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 equal justice.
It began sixty years ago, with a $250 check to The Legal Aid Society. Since that modest donation, The Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Foundation has poured more than $1.3 million into our programs.
It began sixty years ago, with a $250 check to The Legal Aid Society.
Since that modest donation on December 13, 1962, The Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Foundation, launched by his daughter Catherine and her husband Chauncey Waddell, has poured more than $1.3 million into our programs. The Legal Aid Society is the only organization to receive a gift from the Hughes Foundation in every year of its existence. The sustained giving of the Foundation, whose mission includes protection of legal and human rights for the traditionally disenfranchised, has enabled us to connect unemployed and low-income New Yorkers to the benefits they need, protect vulnerable immigrants from detention and deportation, keep families in safe, affordable housing, and ensure they are treated fairly by the law and not held back by the systemic barriers that keep people trapped in poverty.
For example, the Civil practice in the last year handled over 51,000 legal matters benefiting nearly 113,000 New Yorkers, helping them in the midst of economic crisis to stay in their homes, maintain access to vital benefits, and keep their businesses open. The Foundation’s continued support contributed to these efforts.
Namesake Charles Evans Hughes, governor of New York from 1907-1910 and Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1930-1941, was a passionate advocate for the legal aid movement. He was named The Legal Aid Society’s third president in 1917, and during his tenure helped secure the backing of law firms across New York City for our work. Hughes’ family carried on his legacy through the Foundation’s support of The Legal Aid Society and other organizations defending legal and human rights in New York and nationwide.
At the end of 2022, 74 years after Hughes’ death, the Foundation bearing his name will wind down its affairs, but not without one last generous gift to The Legal Aid Society. The Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Foundation has been there for us for more than a third of our history, and has helped pave the way for our work for years to come.
Through financial contributions, volunteering partnerships, and event sponsorships, our Corporate Advocates make a lasting impact on our city.
Dan Kolb, a dedicated donor to The Legal Aid Society for decades, is a strong believer in our mission. His passion for equal justice has been a core part of his work since his career began.
Dan Kolb, a dedicated donor to The Legal Aid Society for decades, is a strong believer in our mission.
His passion for equal justice has been a core part of his work since his career began. Over his five decades with Davis Polk & Wardwell, he made pro bono defense a significant part of his caseload. When Kolb first interviewed for a position with the firm in the 1960s, he was told that support for public defense was tightly interwoven into its culture. Davis Polk’s continuous efforts for all of his career, and its outstanding support for the Society, bore that out. To honor his achievements, he received The Legal Aid Society’s Pro Bono Award for Outstanding Public Service in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018.
As a senior litigator for Davis Polk in the early 2000s, Kolb joined the Board of The Legal Aid Society. At the time, public defenders in New York State were facing a significant shortfall in funding for criminal defense. While they had well-honed criminal defense practices with teams of dedicated attorneys, the shortage in state funding for criminal defense meant that there were not enough of them to ensure all their clients received quality constitutionally mandated representation.
Kolb supported The Legal Aid Society’s campaign to persuade Albany to increase its funding for criminal defense. Working with our senior leadership, board members, and colleagues from Davis Polk, Kolb assisted with our two-prong strategy of litigation and advocacy. “It was a major undertaking,” he recalls, requiring several years of effort, but ultimately, with the backing of Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, the state agreed to significantly hike funding. This helped improve materially the quality of client representation.
During his time on the board, Kolb also served as the chair of the Development Committee and was instrumental in helping to double the number of Sustaining Law Firm partners supporting The Legal Aid Society. His energy and commitment to ensuring that all New Yorkers have access to justice was truly inspiring to others. To this day, staffers with The Legal Aid Society salute the efforts of Dan and his colleagues.
Dan remains a member of The Board of Advisers and a loyal donor to the organization. We are so grateful for his ongoing advocacy and his continued personal investment in our mission.
At the start of 2022, The Legal Aid Society launched the Justice Network, a new membership program to better connect our community of individual donors to our mission. We are pleased to specially recognize our inaugural Justice Network members, whose generous support has provided critical resources to our client communities.
Indeed goes beyond easing access to technology and transportation for job seekers facing barriers, placing equal emphasis on supporting organizations that provide assistance with the sealing of criminal records that can hinder job searching and advancement.
As the world’s most visited job search site, it’s to be expected that Indeed would have an interest in reducing barriers to employment. But the company goes beyond easing access to technology and transportation for job seekers facing barriers in the U.S., placing equal emphasis on supporting organizations that, like The Legal Aid Society, provide assistance with the sealing of criminal records that can hinder job searching and advancement.
Through its new corporate giving program, Indeed amply demonstrated this year its commitment to the notion that job candidates should be fairly considered regardless of their criminal histories with a generous gift to The Legal Aid Society. These are supporting our Case Closed Project, where we educate the public on expunging criminal records and assist with record sealing applications, and our Worker Justice Project, which provides representation to people unlawfully denied jobs because of arrest or conviction histories. In just a short time, Indeed’s support has provided tangible results, helping underwrite an outreach event we held in Brooklyn where 125 people were educated on criminal record sealing, in addition to provision of record sealing advice and representation to over 300 clients.
These include people like “Mr. B,” who we took as a client after he was suspended by his employer due to a pending criminal case. After discussing the matter with the employer, we were able to get him reinstated while the case was pending, as well as the reimbursement of over $3,500 in lost wages.
Indeed’s backing is making possible these direct services – a caseload we are at the same time working to lighten through the passage in Albany of the Clean Slate bill, which would create a system for automatic expungement of criminal records.
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. We are most appreciative of those individuals and institutions whose support sustains our work and makes success possible.
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.