The Legal Aid Society Pro Bono Newsletter - August 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

  • Katie Niejadlik
  • The Legal Aid Society


August 2009


The Legal Aid Society is an indispensable component of the legal, social and economic fabric of New York City - passionately advocating for individuals across a variety of civil, criminal and juvenile rights matters, while also pursing a broad legal reform agenda.

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Pro Bono Newsletter

Class of 33 Law Firm Externs to Volunteer with The Legal Aid Society

As a result of the economic downturn, many leading law firms have developed innovative Public Interest Fellowship Programs that offer incoming and mid-level associates the opportunity to volunteer for up to one year with public interest organizations In response, The Legal Aid Society has developed an Externship Program that has accepted a class of 33 associates to date . . .Read more.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP Pro Bono Team Helps Immigrant Family Establish Food Market

Thanks to the efforts of Cleary Gottlieb, whose attorneys partnered with The Legal Aid Society's Community Development Project that included Brooke Connell, an extern from Fried Frank Harris, Shriver, & Jacobson LLP ("Fried Frank"), an incredibly hard-working low-income Mexican family realized their dream of owning and operating their own business.  This immigrant-owned micro-enterprise, Quechol Products Inc., created nine new jobs in Williamsburg and put a low-income family in an ownership position and on the path to economic self-sufficiency . . . Read more.

Law Firms Enforce Housing Subsidies for Low-Income Tenants   
Pro Bono Partnership Established with Dechert LLP, Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP; Seyfarth Shaw LLP; Venable LLP

On March 26, 2008, The New York City Council enacted Local Law 10, which prohibits landlords from refusing to lease, rent, or sell housing to individuals whose income is comprised of benefits received from the government or other sources, such as Social Security, veteran's benefits, welfare, pension funds, and Section 8. This amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law was necessitated by discriminatory practices - as apartment advertisements including statements such as "no programs allowed" or "working people only" - employed by landlords against low-income New Yorkers . . . Read more.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP Wins $750,000 Jury Verdict for Abused Inmate

Jason Lichter and Cecilia ("Sas") Silver, supervised by Vernon Broderick, won a resounding victory for an abused inmate who was beaten brutally by five corrections officers at the Fishkill Correctional Facility. The beating occurred while the prisoner was handcuffed and resulted in at least 12 medically documented injuries to his face, jaw, abdomen, and back . . . Read more.

Kaye Scholer LLP Receives the 2009 New York State Bar Association President's Pro Bono Service Award

On May 1, 2009, Kaye Scholer LLP 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 . . . Read more.

Latham & Watkins LLP Real Estate Practice is Working to Preserve Affordable Housing in Upper Manhattan

In response to the real estate market's economic downturn and its consequences for low-income homeowners, Latham & Watkins LLP decided to expand the real estate practice's pro bono work. The firm's expertise became the perfect complement to the legal services being provided by The Legal Aid Society's Community Development Project's ("CDP") Adopt-A-Coop Pro Bono program . . . Read more.

Law Firm Summer Associate Program Represents 58 Clients; Lends Vital Support to Law Reform Units

Continuing a more than 20 year tradition, the 2009 Summer Associate class from New York City's leading law firms collectively have represented more than 35 physically and/or mentally disabled low-income New Yorkers seeking Social Security Income Disability benefits and have worked to prevent the eviction of 22 New York City Housing Authority tenants . . . Read more.

Sidley Austin LLP Teams Up with the HIV/AIDS Representation Project

After attending The Legal Aid Society's Pro Bono training program, "Representing Clients with HIV/AIDS", Peter Brensilver, a senior associate with Sidley Austin LLP, reached out to The Society about creating an HIV/AIDS pro bono project at the firm. James Arden, the New York chair of the firm's Pro Bono and Public Interest Law Committee, endorsed the idea and was instrumental in the establishment of a new partnership between Sidley Austin and The Legal Aid Society's HIV/AIDS Representation Project ("HARP") in the Civil Practice's Harlem Community Law Office . . . Read more.

David Weschler Retires as Head of Pro Bono Practice

On July 1, 2009, David Weschler, Attorney-in-Charge of the Pro Bono Practice, retired from The Legal Aid Society to pursue other interests. Mr. Weschler became the first Attorney-in-Charge of the Pro Bono Practice in 2004 after the Society reorganized into its current operational structure of Civil, Criminal, Juvenile Rights, and Pro Bono Practices . . . Read more.

For more information about the work of The Legal Aid Society's Pro Bono Practice, please contact Katie Niejadlik, Pro Bono Administrator, at


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