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.

New York City Bar Association President John S. Kiernan gave the opening remarks and City Bar Fund Board Chair Robert F. Cusumano presented the awards to the volunteers. The keynote address was delivered by Alan S. Goudiss and Adam S. Hakki, partners at Shearman & Sterling LLP and colleagues of the late Jeremy G. Epstein. In a testament to the firm’s commitment to pro bono, 195 Shearman & Sterling attorneys worked tirelessly across three decades to vacate the death sentence of a man with an intellectual disability. Epstein led the defense team from the beginning, all the way up until his passing in 2009.

Keynote speakers Hakki and Goudiss gave moving remarks detailing their experience working on the case under Epstein’s mentorship. Hakki shared that Epstein taught them to: “Never quit. Never lose your faith in the outcome you can achieve in the courtroom when justice is on your side.”
Goudiss elaborated on what Epstein’s leadership taught them about pro bono and public service: “They make us better lawyers, they make us better citizens, they make us better people, and Jeremy understood that and he
imparted it to all of us who were fortunate enough to work with him.” The City Bar Justice Center congratulates this year’s honorees and is grateful to the dedicated volunteers who increase access to justice year round for New York City’s disadvantaged residents and families.

Pictured back row, from left: John S. Kiernan, New York City Bar Association President; Bridget La Rosa of Fox Rothschild; Antonia E. Stolper of Shearman & Sterling; Oscar S. Straus III, solo practitioner; Patrick Turner of CBS Corporation; Matthew C. Lamb of Norton Rose Fulbright; Brenna K. DeVaney of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; Kurt M. Denk of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel; Robert F. Cusumano, City Bar Fund Board Chair. Front row, from left: Jasmine M. Campirides of Steptoe & Johnson; Hayley Yandoli and Lauren Manton of DLA Piper; Lynn M. Kelly, executive director of the City Bar Justice Center.

Honorees not pictured are Eric Hochstadt and Jennifer Ramos of Weil, Gotshal and Manges; John Powers of Crédit Agricole CIB; Jessica Winchell of Deutsche Bank and the remaining pro bono team members from the DLA Piper and Norton Rose Fulbright teams. From the DLA Piper Team: John Guarin, Maria Matos, Kira Mineroff, Paolo Morante, Michelle Sadowsky, Emily Sanders, Marta Segimon, R. Brian Seibert, Tomasita Sherer, and Michael Shin. From the Norton Rose Fulbright Team: Nicholas Chandler, Thomas Commons, Thomas Hall, Darayl Levy, Nathaniel Putnam, and Stacey Trimmer.

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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!