The Legal Aid Society is proud to acknowledge the outstanding support of the Sustaining Law Firms, whose dedication helps ensure that all New Yorkers have access to justice.
With the support of Trinity Church Wall Street Philanthropies, Legal Aid provided cell phones, toiletries, clothing, and other small items to recently released individuals to help them meet basic needs.
The Legal Aid Society’s approach to criminal defense representation has always been holistic, aiming to support those who interact with the justice system before, during and after their case has concluded. Through robust community outreach, pre-trial advocacy and post-conviction relief efforts, our work breaks down the barriers that perpetuate mass incarceration and stifle opportunity for those seeking a second chance.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the unsanitary and dangerous conditions of our city’s jails and prisons produced infection rates nearly four-times higher than those in the general public. As a result of the collaborative advocacy efforts of various units in our Criminal Defense Practice, we were able to secure the early release of hundreds of individuals who were at heightened risk for infection. Early release, however, is not enough, as the post-release needs of these individuals often go unmet. Individuals released often have little to call their own, and limited access to basic necessities to ensure their immediate health and safety. With the support of Trinity Church Wall Street Philanthropies, Legal Aid provided cell phones, toiletries, clothing, and other small items to recently released individuals to help them meet basic needs and ultimately rejoin their communities and their loved ones.
We are deeply grateful to these law firms, corporations, foundations, and individuals for their support of The Legal Aid Society and our core principle that no New Yorker should be denied access to justice because of poverty.
Sheehan’s launched and supported various programs and initiatives that provided The Legal Aid Society with critical funding and partnership that would ensure access to critical legal services for multiple generations of New Yorkers.
Bob and Beth Sheehan’s support of The Legal Aid Society, and dedication to those we serve, is unmatched in our history. Over the years, the Sheehan’s launched and supported various programs and initiatives that provided The Legal Aid Society with critical funding and partnership that would ensure access to critical legal services for multiple generations of New Yorkers.
As Executive Partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Bob Sheehan set a standard for pro bono service and philanthropic giving, deepening the firm’s leadership-level support of The Legal Aid Society—a commitment which continues to this day. In addition to his own pro bono service, Bob serves as a trustee of the Skadden Fellowship Foundation, which supports young lawyers interested in public interest law, many of whom have come to The Legal Aid Society as fellows.
During her time on the Board, when The Legal Aid Society was experiencing financial challenges, Beth Sheehan worked on a variety of projects supporting the organization’s survival and eventual growth. For many years, Beth volunteered for various initiatives that raised funds and awareness about Legal Aid’s civil law practice, demonstrating an unwavering commitment to the ideal of equitable access to justice.
It would be hard to find two people who are more supportive of, or dedicated to, The Legal Aid Society and those we serve than Bob and Beth Sheehan.
The Servant of Justice Awards is The Legal Aid Society’s annual celebration of our work, our victories, and our partners. Each year, we gather together to recognize those individuals and institutions who have stood together to fight for equitable access to justice in all its forms. Though we were not able to come together in person this May, we were honored to welcome many more of our staff, supporters, and fellow advocates to share in a remote celebration of our work. The evening’s virtual program featured stories and conversations that spoke to the impact of our work as “legal first responders” during this past year as COVID-19 and racism plagued our nation and city. We are most appreciative of those individuals and institutions whose support sustains our work and makes success possible.
Thanks to the support of Wells Fargo & Company, The Legal Aid Society was able to increase outreach to affected individuals and communities, serving as a lifeline for New Yorkers in need.
The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated a host of issues for the communities we serve, exposed systemic inequity, and threatened our city’s ability to recover. For renters and small business owners, the economic shutdown and the ensuing housing crisis created unprecedented levels of fear and uncertainty and widened a resource gap that endangered the livelihoods of many.
Thanks to the support of Wells Fargo & Company, The Legal Aid Society was able to increase outreach to affected individuals and communities, serving as a lifeline for New Yorkers in need. With a grant from the Wells Fargo Open for Business Fund, our Community Development Project was able to assist small business owners as they navigated each new stage of the pandemic and recovery, planning for prolonged closures, negotiating amendments to commercial leases, and helping to navigate complex government relief programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program. At the same time, tens of thousands of New Yorkers found themselves at the forefront of another housing crisis facing potential eviction. The support of Wells Fargo enabled our Housing Practice to increase dedicated staff, hold responsible agencies accountable, and provide outreach to ensure tenants were aware of and knew how to apply for emergency rent relief funds. This work allowed families throughout the five boroughs to stay safely in their homes and landlords to secure significant rent arrears.