Legal Aid Society


LAS Honors Key Partners at 2022 Pro Bono Publico Awards Ceremony

The Legal Aid Society held the 2022 Pro Bono Publico Awards Ceremony at the Prince George Ballroom on Tuesday, October 25th, honoring individual attorneys and law firms for their outstanding and sustained achievements in pro bono services.

Each year, The Legal Aid Society works with over 100 law firms and national law schools across New York City. The firms recognized were nominated by Legal Aid staff in every borough for their exceptional commitment to ensure that no New Yorker is denied the right to equal justice. The Honorable Anthony Cannataro, Acting Chief Judge of the State of New York, presented the awards to the honorees.

“The impact of pro bono volunteers on our ability to zealously advocate for our clients is indispensable and we are incredibly proud to honor the contributions of these individuals and firms,” said Twyla Carter, Attorney-in-Chief and Chief Executive Officer of The Legal Aid Society. “We are deeply appreciative of the undeniable impact their work has in the lives of our clients, and look forward to continuing to partner with these firms to advance justice for the communities we serve.”

The Public Interest Law Leadership Award was presented to Jennifer L. Colyer of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP in recognition of her extraordinary contributions as a volunteer attorney, for her constant support of The Legal Aid Society and our client communities, and as the leader of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobsen’s outstanding pro bono program since 2000. Colyer’s extensive and exemplary work focuses on immigration, LGBTQ rights, reproductive rights and criminal defense. She was honored in 2010 by Legal Aid for her work on behalf of clients applying for resentencing relief under the New York’s Drug Law Reform Act. Colyer’s tireless work on behalf of immigrants has also made her a mainstay within New York’s immigration advocacy community; most recently providing leadership and supervision to remote volunteer projects assisting clients with DACA renewals, naturalization and through Legal Aid’s Immigration Hotline.

The 2022 Honorable Jonathan Lippman New York Pro Bono Publico & Public Service Law Firm Award was presented to Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP for its exceptional pro bono commitment to Legal Aid’s organization and clients. In the past year, Kramer Levin has contributed nearly 3,000 hours of legal services to Legal Aid clients, and the firm has provided critical assistance to clients in areas as diverse as immigration defense, bankruptcy, criminal appeals, business development for low-income entrepreneurs and community justice programs, which impact hundreds of New Yorkers. Through their extraordinary pro bono commitment to Legal Aid Society’s client communities, Kramer Levin has demonstrated that the firm shares Judge Lippman’s goal of “making equal justice for all not just an ideal, but a reality.”

“We look forward to this event every year because it provides us with an opportunity to say thank you to the legal professionals who donate their time, and to highlight the amazing work of Legal Aid Society staff who work with the volunteers providing mentorship and guidance,” said Lou Sartori, Chief Counsel of the Pro Bono Practice at The Legal Aid Society.

Last year, 2,737 volunteers donated 201,460 hours of legal assistance to the clients of The Legal Aid Society. But no metrics can adequately quantify what pro bono assistance means to a family facing homelessness, a client whose rights are violated by unlawful police conduct, or a child in foster care whose educational needs are not being met. For over 140 years, The Legal Aid Society has worked together with the private bar to provide life changing legal assistance and deliver “Justice In Every Borough.”

See the full list of winners below.

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
Bill Natbony

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Naomi Bates, Isabel Bowman, Tabitha Cohen, Aaron Francis, Victor Hou, Mijin (Jacqueline) Kang, Daniel Montgomery, Mohit Rathi, Jessica Roll, Andrew Saba, Ludivine Van der Heyden

Coalition for the Homeless
Deborah Diamant

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
Sonia Batten, Jackson Dartez, Elina Khodorkovsky

Dechert LLP
Samantha DeRuvo, Linda Goldstein, Jennifer Maldonado, Vishan Patel, Emily Van Tuyl

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Yilin (Tim) Chen, Mary Eaton, Noah Lipkowitz

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP
Vianka Abreu, Nicholas Adkins, Kevin Aguirre, David Akerman, Stephanie Baldelli, Basem Besada, Catherine Bushong, Jennifer Colyer, Kristin Corapi, Ashley Czechowski, Ellis Darby, Ronald Distante, Meredith Dodd, Stella Drevina, Whitney Dumeng, Simon Elkharrat, Nicole Enciso, Alicia Fitch, Maria Garay, Christina Geith, Alison Goldman, Katelyn James, Victoria Laubach, Danielle Leavy, Jenny Li, Taylor McGraw, Megan Misencik, Elizabeth Nwabueze, Vivian Ouyang, Heather Paik, Josh Rhee, Alex Schindler, Anneta Shargorodskaya, Priyanka Shivakumar, Ross Silver, Charles Stern, Irfan Tahiri, Guy Topaz

Gender Equality Law Center
Allegra Fishel, Madeleine Morawski

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Christopher Belelieu, Lee Crain, Joseph Evall, Aileen Huang, Jabari Julien, Nicholas Pulakos, Doran Satanove, Jialin Yang

Goodwin Procter LLP

Edward (Ted) Ames, Rebecca Broches, George Davis, Joshua Eisenson, Michael Fahner, Jennifer Fisher, Christopher Grobbel, Sona Karakashian, Mayan Katz, Andrew Kimball, Lisa Koo, Tina Larson, James Lathrop, Peter LaVigne, Jason Lawrence, David Li, Genna Lukshus, Simone Otenaike, Shawn Peng, Artem Skorostensky, Vanessa Torres, Samuel Weiss, Jason Yeoun

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP
William Beausoleil, Clara Cassan, Jennifer Suh

Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP
D. Brandon Trice, Molly Webster

Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP
David Abrams, Yarden Hodes, David Ross, Stephen Thomasch

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP
Christopher Auguste, Rose Bagley, Andrew Baum, Michelle Ben-David, Jeffrey Braun, Emma Cervantes, Boaz Cohen, Rachel Czwartacky, Scott Eckl, Aaron Frankel, Arielle Warshall Katz, Karen Kennedy, Daniel Ketani, Sam Koch, Randy Kreider, Andrea Maddox, Jason Moff, Harry Morgenthau, Jamie Porco, David Richards, Robert Schmidt, Paul Schoeman, Nathan Schwartzberg, Joseph Shifer, Steven Sparling, Howard Spilko, Daniel Sugarman, Thomas Twitchell, Jennifer Weisser

Krieger Kim & Lewin LLP
Katherine Cheng, Henry Ross

Loeb & Loeb LLP
Jerome Levine, David Nelson

Lowenstein Sandler LLP
McKenzie Wilson

Milbank LLP
Chassity Bobbitt, Catherine Cervone, Michael Dauber, Katherine Kelly Fell, Micaela Manley, Sean Murphy, Michael Scerbo

Patterson Belknap Webb and Tyler LLP
David Dykhouse, Daniel Lowenthal

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
Amy Barton, Cristian Gonzalez, Michael S. Merrill, Pradine Saint-Fort, Ethan Stern

Proskauer Rose LLP
William Dalsen, Sarah Emmerich, Michael Guggenheim, Dixie Morrison, William Silverman

Pryor Cashman LLP
Jason Pachter

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP
Matthew Fox, Andrew Kutscher, David LeRay, Max Meadows, Sascha Rand

Schlam Stone & Dolan LLP
Michael Brodlieb

Selendy Gay Elsberg PLLC
Sean Baldwin, Michael Duke, Caitlin Halligan, Babak Ghafarzade, Katya Stynes

Shearman & Sterling LLP
Kit Chau, Denise Karamian

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
Susan Cordaro

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Angela Avonce, Maria da Silva, Massiel Leiva, Colm McInerney, Jennifer Minervini, Abigail Davis Sheehan, Erika Szymanski, Julia Timerman

Starr Associates LLP
Sallie Schlam Levi, Samantha Sheeber

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP
James Bernard, TaLona Holbert, David  Kahne, Michael Mallon, Christine Stygar

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
Philip  Graham, Jr., Kolja Ortmann

White & Case LLP
Morgan Brock-Smith, Gina Chiappetta, Andrew Costello, Dana Foster, Bryan Gant, Shravya Govindgari, Tripp Odom, Sylvia Precht, Hannah Rubashkin, Joshua Weedman

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
Sean Lavin, Wesley Powell, Timothy Ryan

Leon Kenworhty, Minahil Khan, Alan Schoenfeld

Winston & Strawn LLP
Seth Spitzer, Michelle Tuma

Percival Bailey, Shane Baumgardner, Ursula Bentele, John Bryant, Lawrence Burnett, Chia-Yu Chang, Katherine Cheng, Thomas Curtis, Christopher Evans, Timothy Fleming, Andrea Green, Roger Hawke, Leah Keith, Lauren Kole, Megan Larkin, Janet Le, Sherre Levene, Frank Papalia, Mary Schuette, Bart Schwartz, Jake Walter-Warner, Stephen Weinstein