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Category Archives: Pro Bono

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Proskauer, Pro Bono and Pride: A Q&A with LGBTQ+ Nonprofit Founder Michael Narain

This post contains sensitive subject matter. We sat down with Michael Narain, the founder of Out My Closet, to talk about the vital role this nonprofit organization plays in the lives of at-risk LGBTQ+ youth and how Proskauer’s pro bono collaboration has helped to advance the organization’s mission. In your own words, what does Out … Continue Reading

Medical Report Supports Urgent Need for Humane Immigration Policies

The families and children migrating from Central America have suffered terrible traumatic experiences, and a recent report by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), a non-profit advocacy group, addresses the serious, long-term medical consequences of this trauma. These important findings provide compelling support for more humane immigration policies, and inform best practices for lawyers working with … Continue Reading

Criminal Justice Reform in America: Confronting Reentry Challenges

The United States comprises about 4% of the world’s population – and houses about 22% of the world’s prison population.  The U.S. Department of Justice reports that each year approximately 650,000 people are released from prison.  Helping this population with a successful transition following incarceration is not only critically important to the individuals involved, but … Continue Reading

Protecting the Rights of Louisiana Deaf Probationers and Parolees

In 2016, Proskauer, together with the Advocacy Center of Louisiana and the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, filed a pro bono litigation in Louisiana federal court with the goal of securing qualified and certified American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters for deaf and hard of hearing probationers and parolees under the supervision … Continue Reading

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
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