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November/December 2012 Volunteer Feature: Chief Judge Presents Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates with The Legal Aid Society's 2012 Pro Bono Publico Award

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

  • Organization: The Legal Aid Society

Skadden receives Pro Bono Publico AwardCongratulating Robert Sheehan on the Skadden firm's pro bono award are (from left): Steven Banks, Attorney-in-Chief of The Legal Aid Society; Richard Davis, Chair; Mr. Sheehan; Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman; and Blaine (Fin) Fogg, President of the Society and of Counsel at Skadden.


On November 19th, The Legal Aid Society’s 2012 Pro Bono Awards Ceremony, held at The Liberty Theater in Manhattan, honored 331 leading pro bono lawyers and other legal professionals along with 41 law firms, and two corporations for their outstanding pro bono services with The Legal Aid Society. This select group of professionals was nominated from the participation of nearly 3,000 attorneys and other legal staff – primarily from New York’s leading law firms and corporate departments - who handled close to 3,000 matters on behalf of our clients.

The volunteers and their firms were recognized for legal excellence in handling administrative hearings, trials, appeals, class actions, and transactional cases on behalf of senior citizens, children and adults with disabilities, domestic violence survivors, immigrants facing deportation, homeless children and adults, inmates in correctional facilities, and other vulnerable low-income New Yorkers. The outpouring of pro bono assistance added another distinguished chapter to the136-year pro bono partnership between The Legal Aid Society and the private bar to secure fundamental legal rights of low-income New Yorkers in critical need of counsel but unable to afford it.

New York State’s Chief Judge presided over the ceremony, honoring recipients with the presentation of their awards. Chief Judge Lippman praised the New York Bar for its outstanding pro bono commitment.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates was the recipient of the 2012 Pro Bono Publico and Public Service Law Firm Award for its exceptional pro bono commitment to The Legal Aid Society and its clients.  The firm is an outstanding pro bono partner, sustaining a litigation externship with the Harlem Community Law Office, dedicating substantial resources to low-income taxpayers, and initiating an uncontested publication matrimonial practice with the Bronx Neighborhood office. For more than 16 years, the firm’s associates have provided counsel to hundreds of low-income New Yorkers facing eviction from public housing or being denied Social Security Disability Benefits.  The firm also has supported The Legal Aid Society through the leadership of Blaine V. (Fin) Fogg, the Society’s President.

Since 1999, Skadden litigation externs have provided exceptional client representation and pro bono assistance to The Legal Aid Society.  More recently, under the leadership of Stuart Finkelstein, the firm’s tax practice has become a mainstay of the Society’s Low-Income Tax Clinic’s Volunteer Intake Program.  Skadden attorneys provide critical assistance in minimizing tax collections, safeguarding Social Security benefits, and protecting clients from identity theft consequences.  With the assistance of Brenna DeVaney, the firm’s Pro Bono Counsel, associates provide crucial legal services to domestic violence survivors trapped in marriages when spouses disappear, working diligently to locate absent spouses, obtain publication notice, and finalize uncontested divorces.


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