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November 2016 Volunteer Spotlight - City Bar Justice Center's Epstein Award Winners

The Winners of the City Bar Justice Center's 2016 Jeremy G. Epstein Awards for Pro Bono Service

By Carol Bockner

The City Bar Justice Center, the pro bono affiliate of the New York City Bar Association, has announced the winners of the eighth annual Jeremy G. Epstein Awards for Outstanding Pro Bono Service.  Honoring the outstanding volunteer attorneys in each of the Justice Center projects, the awards were presented at a Celebration of Service reception on October 24 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., at the New York City Bar Association, to kick off National Pro Bono Week.

This year’s awardees were: (pictured below)

  • Brittany M. Bacon, Hunton & Williams LLP
  • Jonathan K. Chang, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
  • Yago Cuesta-Civis, Revlon, Inc.
  • Arthur M. Dresner, Duane Morris LLP
  • Evan K. Farber, Reed Smith LLP
  • Luba Jabsky, Barclays Capital Inc.
  • John Low-Beer, Solo Practitioner
  • Lauren R. Mendolera, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
  • Julia B. Milne, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
  • Jurij Mykolajtchuk, Law Offices of Jurij Mykolajtchuk
  • Herman Raspé, Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP
  • Virginia F. Tent, Latham & Watkins LLP
  • Elie Jonathan Worenklein, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

At the awards reception, Hon. Colleen McMahon, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, delivered a keynote address and the awards were presented by Jane C. Sherburne, City Bar Fund Board Chair. City Bar President John S. Kiernan provided introductory remarks.

SDNY Chief Judge McMahon inspired all in attendance with her keynote address at the ceremony:

“When we think about doing pro bono work, we tend to think about providing professional service to someone who cannot afford to pay for it. And that is indeed one way to think about ‘‘pro bono” work. But there is more to pro bono than that. The phrase “pro bono publico” means “for the public good,” --- not “for the good of someone who can’t afford a lawyer.” When a lawyer performs work pro bono publico, he is expressing, consciously or unconsciously, a belief that society is well-served when individuals and organizations unable to afford counsel have competent legal representation. In a country dedicated to the rule of law, lawyers work pro bono publico because they believe that everyone – not just the wealthy and powerful -- should have meaningful access to the law, and to the courts, and a real ability to enforce the rules that are supposed to regulate the behavior of all for the protection of all.”

Lynn M. Kelly, Executive Director of the City Bar Justice Center, said,

“The Justice Center is honored to acknowledge the 2016 Epstein Pro Bono Award winners for their outstanding pro bono service. Out of over 1,000 cases the Justice Center matched with pro bono counsel, these exceptional attorneys displayed loyalty, tenacity and care on top of their demanding work schedules, embodying the spirit of pro bono. We are grateful for their efforts to increase access to justice.”


"...In a country dedicated to the rule of law, lawyers work pro bono publico because they believe that everyone – not just the wealthy and powerful -- should have meaningful access to the law, and to the courts, and a real ability to enforce the rules that are supposed to regulate the behavior of all for the protection of all.” 

- SDNY Chief Judge McMahon keynote address

 

 

Back row: Luba Jabsky, Compliance Analyst, Barclays Capital Inc.; Jane C. Sherburne, Chair, City Bar Fund Board of Directors; Arthur M. Dresner, Of Counsel, Duane Morris LLP; Herman Raspé, Partner, Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler; Brittany M. Bacon, Associate, Hunton & Williams LLP; Jurij Mykolajtchuk, Law Offices of Jurij Mykolajtchuk; John S. Kiernan, President, New York City Bar Association; Lynn M. Kelly, Executive Director, City Bar Justice Center; Yago Cuesta-Civis, Legal Director of Global Operations, Revlon, Inc.; Lauren R. Mendolera, Associate, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP; Bret I. Parker, Executive Director, New York City Bar Association.
 

Front row: Jonathan K. Chang, Associate, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP; Julia B. Milne, Associate, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP; Hon. Colleen McMahon, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York; Amy Epstein, wife of the late Jeremy G. Epstein, for whom the awards are named; John Low-Beer, Solo Practitioner. Not pictured: Evan K. Farber, Partner, Reed Smith LLP; Virginia F. Tent, Counsel, Latham & Watkins LLP; Elie Jonathan Worenklein, Associate, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.

 

About the Epstein Awards
Jeremy G. Epstein (1946-2009) 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. He logged over 5,000 hours of pro bono and public service over 20 years.


About the City Bar Justice Center
The City Bar Justice Center, the pro bono affiliate of the New York City Bar Association, increases access to justice by leveraging the resources of the New York City legal community. The Justice Center operates the city’s busiest legal hotline and annually provides direct legal representation, information and advocacy to over 25,000 poor and vulnerable New Yorkers in areas including veterans’ assistance, bankruptcy, elder law, cancer advocacy, homelessness, cancer advocacy and immigration.

Learn how YOU can volunteer with the City Bar Justice Center!

 

 

 

 

 

 


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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!