Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman praised New York City's major law firms for their outstanding pro bono commitment during The Legal Aid Society's 2010 Pro Bono Awards Ceremony yesterday at Espace.
During the ceremony, Chief Judge Lippman presented awards to 46 law firms and 274 individual lawyers. Cooley LLP received the 2010 Pro Bono Publico and Public Service Law Firm Award for its exceptional pro bono commitment to the Society and its clients. Cooley, under the leadership of Alan Levine, Chairman of The Legal Aid Society and Partner in Charge of the New York office, provides legal assistance to clients throughout the Society’s three Practices: Civil, Criminal, and Juvenile Rights. The firm has served as co-counsel on major litigation impacting clients including class action reform to end the shackling of children in Family Court. Cooley was the first firm to “Adopt-a-Building” to ensure that low-income tenants live in habitable apartments and maintain crucial rent subsidies. The firm expanded its traditional pro bono immigration practice to include preparation and filing of tax returns for immigrants seeking to remain in the United States, as well as dedicating substantial attorney hours to the representation of adults accused of criminal behavior.
The Pro Bono Publico Awards symbolize the outstanding commitment of major New York City law firms to provide access to justice to low-income children, families and individuals. For more than134 years, these law firms have provided pro bono representation and have supported the work of the Civil Practice as Sustaining Law Firms in delivering life-changing legal assistance to the most vulnerable New Yorkers, including senior citizens, children and adults with disabilities, survivors of domestic violence, immigrants, low-wage workers, persons living with AIDS/HIV, homeless and imminently homeless children and adults Yorkers, inmates in the jails on Rikers Island and prisoners in correctional facilities throughout the State of New York.