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Category Archives: Pro Bono

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Pro Bono for Immigrant Families: Seeking Asylum in the U.S. from Mexico

Since my trip to the U.S./Mexico border last summer, the situation for families seeking asylum has only become more challenging, especially in light of the Administration’s new “Remain in Mexico” policy.  This week, I am in Mexico along with Proskauer colleagues, Valarie McPherson, special immigration counsel, and Savannah Sosa, a project assistant.  We are providing … Continue Reading

Making a Difference for Families with Disabled Children

For low-income families with disabled children, receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits is critically important to the safety and security of their households.  Navigating the difficult claims process without legal counsel, however, too often leads to the wrong result.  This was exactly the case for one immigrant mother who—after a painful and complicated divorce—was unable … Continue Reading

The Right to Counsel in Civil Proceedings: An International Perspective

In the United States, people of limited means suffer a tremendous unmet need for legal services in civil proceedings. Why does the United States fall so far behind in providing that service in comparison with other western democracies? Background on the Right to Counsel In 1963, the Supreme Court decided Gideon v. Wainwright, the landmark … Continue Reading

The Proposal to Simplify New York’s Court Structure

Chief Judge Janet DiFiore’s call during her recent state of the judiciary address to “modernize” New York’s court system by reforming its complicated structure, has energized a growing grassroots effort across the state.  Since her speech at the end of February, dozens of groups and organizations, including representatives from a wide variety of New York … Continue Reading

How Changes in Immigration Policy Impact Pro Bono Work

U.S. immigration policy has changed quickly and substantially in the past two years. While a handful of policies have received the majority of media attention—such as the separation of families at the border—the Department of Homeland Security has implemented numerous, far less visible changes that have dramatically impacted the ability to seek immigration relief in … Continue Reading

Baited, Abused, and Jailed: The Silent Plight of Human Trafficking Victims

Thousands of women in the United States, who never knowingly or intentionally entered the sex industry, find themselves trapped in a world of unspeakable abuse. These women, whether in illicit massage parlors or other abhorrent situations, are routinely arrested despite being the victims – while traffickers and buyers with actual culpability routinely are not. To … Continue Reading

Proskauer Partners with HSBC Bank in Chicago to Host DACA Renewal Clinic

Last week, Proskauer’s Chicago office, in partnership with HSBC Bank (HSBC), hosted a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) clinic to assist 12 pro bono clients with preparing their DACA renewal applications. The DACA program provides eligible, undocumented immigrants who came to the United States before the age of 16 with a renewable two-year period … Continue Reading

Bloomberg LP and Proskauer Serve LGBTQ Immigrant Survivors of Hate Violence

According to the most recent FBI statistics, reported incidents of hate crimes increased by 17 percent in 2017, rising for the third consecutive year. The FBI determined that the primary motivators of these crimes were race, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation.1  When compounded with the rise in anti-immigrant sentiment, and recent changes in U.S. policy that … Continue Reading

Making Gender-Affirming Surgeries a Possibility for Low-Income Transgender People

For many transgender people, undergoing gender-affirming surgery is a crucial step toward a healthy gender transition. While not all transgender people need or want gender-affirming surgeries to be part of their transitions, receiving such surgeries may be life saving for some who do. The American Medical Association has established that gender-affirming surgery is effective and … Continue Reading

How to Identify and Address Secondary Trauma

Pro bono projects can provide some of the most meaningful and interesting moments in a lawyer’s career. It’s usually an easy decision to say “yes” when presented with a pro bono opportunity, because this type of work gives young lawyers invaluable experience and offers all lawyers a purposeful way to give back to their communities. … Continue Reading

Stopping Witness Tampering by Abusers and Sex Traffickers in Pretrial Detention

Last month, Proskauer filed an amicus brief on behalf of Sanctuary for Families — a leading non-profit organization advocating for victims of domestic violence and sex trafficking —specifically to advocate for allowing criminal prosecutions based on lawfully recorded telephone calls that abusers in pretrial detention use to coerce victims not to testify. According to some … Continue Reading

Proskauer Honors Public Service

Proskauer honored its lawyers and staff who have made significant contributions to the Firm’s pro bono and corporate social responsibility programs this year at its 11th Annual Golden Gavel Awards ceremony on January 22. The following is a list of recipients alphabetically by project. Protecting Voting Rights These attorneys and paralegals ensured that a team … Continue Reading

School Suspension Hearings: New Pro Bono Project Gives Students Representation

Throughout law school I worked with the Suspension Representation Project (SRP) as an advocate in New York City public school suspension hearings, and am now helping to coordinate a new project at Proskauer through our partnership with SRP and The Center for Popular Democracy.  This post will examine the school suspension process in New York … Continue Reading

New Jersey Law Against Discrimination Protects Autism Non-Profit in Land Dispute

The New Jersey Appellate Division, in a landmark ruling — Oasis Therapeutic Life Centers, Inc. v. Wade et al., (December 10, 2018) — upheld a real estate purchaser’s right to assert a claim under New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (the LAD) against the purchaser’s prospective neighbors who discriminated against the purchaser because of the disability of … Continue Reading

Federal Court Upholds First Amendment Right to Secretly Record Public Officials in Public

Last week, in Martin v. Gross, Chief Judge Patti B. Saris of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts granted summary judgment in favor of our clients, finding the Massachusetts Wiretap Statute (Mass. Gen. L. ch. 272, § 99) unconstitutional when applied to secret recordings of government officials performing their duties in public.  … Continue Reading

Wills for Vets

Proskauer’s Private Client Services lawyers in the Firm’s Boca Raton office have a wide range of experience in trusts and estate planning, and wanted to give back to the community in a meaningful way. With this intention, we formed a partnership with the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County to provide wills for veterans. … Continue Reading

Does the GDPR Impact How Charitable Organizations Solicit Donors?

Six months after implementation of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”),¹ many charitable organizations are still struggling with compliance. Our pro bono clients frequently ask whether consent is now required to send solicitations or communications via email to donors or potential donors.  Before addressing that discrete question, here are some key GDPR principles … Continue Reading

Defending the Massachusetts Assault Weapons Ban

Earlier this month, Proskauer filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in support of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ ban on assault weapons, such as the AK-47 or the AR-15, and large-capacity magazines.  We filed the brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in … Continue Reading

New York Law on Sealing Convictions Helps Some Begin a New Life

With over two million Americans behind bars, this country has the highest incarceration rate in the world.  Our society pays a big price for that distinction, not only in the staggering cost of incarceration itself but in the long-term effects – most notably in terms of employment and housing  – on previously incarcerated individuals and … Continue Reading

Protecting the Right to Vote

On November 5th and 6th, Proskauer will host over 150 volunteer lawyers in its New York office to support election protection efforts with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Responsible for the largest non-partisan voter protection endeavor in the country, the Lawyers’ Committee is dedicated to ensuring that all voters—regardless of political belief … Continue Reading
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