Law360 has named Kaye Scholer one of its “Pro Bono Firms of the Year” for 2016. This is the first time that the firm was named to this list, which is now in its seventh year and includes a significant number of law firm pro bono stalwarts.
The “Pro Bono Firms of the Year” list features major law firms whose lawyers provided high-impact work without compensation and achieved victories for the public good between May 2015 and May 2016. Kaye Scholer lawyers provided an average of 66 hours of pro bono work on current legal issues affecting immigration, transgender rights, social entrepreneurship and equal access.
In selecting and profiling the firm for its list, Law360 highlighted several Kaye Scholer pro bono cases, including one lawsuit that challenged New York City’s policy for changing the gender field on birth certificates and another case involving the provision of services to the deaf in New York City’s homeless shelters.
The firm’s efforts on behalf of transgender clients secured a ruling that held birth certificate changes are a public accommodation that can’t be denied based on gender. “The firm’s work in this particular area has generated a lot of excitement internally, given the timeliness of this issue,” said Litigation partner Angela Vicari. “Transgender issues are at the forefront of our society like never before.”
In the firm’s work for the indigent deaf, Litigation partner Jeffrey Horowitz and associate David Harris secured a landmark settlement that, in addition to a $117,500 payment for their deaf client, required New York City to implement and report on system-wide accommodations to aid the hard of hearing and deaf in the city’s homeless shelters, including by providing American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters.
Along with providing legal services to clients whose needs would otherwise go unmet, Kaye Scholer’s pro bono program also provides benefits for the firm and its lawyers. Pro Bono counsel and co-chair of the Pro Bono Committee Alison King noted that Kaye Scholer’s lawyers can take on their own cases they’re passionate about or get involved in ongoing programs, as well as learn to balance caseloads while interacting with clients professionally. “It’s attorney development internally,” King told Law360. “It’s a more peer-to-peer approach.”
In a memo announcing the recognition, Kaye Scholer managing partner Michael Solow thanked King and her other Pro Bono Committee co-chairs, Sheila Boston and John Geelan, the other members of the Pro Bono Committee and the firm’s Pro Bono manager Elly Spiegel for their efforts to help the firm achieve its commitment to the community.
“This recognition of the firm’s overall commitment to both the philosophy and practice of pro bono work reflects our dedication to being a stronger and better firm for our clients,” Solow said.
Also of Interest
- Harty Receives Lawyers Alliance 2016 Cornerstone Award November 18, 2016 • Recognitions
- Kaye Scholer Receives Legal Aid Society’s Pro Bono Publico Award November 4, 2016 • Recognitions
- Pro Bono Team Advances CodeEd’s Comp Sci Efforts for Coeds September 14, 2016 • Client Successes
- Summer Associates Successfully Assist Transgender Clients July 27, 2016 • Client Successes
- Kaye Scholer Secures Pro Bono Victory for Father Falsely Accused of Child Abuse July 1, 2016 • Client Successes
- Chicago Team Receives 2016 Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Service May 25, 2016 • Recognitions
- Kaye Scholer Clients Are “Prevailing Parties” in Transgender Birth Certificate Case... May 10, 2016 • Client Successes
- Assad Rajani Awarded Two California Pro Bono Distinctions April 26, 2016 • Recognitions
- Jungermann and Steger Counsel Water Integrity Network on Libel Law March 31, 2016 • Client Successes