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Category Archives: Pro Bono

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Proskauer Advises NGO Funding Recycling Projects in Brazil

For the past five months, Proskauer has acted as pro bono counsel to Instituto Recicleiros (Recicleiros), a Brazilian non-profit, in obtaining a grant from the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW). AEPW is an industry-founded non-profit dedicated to funding projects to reduce, and ultimately end, plastic waste. Brazil has long struggled to properly manage solid … Continue Reading

Pro Bono as Ikigai: Finding Your Purpose through Public Service

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month and Well-Being Week in Law, Proskauer’s Senior Manager of Wellness, Tracey Saliski, brought Brianne Gallo and me together for a discussion about finding purpose in life and work through participation in public service at Proskauer. It was a privilege to present on this topic with Brianne, who is … Continue Reading

Proskauer Files Suit for Immigrant Mother and Daughter Harmed by Family Separation Policy

Proskauer, with co-counsel Public Counsel and Squire Patton Boggs, has filed a complaint in Arizona Federal Court on behalf of a mother and daughter from Guatemala who were forcibly separated after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border under the Trump Administration’s family separation policy. The lawsuit comes after negotiations with the Biden Administration over a potential nationwide … Continue Reading

Proving the Good Moral Character of VAWA Self-Petitioners with Convictions Connected to their Status as Domestic Violence Survivors

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) allows immigrant survivors of domestic violence to self-petition for legal status in the United States without relying on their abusive U.S. citizen spouses to sponsor their adjustment of status (i.e., “green card”) applications. VAWA self-petitioners must prove that they are persons of “good moral character” to obtain approval of … Continue Reading

Lawsuit Challenges New York’s Host Homes Program for Putting Children at Risk

Last week, Proskauer filed an Article 78 petition on behalf of The Legal Aid Society, Lawyers For Children, and the Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo — three organizations that represent children in foster care proceedings — against the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) over its regulations establishing a Host Homes … Continue Reading

Ukraine Refugee Crisis: An Interview with a Ukrainian-American Pro Bono Client

More than 10 million people have fled their homes in Ukraine because of the Russian invasion. Yet we are still awaiting the designation of Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status to take effect upon the publication of a forthcoming Federal Register, and relevant U.S. agencies have not yet produced the logistical and operational plans necessary to … Continue Reading

Class Action Lawsuit Seeking Relief for D.C. Tenants Facing Egregious and Unlawful Living Conditions

Earlier this week, Proskauer and the Washington Lawyers’ Committee filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of tenants of the Meridian Heights apartment building (“Meridian Heights” or the “Property”), against the owner and associated property managers for their failure to maintain the Property in habitable condition.  Meridian Heights is home to a mostly Spanish-speaking community … Continue Reading

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against New York State for Failure to Provide Legally Required Mental Health Services to Medicaid-Eligible Children

Proskauer, in conjunction with attorneys from Children’s Rights, Disability Rights New York, and the National Health Law Program, have filed a class action lawsuit against New York officials in response to the mental health crisis arising from New York’s failure to provide, in sufficient quantity, frequency, and duration, home and community-based mental health services that … Continue Reading

Proskauer Secures Class Certification for Visually Impaired Chicagoans

Earlier this month, Proskauer – along with co-counsel Disability Rights Advocates (“DRA”), a nationwide nonprofit disability rights legal center – obtained class certification in an important litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, brought on behalf of pedestrians with visual disabilities in the metropolitan Chicago area. Proskauer and DRA filed … Continue Reading

Report Detailing Impact of COVID-19 on the New York City Family Court Urges Reform

Over the past several months, I have had the honor of co-chairing a joint New York City Bar Association/Fund for Modern Courts work group, which just issued its report on the impact of COVID-19 on the New York City Family Court. Given its large caseload, the fact that about 80% of the litigants are unrepresented, … Continue Reading

Proskauer Honors Public Service at the 14th Annual Golden Gavel Awards

Last week, the Proskauer community came together for the 14th Annual Golden Gavel Awards ceremony, a firm-wide virtual celebration to honor those lawyers and staff members who went far above and beyond to contribute to the Firm’s pro bono, corporate social responsibility, and diversity & inclusion initiatives this year. Congratulations and thanks to the following … Continue Reading

Spotlight on Equal Justice Works Fellow Rita Gilles

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Rita Gilles, an Equal Justice Works Fellow sponsored by Bloomberg and Proskauer, has observed firsthand the heroic dedication and sacrifice of frontline workers, especially the health care staff at Mount Sinai Health System who are now dealing with another challenging winter. For those in or near poverty the pandemic has been … Continue Reading

Asylum Victory for Gay HIV+ Immigrant from Uzbekistan

Nearly six years after our pro bono client first filed his asylum application, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) finally granted him asylum in the United States. Our client is a gay man living with HIV who fled Uzbekistan because he had suffered anti-gay violence and feared he would be harmed again due to … Continue Reading

Charting a Path Forward with Valerie Jarrett

Chief among the characteristics of highly successful people are a fierce work ethic and the ability to make success look easy. A good example is Valerie Jarrett, Chief Executive Officer of the Barack Obama Foundation, who spoke at Proskauer virtually last week as part of the firm’s A Path Forward lecture series and Collaborate for Change program. The presentation … Continue Reading

Protecting Due Process: Proskauer Files Amicus Brief on Behalf of Mother Seeking to Protect Her Child

Domestic violence survivors and their children who flee a perpetrator to a foreign country often face a unique legal challenge:  a petition to return the children to the country they fled, and back into the perpetrator’s control, under the Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.  The Hague Convention provides a cause of … Continue Reading

Demanding More for Our Disabled Veterans

The New York City Bar Justice Center’s Veterans Assistance Project recently presented William Fassuliotis with their 2021 Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award. In this post, Will explains how difficult the disability claims process has become for veterans. A recent statement by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it is hiring 2,000 new … Continue Reading

Proskauer Achieves Landmark Special Education Settlement in New Jersey State Prisons

Proskauer recently reached a landmark agreement with the New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC) and Department of Education (NJDOE) to ensure that students entitled to special education services in NJDOC custody will receive those services to which they are legally entitled under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act … Continue Reading

Top 7 Best Practices for Representing Transgender and Nonbinary Pro Bono Clients

Transgender and nonbinary individuals are often among the most marginalized communities we serve as pro bono lawyers. In the US and abroad, transgender and nonbinary people have faced a history of discrimination in employment and housing, unequal access to healthcare, and violence. Indeed, as the Human Rights Campaign has reported, 2020 was the deadliest year … Continue Reading

Proskauer Leads Impactful Summer Series For Teens

Last spring, Proskauer launched a partnership with the Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC) – an organization focused on empowering Asian American, immigrant, and low-income communities in New York City. Continuing our partnership, we launched an “Advancing Social Justice Summer Teen Series,” where a select group of students took part in a six-week series where conversations addressed … Continue Reading

Proskauer Helps Reunite Family Separated at the Border

On May 7, 2018, the United States implemented the “zero tolerance” family separation policy, directing immigration authorities to systematically separate children from their parents at the border, a practice that had been ongoing as early as November 2017.  The stated purpose of this policy was to deter future migrants from attempting to cross the border, … Continue Reading

Restoring Voting Rights for Individuals with Criminal Records and the Need to Inform Them of Their Rights

A critical part of criminal justice reform is making it easier for those with criminal records to reenter society. This means greater job training, more employment opportunities, affordable housing, and stronger laws prohibiting discrimination and facilitating the expungement of old convictions.  Successful reentry into a free society, however, requires more than just the basic needs of … Continue Reading

Proskauer Files FOIA Complaint Seeking Information on Deported Mothers and Newborn Children

News sources have widely reported that beginning in 2019, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) began expelling from the United States immigrant women who recently gave birth, as well as their U.S. citizen infants.  These actions were part of the former administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, which, among other things, intentionally separated thousands of families at … Continue Reading

Addressing Disparities in Health and Health Care during the COVID-19 Pandemic

With the ongoing pandemic exacerbating pervading health disparity and economic inequality issues in the United States, we brought together three experts to discuss their work and the impact of COVID-19 on these important topics. Our discussion was led by Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist and senior medical correspondent for WCBS-TV, Dr. Max Gomez. Our panelists included … Continue Reading
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