The American Bar Association honored two law firms, Dechert, and Norton Rose Fulbright, and three lawyers, for outstanding pro bono work. The award ceremony was held at the Hynes Convention Center during the ABA’s Annual Meeting in Boston. The ceremony was hosted by ABA President James R. Silkenat.
The three individuals who received the Pro Bono Publico awards include Edward M. Ginsburg – former associate justice of the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court; Alan Howard, a partner in Crowell & Moring’s New York office, and Kermit Lowery – a vice president and assistant general counsel for LexisNexis U.S. Legal Department.
Judge Ginsburg founded a pro bono program Senior Partners for Justice after his retirement from the bench. The program which runs in cooperation with the Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association has more than 1,000 members including law students, lawyers and retired judges.
Alan Howard is well known for his pro bono work in civil rights. Currently he is representing nearly 200 skilled workers from India who are allegedly victims of one of the largest human trafficking schemes in the history of that country.
Kermit Lowery is the immediate past president and a member of the board of trustees for the Dayton Volunteer’s Lawyer Project where he personally handles up to 20 pro bono cases per year, while also balancing the workload of his in-house job at LexisNexis. Lowery also mentors law students at the Leadership Counsel for Legal and Diversity.
Norton Rose Fulbright organizes its pro bono services through a 15-member committee of partners representing each of its 11 U.S. offices. In 2013, Norton Rose Fulbright lawyers logged close to 105,000 hours of pro bono work worldwide across its 50 offices. Eighty five percent of the firm’s attorneys in U.S. logged volunteer hours averaging at about 111 hours per attorney.
Philadelphia-based Dechert showed 99 percent of its 900 lawyers provide pro bono service at an average of 103 annual hours per attorney. In 2013, Dechert lawyers provided more than 82,000 hours of pro bono service. According to the award records, the law firm handles more than 1,500 individual pro bono matters at any given time. Dechert lawyers focus their pro bono efforts in public benefits, voting rights, prisoner civil rights, immigration, veterans, landlord-tenant, education, nonprofits/small businesses, habeas, social impact investment, criminal, civil rights and human rights matters.
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