The Proskauer corporate social responsibility and pro bono blog

Answering the Call for Better Coordination in Providing Veterans Services

Serving veterans is a vital part of Prosakuer’s pro bono and corporate social responsibility initiatives.  Knowing that an integrated approach is the best approach to the unique challenges faced by low income veterans, Proskauer recently hosted a panel discussion on the state of veteran affairs locally and nationally, and specifically how to best connect veterans with the services and resources that they need and deserve.

Moderated by Wendy Dessy, Proskauer’s Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility, the panel guests were Ray Toenniessen, Associate Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), and Eric Henry, general counsel for the New York City Department of Veteran Services (DVS).

Continue Reading

Q&A With Guttman Community College’s Chief of Staff Linda Merians and Kednel-Gregory Jean

At Proskauer, we have a strong connection to the communities in which we live and work, and a deep commitment to their success. We are especially proud of our relationship with Stella and Charles Guttman Community College, located only a few blocks from our New York office.

When the college established its private 501(c)(3) foundation, our Firm was one of the first to make a donation. The donation provides funding for the college to buy food gift cards at Subway restaurants, available throughout the city, so that students who are hungry can purchase something to eat. The College is located in the Bryant Park area, and local restaurants are far too expensive. Food insecurity is a major problem for Guttman students. Guttman has a food pantry, which is run by its Single Stop office, and also partners with the Food Bank for New York City.

Proskauer’s relationship goes beyond donations. We have led career panel discussions and recently organized a two-day pop-up shop from clothing that we donated. More than 80 students dropped by to shop.

Continue Reading

A Reflection on the Impact of Immigration on Society

On January 30, Proskauer sponsored a panel discussion alongside the Hispanic National Bar Association and the Dominican Bar Association, titled “International Perspectives on Immigration:  Personal Reflections on the Impact of Immigration on Our Society.”  In 2017, over 200 Proskauer lawyers worked on immigration-related pro bono matters on behalf of individuals seeking asylum, unaccompanied minors, and victims of domestic violence and human trafficking.

Understanding the attitudes, experiences, and approaches of other countries with respect to immigration is vitally important. We were proud to welcome to our office the New York Consuls General of the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Israel and Colombia, who shared individual stories of immigration. They also addressed some of the most pressing issues of the day regarding immigration in the United States, Latin America and Israel.

Maria Isabel Nieto, the Colombian Consul General, spoke about the challenges her country is facing with the influx of more than 500,000 people fleeing Venezuela.  Dani Dayan, the Israeli Consul General, discussed his experience immigrating to Israel from Argentina and the challenges of receiving refugees.  Consul General Carlos Castillo of the Dominican Republic emphasized the great impact immigrants from the Dominican Republic have had on New York City, highlighting that two million New Yorkers are of Hispanic heritage. Diego Gomez Pickering, the Consul General of Mexico, addressed serious issues facing Mexican immigrants in the U.S.

Gaining an international perspective through events like this enables us to put our own country’s challenges in context, underscores the importance of treating immigrants fairly while upholding the law, and makes us better informed citizens and more effective advocates.

Embarking on a Career With a Tradition of Public Service

Tradition is a funny thing. It can be tempting to dismiss it as something static and fixed, when in fact, it is a dynamic and ever-evolving creature. It is a tradition’s inheritors who determine what to maintain, adapt and carry on; traditions are an amalgamation of both the present and the past. It is through this reiterative process that traditions grow strong enough to stand the test of time.

Every fall, law firms across the United States determine what parts of their traditions and culture to instill in the next generation of attorneys joining their ranks as first-year associates. New hire orientations can set the tone not only for the future of a firm, but for the shape of associates’ entire careers. Proskauer passes on a tradition of public service through its first-year associate pro bono program, which gives each new member of the Firm a pro bono matter as their first assignment.

Because the corporate social responsibility and pro bono presentation is the very first session of Proskauer’s orientation program, new associates learn about this assignment within hours of starting at the Firm, even before we are inducted into our respective practice groups.

Continue Reading

Judge Proskauer, a Legacy of Public Service

In the following short video, Anthony Smith, the grandson of Judge Joseph M. Proskauer, discusses his grandfather’s strong commitment to public service. We are proud that this tradition of giving back and making a difference continues today through our corporate social responsibility and pro bono work across the Firm.

Continue Reading

Psychological Abuse Is a Form of Grave Harm Under the Hague Convention

A team of Proskauer attorneys, on behalf of 12 leading non-profit organizations specializing in advocacy for victims of domestic violence, drafted an amicus brief in support of a mother seeking to uphold a district court’s determination that her child would be subject to a grave risk of harm were he to be returned to his country of residence with his father.  The respondent and her minor child, K.D., fled French St. Martin to the United States to escape abuse at the hands of K.D.’s father.  In response to a petition filed under the Hague Convention by the child’s father, Judge Vincent L. Briccetti of the Southern District of New York determined that the minor child could not safely be returned to his home country with his father.  The father appealed to the Second Circuit.

Continue Reading

Celebrating the Holidays with Veterans and Military Families in Washington, D.C.

For the past three years, Proskauer’s Washington, D.C. office has served a gourmet holiday meal to resident visitors at the Fisher House located near the VA Medical Center. We were happy to continue this tradition on December 11, 2017, when a team from our D.C. office brought great food and friendly faces to a group of military and veterans’ families at the Fisher House.

The Fisher House is part of a network of facilities in the U.S. and Europe that provides “a home away from home” for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers. The homes are normally located within walking distance of a treatment facility or have transportation available. This network of comfort homes allows military and veterans’ families to stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment at a VA medical facility.

Continue Reading

LexBlog