2011 Pro Bono Training Program). Learn more.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011: Advising Micro-Entrepreneurs
The Legal Aid Society is offering a training that provides an overview of the available business structures for the formation of a micro business, including the advantages and disadvantages of using a corporation, partnership, limited liability company, or sole proprietorship.  The session will include a role-playing exercise highlighting the legal issues surrounding business structures as well as the shareholder, employment and other similar agreements involved in the formation of a business. (Part of The Legal Aid Society's 2010-2011 Pro Bono Training ProgramLearn more

Friday, January 21, 2011: Trial Advocacy Training for Pro Bono Lawyers

The Pro Se Office of the United States District Court for the Southern District of NY is offering a full-day trial-advocacy training for pro bono attorneys conducted by district judges of the SDNY and leading practitioners.  The training is offered to lawyers admitted to practice in the Southern District and who are interested in providing pro bono representation to pro se litigants in the SDNY. Learn more

Click here to view the full calendar of pro bono events
and training opportunities.

Library Resources

Updated Private Placement Adoptions and Guardianship Manuals
MFY Legal Services Inc. has updated their manuals on private placement adoptions and guardianship.  Also, for an overview of MFY's Kinship Caregiver Law Project and the process for private placement adoptions, watch the recorded Pro Bono in NY Webinar.

Click here to browse through the entire  NYC Pro Bono Center Library.

Did you know?

Over one-third of New York City's residents were born outside of the United States, and over 170 languages are spoken in the city.  For immigration-related pro bono opportunities, contact the City Bar Justice Center or the The Legal Aid Society.  Also, visit the Immigration Advocates Network's recently-launched Pro Bono Resource Center for volunteer attorneys working on immigration-related pro bono matters.  

Click here to view our archive of NYC Pro Bono Center Newsletter.

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