Super Lawyers is excited to announce the nine recipients of the 2013 Super Lawyers Pro Bono Awards. The Awards honor legal professionals, students, schools and institutions that exemplify excellence in the practice of law through offering volunteer legal services to the poor, disadvantaged or exploited.
"We are honored to recognize the recipients of this year's Super Lawyers Pro Bono Awards for their outstanding pro bono legal efforts," said Julie Gleason, Director of Research, Super Lawyers. "These nine legal professionals, law firms, law schools and other legal organizations who provide volunteer legal services for those in need serve as an inspiration to us and the entire legal community."
The 2013 Pro Bono Award recipients are:
Michael P. Pasquale, McCarter & English, LLP, Newark, NJ
Mr. Pasquale helped disabled soldiers receive pensions and healthcare coverage for themselves and their families for life. Additionally, Mr. Pasquale trained other attorneys to represent wounded soldiers and lobbied for a bill, which was signed into law in early 2013, to protect deployed single-parent soldiers.
Victor Schachter, Fenwick & West LLP, Mountain View, CA
As the founder of The Foundation for Sustainable Rule of Law Initiatives, Mr. Schachter helped establish mediation centers in India and the Balkans, significantly reducing the amount of backlogged dockets and producing faster resolution of legal problems for millions around the world.
Morrison & Foerster LLP, San Francisco, CA
Among many other efforts, attorneys at Morrison & Foerster worked through the Bar Association of San Francisco's Justice & Diversity Center (including the Housing Negotiation Project) to provide legal representation and social services to low-income and underserved San Franciscans.
Bodman PLC, Detroit, MI
Attorneys at Bodman PLC worked with the homeless or those at risk of being homeless to resolve civil infractions and misdemeanors through the Street Outreach Court Detroit. Additionally, the firm founded Detroit's chapter of Homeless Experience Legal Protection (H.E.L.P.), a program that holds legal clinics for the homeless.
Penn State University, Dickinson School of Law, Children's Advocacy Clinic, Carlisle, PA
Law students partnered with graduate social work students and medical residents to effectively represent children who had been abused or neglected, as well as those involved in adoptions, domestic violence cases and custody disputes.
University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, Law School Clinical Programs, Denver, CO
The Environmental Law Clinic obtained a significant settlement for residents of polluted Denver neighborhoods after the alleged failure of Xcel Energy to monitor and limit emissions from a coal power plant. Additionally, five more legal clinics focused on civil rights, economic development, civil litigation, mediation & arbitration and criminal defense.
Laura Diven, Law Student at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, CA
After discovering the lack of services in Los Angeles for those with HIV/AIDS, Ms. Diven created a comprehensive information bank of HIV service providers, as well as volunteered at the Los Angeles HIV Law and Policy Project to further serve the legal needs of HIV patients.
Vanessa Stine, Law Student at Villanova University School of Law, Villanova, PA
Among other efforts, Ms. Stine started the Notario Fraud Project, which was the first program of its kind in Pennsylvania to fight notario fraud, in which misrepresented or fraudulent lawyers trick immigrants into paying thousands of dollars to obtain legal status.
San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, San Diego, CA
More than 500 lawyers, law students and paralegals donated their time to cases in the San Diego area involving child abuse, domestic violence, HIV/AIDS patients, elder law, immigration and special education.
Click here to find out more about each Award recipient, and look for the special Pro Bono Super Lawyers Digital Magazine coming out in May 2014.