May Volunteer Feature: Kaye Scholer LLP Receives the 2009 NYSBA President’s Pro Bono Service Award
On May 1, 2009, Kaye Scholer was recognized by The New York State Bar Association for the firm's exceptional commitment to pro bono, as evidenced by the attorneys in the New York office in 2008 performing 27,115 hours of pro bono work - an average of 79 hours per attorney. Through its summer and first year associates' programs, the firm consistently has provided outstanding representation to disabled low-income New Yorkers who were denied Social Security Disability benefits. During the past year alone, they successfully represented twenty-five (25) clients referred by The Legal Aid Society.
Working with The Legal Aid Society's Parole Revocation Unit the firm initiated Article 78 and Writs of Habeas Corpus petitions on behalf of eighteen (18) inmates who were subjected to an illegally imposed period of post-release supervision. In addition to these, individual case, Kaye Scholer, under the leadership of its former Chair David Klingsberg, filed an amicus brief to the Court of Appeals that successfully argued that non-judicially entered post release supervision is constitutionally and statutorily infirm and cannot be corrected by a clerk merely listing it in the commitment order. This was a sweeping victory, prohibiting the administrative, non-judicial imposition of post-release supervision.
Kaye Scholer also made a major commitment of pro bono business and transactional legal expertise to one hundred (126) nonprofits that had a myriad of legal issues. This vast array of non profits included charter schools participating in a legal audit, a grant-making entity that provides fellowships to start-up nonprofits committed to social entrepreneurship, programs that offer services to youth involved with the criminal justice system, support groups for families with special education needs, and long-standing settlement houses in need of general counsel legal services. Kaye Scholer's dedication to pro bono and its impact on the lives of low-income New Yorkers made it an outstanding recipient of the 2009 New York State Bar Association President's large law firm pro bono services award.