Welcome to the NYC Pro Bono Center's Volunteer Spotlight!

This area features a collection of New York pro bono volunteer profiles, submitted to the NYC Pro Bono Center by our legal services and pro bono community. We are sharing these to both honor and recognize our pro bono volunteers as well as inspire others to volunteer themselves.  

The profiles feature a range of pro bono work, including in relation to diverse subject areas (e.g. veterans work, immigration, employment etc) as well as types of pro bono volunteers (e.g. pro bono attorneys from large law firms, solo practitioners, law students).  The profiles also showcase the many forms of pro bono volunteer work - from clinic work to ongoing full presentation and profiles usually feature a set of links to relevant further information.  

We hope that this information helps inform your understanding of what it might look like to engage in pro bono, and we thank our wonderful volunteers for their hard work and commitment towards our professional ideal of striving to achieve equal access to justice for all.  It was estimated by the NY Permanent Commission on Access to Justice that only 30% of essential civil legal needs are being met in New York, and the importance of pro bono in helping to bridge the justice gap is critical.  As Heather McDevitt, partner at White & Case, advised to those who are thinking about volunteering in our special national feature: "My best advice would be to stop thinking about it and just do it." 

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Want to find your own volunteering opportunity? Start searching for opportunities right now by using our Pro Bono Opportunities Guide or return to our NYC Pro Bono Center homepage


Winter 2022 Spotlight: City Bar Justice Center’s Immigrant Justice Project

The City Bar Justice Center’s Immigrant Justice Project (IJP) has been fighting for human rights and due process within the immigration system since the 1980s, when the project emerged to train volunteer lawyers needed to represent Haitian asylum seekers whose claims were being summarily and discriminatorily dismissed. IJP has continued to serve asylum seekers fleeing persecution, survivors of violent crimes and trafficking in the United States, and individuals seeking humanitarian protection and other forms of relief - all of whom face a system that often perpetuates the disparate treatment of communities of color. Find Out More

Fall 2021 Volunteer Spotlight: Leah Keith

Inspired to act after the murder of George Floyd in the summer of 2020, recently retired attorney Leah Keith wanted to help in-need New Yorkers with legal representation. Leah was eager to use the knowledge she acquired as a former prosecutor who mostly handled  white collar crimes, to help the staff of  the Juvenile Rights Practice at The Legal Aid Society understand the thinking of “the other side”. Find Out More

 Fall 2021 Case Spotlight: The Legal Aid Society and Shearman & Sterling Secure Clemency for 60-Year-Old Client During Cuomo’s Final Days in Office

George Martinez was convicted of burglary in the Bronx in 2006 and was sentenced to serve a minimum of seventeen years to life in prison. Although no violence was actually alleged, because of the classification of the crime, Mr. Martinez was sentenced under New York State’s Persistent Violent Felony Offender statute. Find Out More

Winter 2021 Project Spotlight: Legal Clinic for the Homeless

The City Bar Justice Center’s Legal Clinic for the Homeless (LCH) continues its work in supporting and providing critical legal services to families and individuals living in homeless shelters in New York City – a population that has been disproportionately impacted by lack of internet access and food, housing, and economic insecurity with the pandemic further exacerbating these issues. Find Out More

Fall 2020 Project Spotlight: Hundreds of Attorneys Participate in Project to Assist Protesters

New Yorkers throughout the city took to the streets this Summer to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement and to protest police brutality in the wake of the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis . Thousands of protesters were arrested by the New York City Police Department, and many hundreds have shared with Legal Aid their experience with police misconduct and brutality while participating in these peaceful protests. Find Out More

August 2020 Volunteer Spotlight: City Bar Justice Center Pro Bono Scholar AnnMargaret Shea

Pro Bono Scholar, AnnMargaret Shea, shares her experience with the Cancer Advocacy and Elderlaw Projects at the City Bar Justice Center. AnnMargaret’s placement began at the beginning of March and quickly changed as NYC was preparing to go into lockdown because of the public health emergency. Read more.

July 2020 Volunteer Spotlight: Legal Aid Society Volunteer Meredith Kershaw

Growing up in Australia, Meredith Kershaw decided to become a lawyer at the age of 6 after watching a Perry Mason episode. She stuck to that decision and in 2005 graduated from Australian National University with a law degree. While studying she developed a passion for social justice work. Ten years later, she moved from Sydney, Australia to New Jersey and paused her legal career to spend time with her three young daughters. Find Out More

June 2020 Volunteer Memorial: City Bar Justice Center Volunteer Henri M. Gueron

The City Bar Justice Center mourns the loss of Henri M. Gueron, who died on May 1 of Covid-19. Read more.

Summer 2019 Volunteer Spotlight: Legal Aid Society Volunteer Attorney Steve Weinstein

After graduating from college in 1968 Steve Weinstein served in the Peace Corps in the Mariana Islands, then part of the Trust Territory of Micronesia. He went on to live in Japan and Israel, where he attended graduate school at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He searched for an academic position, but was unsuccessful. He ended up attending Fordham Law School at night while working, and graduated in 1986. He worked as a litigation associate at Proskauer Rose and then a litigation partner at a smaller New York City firm. Read more.

June 2019 Volunteer Spotlight - City Bar Justice Center Pro Bono Scholar Angel Nwachukwu and Extern Bomy Hwang

Law students continue to fan out across New York City nonprofit legal services offices providing important pro bono assistance to low income New Yorkers. Columbia Law School Pro Bono Scholar Angel Nwachukwu and Vermont Law Student Extern Bomy Hwang spent this past semester at the City Bar Justice Center, working with the Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project and Immigrant Justice Project respectively. The Pro Bono Scholar and Extern Programs introduce current and recently graduated law students to pro bono work, showing how pro bono operates as a rich part of a lawyer’s professional life. At the end of their programs, Angel and Bomy reflected on their work at the Justice Center, and shared some key insights and takeaways from their time there. Read more.

May 2019 Volunteer Spotlight - Legal Aid Society Volunteer Attorney Stuart Cobert
Stuart Cobert has been a lawyer for 35 years. His career has included a federal district court clerkship in Los Angeles, a decade and a half as a litigator at Paul Weiss in New York City, and work at Unilever, where he managed the company’s United States litigation and antitrust issues. His work at Unilever included a time spent acting as the general counsel of Ben & Jerry’s. During that time he not only got free ice cream, but also a close look at how a corporation can be both profitable and a force for social and economic justice. Upon retiring in 2015, Stuart joined The Legal Aid Society as a volunteer attorney. Read more.
April 2019 Volunteer Spotlight: City Bar Justice Center Volunteers Irene Tan & Patricia Fox of AIG
Volunteers from AIG, an honoree along with DLA Piper at the April 3, 2019 Annual Gala of the City Bar Justice Center (CBJC), have done remarkable work with CBJC’s Veterans Assistance Project (VAP). In one instance volunteers assisted a disabled Vietnam Marine veteran who suffered from PTSD obtain a 100% total disability rating, reducing the likelihood that the Veterans Administration (VA) can or will be able to reduce the veteran’s disability rating in the future. In another instance volunteers’ work led to the VA acknowledging its error and withdrawing an overpayment notice to a young Afghanistan war veteran. Read more.
March 2019 Volunteer Spotlight: Legal Aid Society Volunteer Bob Paul
When Bob Paul was in Law School at NYU, he had a keen interest in criminal law. His course load was heavy on criminal law and he even represented clients from Legal Aid in Manhattan Criminal Court through a clinical program..... As his career in financial services was winding down, he looked for opportunities to give back to the community, and discovered the Attorney Emeritus Program (AEP). Through AEP he found a placement with The Legal Aid Society’s Prisoners’ Rights Project (PRP). Read more.
February 2019 Volunteer Spotlight: City Bar Justice Center's Federal Pro Se Legal Assistance Project Celebrates Sullivan & Cromwell Attorneys' Win for a Rikers Detainee 
On July 31, 2014, Kenneth Moore sat in his cell at Riker’s Island, wondering why he was still in jail. Mr. Moore had been arrested for allegedly violating his parole in late June. The underlying sentence—for a narcotics offense—had a “maximum expiration date” of July 31. According to allegations in Mr. Moore’s federal lawsuit, NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (NYS DOCCS) had no authority to hold him beyond July 31 without a conviction on his alleged parole violation. Yet July 31, 2014 came and went, and Mr. Moore remained incarcerated. Read more.
Winter 2018 Volunteer Spotlight: LiveHelp Chat Navigator Stephanie Feldt

Lawhelpny.org utlizes volunteer capacity to run the LiveHelp Chat Navigator program, through which volunteer attorneys and students live chat with users of lawhelp.org, ask users questions and, based on their responses, provide direction within the site so users can find the legal resources they are looking for. This month, we're spotlighting one of our volunteers, Stephanie Feldt, who uses her spare time to provide volunteer legal services in a number of ways. Read more.

November 2018 Volunteer Spotlight: City Bar Justice Center's Jeremy G. Epstein Awards

On Monday, October 22nd, we kicked off National Pro Bono Week with the 10th Annual Jeremy G. Epstein Awards for Outstanding Pro Bono Service. Each City Bar Justice Center project nominated an honoree to accept an award including, for the first time, a Lifetime Achievement Award. The fourteen recipients represent a legal community that is committed to pro bono and determined to help the city's most vulnerable residents access justice. Find Out More

October 2018 Volunteer Spotlight: Legal Aid Society of NYC's Volunteers
The Legal Aid Society provides assistance to thousands of low-income New Yorkers every year across our three practice areas: Criminal, Civil, and Juvenile Rights. Our dedicated attorneys and staff work tirelessly to ensure our clients have access to justice on a wide range of issues. However, often the need for assistance exceeds our capacity to take on cases. Luckily, Legal Aid has amazing partners and dedicated volunteers, with whose assistance we are able to greatly expand the work we do. Find Out More
September 2018 Volunteer Spotlight: Loeb & Loeb, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Bank of America Merril Lynch

The City Bar Justice Center's Veterans Assistance Project (VAP) provides disabled, low-income veterans in New York City with pro bono legal assistance on issues related to claims for benefits from the department of Veterans Affairs. VAP's sucessful advocacy relies on pro bono attorneys' creativity and hard work, and the project is pleased to highlight recent wins by three different attorney teams from Loeb & Loeb, Freshfileds Bruckhaus Deringer, and Bank of America Merril Lynch. Find out more.

Summer 2018 Volunteer Spotlight: Mary Schuette

Just because they retire doesn’t mean they stop practicing law. Attorneys from all backgrounds volunteer in various units at The Legal Aid Society after retirement. Their presence helps Legal Aid to assist additional clients, and lightens the caseload for our attorneys. They are a vital part of the work we do throughout the Society. One such volunteer is Mary Schuette, who volunteers in our Education Law Unit. Find Out More

May/June 2018 Volunteer Spotlight: Paul Winke

On an unseasonably warm day in December 2013, former New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman held a press conference at NYU to announce a new initiative making it easier for thousands of in-house corporate counsel to provide pro bono services. Find Out More

April 2018 Volunteer Spotlight: John Bryant

Each year, The Legal Aid Society works with thousands of volunteers ranging from law firm volunteers to student interns. One group of dedicated volunteers come to us through the Attorney Emeritus Program (AEP), which engages transitioning and retiring attorneys in public interest work. Find Out More

March 2018 Volunteer Spotlight: Capital One Lawyers Volunteer with Legal Clinic for the Homeless

This January, attorneys from Capital One and attorneys from some of the law firms with which it works received training from the City Bar Justice Center’s Legal Clinic for the Homeless (LCH). The lawyers seek to help homeless families navigate the government bureaucracies that provide for their basic needs, including food, clothing, health care and shelter. Find Out More

February 2018 Volunteer Spotlight: Danny Essadiq and Adham Elsayed (not pictured)

The Legal Aid Society relies on the assistance of thousands of volunteers every year to expand and enhance services to our clients. This past year, our Immigration Law Unit has been especially busy. Luckily, they have had a number of dedicated volunteers assist them with their work Find Out More


2017- 2018 WINTER EDITION: City Bar Volunteers Kick Off FEMA Appeals Clinics


Pro Bono FEMA Appeals Clinics for the 2017 hurricane season kicked off on December 11 at the New York City Bar Association with three pro bono attorneys and three clients with support from the City Bar Justice Center. The clinics are made possible by the collaborative efforts of the City Bar, the Association of Pro Bono Counsel, and members of the new Task Force on Disaster Relief launched by New York’s Chief Judge Janet DiFiore. Find Out More


November 2017 Volunteer Spotlight- City Bar Justice Center Honors Top Pro Bono Volunteers at the Jeremy G. Epstein Awards


The City Bar Justice Center launched National Pro Bono Week on Monday, October 23rd with the annual Jeremy G. Epstein Awards for Outstanding Pro Bono Service. Every year, the awards honor the outstanding pro bono attorneys from each City Bar Justice Center project. The awards were established in honor of the late Jeremy G. Epstein, the prominent litigator and pro bono champion who logged over 5,000 hours of pro bono and public service over 20 years. He was a partner at Shearman & Sterling LLP and a board member at the City Bar Justice Center, The Legal Aid Society and the Fund for Modern Courts. Find out more


October 2017 Volunteer Spotlight- Melinda Roberts


When Melinda Roberts wanted to get back into practicing law after a ten year break, she reached out to The Legal Aid Society. Now, three days a week, she volunteers with The Legal Aid Society’s Employment Law Unit, helping to ensure that low income New Yorkers have good representation in labor disputes.Find out more


September 2017 Volunteer Spotlight- Alan B. Kaplan


Alan B. Kaplan, is Managing Director & Deputy General Counsel of the Americas at Barclays, a member of the City Bar Fund Board, and a committed pro bono volunteer with the Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project. As Managing Director & Deputy General Counsel, Alan covers a broad range of activities and businesses of Barclays in the US, with a focus on investment banking, lending, debt capital markets and prime brokerage.Find out more


SUMMER EDITION 2017 Volunteer Spotlght- Noam Biale


This month we are featuring an associate and Pro Bono Coordinator at Sher Tremonte LLP, Noam Biale.  Although at a small firm, Noam and the attorneys at Sher Tremonte have a sizeable and varied pro bono docket, including working with with non profit partners to protect refugees and immigrants. In this piece,  Noam shares some insight and advice for small firm/solo attorneys or any attorney looking to get involved with pro bono work. Find out more


May 2017 Volunteer Spotlight - City Bar Justice Center Gala Celebrates Pro Bono


This month  the City Bar Justice Center’s 12th Annual Gala honored the global business leader Bloomberg L.P. and the international law firm Proskauer Rose LLP with the 2017 City Bar Justice Awards, for their leadership and dedication to pro bono and public service.  Find out more


February 2017 Volunteer Spotlight -  Volunteer Attorneys at JFK Airport


This month we honor the volunteers who committed their time to go to JFK airport in response to the immigration ban. Learn more


December 2016/January 2017 Volunteer Spotlight - The Legal Aid Society Pro Bono Award Winners

This month we feature the winners of the Legal Aid Society's Pro Bono Awards across categories like Protecting the Rights of Low Income Clients and Innovative Corporate Pro Bono Projects & Partnerships. Learn More

November 2016 Volunteer Spotlight - Epstein Award Winners
The City Bar Justice Center is the pro bono affiliate of the of the NYC Bar Association.  Read on to learn about the winners of the City Bar Justice Center's prestigious Epstein Award winners for Outstanding Pro Bono Service. Learn More
October 2016 Volunteer Spotlight - Joan Archer
Joan Archer shares her  pro bono experience working as a LiveHelp law student volunteer, live chatting with low-income individuals in need of legal information and referrals on New York's statewide legal information website, LawHelpNY. Learn More


September 2016 Volunteer Spotlight - Kevin Hackett
. Kevin Hackett is a partner at Proskauer Rose LLP in the Corporate and Real Estate practice. An Army veteran himself, read on to learn about Kevin's amazing work helping less fortunate vets as part of the City Bar Justice Center's Veteran's Assistance Project.  Learn More
Summer 2016 Volunteer Spotlight - Rolando Gonzalez
Rolando Gonzalez is a Legal Aid Society staff attorney based in the Harlem Community Law Office in the Community Development Project.  In this piece, he shares his experience working with pro bono volunteers and assisting low-income entrepreneurs. Learn More
May 2016 Volunteer Spotlight - Osvaldo Garcia
The NYC Pro Bono Center features Osvaldo Garcia this month.  Osvaldo is a second year associate at Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP.  He is the recipient of the New York State Bar Association President's Pro Bono Service Award and shares his experience as the founder and current director of the Cadwalader Black and Latino Association Immigration Clinic. Learn More




The NYC Pro Bono Center is a joint collaboration between the Legal Aid Society, the City Bar Justice Center and Pro Bono Net.  Membership is free for all attorneys, law students and legal professionals interested in pro bono and you can join here.  

The NYC Pro Bono Center E-Newsletter is a monthly publication of the NYC Pro Bono Center, and provides information about pro bono news, opportunities, trainings and volunteer spotlights.  It is distributed monthly by email to our members and interested parties may also subscribe here. Archived versions of the NYC Pro Bono Center newsletter are accessible in our library, by clicking here (you must be a member to access our library). 

If you would like to submit your own volunteer profile, have any questions or comments, or would like to contribute to the next issue of the newsletter, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Interested in submitting a volunteer profile? Email us to find out how!

Interested in volunteering?  Start searching for pro bono opportunities by interest area (e.g. family, asylum), community served (e.g. domestic violence victims, children) or location right now by using our interactive NY Pro Bono Opportunities Guide!