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Category Archives: Pro Bono

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A Seven-Year Journey from Asylum to U.S. Citizenship: Reflections on LGBTQ Immigrant Justice

In 2014, I had the privilege of representing two extraordinary young asylum seekers who had fled from Macedonia, where, because they are a gay couple, they had suffered extreme homophobic violence and sexual abuse at the hands of civilians and police officers.  In 2021, I had the honor of helping them become U.S. citizens. In … Continue Reading

Patent Diversity Project: Addressing Racial and Gender Disparities in the U.S. Patent System

Recent studies show a great disparity in the number of U.S. patents issued to women and people of color. A 2020 report published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) found that, despite making up more than half of the U.S. population, women only represent 12.8% of United States inventor-patentees. The Institute for … Continue Reading

Proskauer Secures Asylum for Client Persecuted Based on Sexual Orientation

On February 5, 2021, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) granted asylum to our client, a gay man who suffered horrific violence based on his sexual orientation.  For their own homophobic reasons, the police in his country of origin refused to investigate the hate crimes that were committed against him.   Fearing for his … Continue Reading

Pro Bono Spotlight: Ameelio.org – Bridging Financial Barriers for Incarcerated Individuals Trying to Stay in Touch with Loved Ones

Staying in touch with loved ones has become more important today than ever before. While technology offers many ways to stay in contact, incarcerated individuals face barriers to communication. Several prisons have paused in-person visitation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A phone call can cost up to $25, creating a financial burden for many families … Continue Reading

Proskauer Honors Public Service at the 13th Annual Golden Gavel Awards

Proskauer gathered for a firmwide virtual celebration, our 13th Annual Golden Gavel Awards ceremony on February 3, 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. This past year has been one of immense … Continue Reading

Francis Lewis High School Makes Semi-Final Run in Moot Court Competition

For over 30 years, Proskauer lawyers have worked with students from Francis Lewis High School in Queens to help prepare them for moot court competitions. This year’s program was unlike any other with practices held over Zoom from living rooms and bedrooms across the City; and, instead of walking up to the lectern at the … Continue Reading

Bloomberg and Proskauer Sponsor Equal Justice Works Fellow at Mount Sinai Medical Legal Partnership

COVID-19 has been catastrophic for the wellbeing of low-income Americans, particularly in communities of color. The costs to health and human life have been devastating and the substantial collateral damage on the financial and social fabric of the country is expected to be felt into 2021 and beyond. One of this country’s leading hospitals, Mount … Continue Reading

Proskauer’s Amicus Brief Challenges the Constitutionality of Massachusetts Law Mandating that Children Charged with Murder Be Tried and Sentenced as Adults

On November 25, 2020, Proskauer filed a motion for leave to file an amicus brief on behalf of Citizens for Juvenile Justice and the Committee for Public Counsel Services, Youth Advocacy Division in support of Raymond Concepcion, a youth with disabilities who was automatically tried as an adult, convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to … Continue Reading

Federal Court Considers Proskauer Amicus Brief on Behalf of 25 Leading Colleges and Universities in Setting Aside Visa Restrictions

As we previous reported, on October 30, 2020, Proskauer filed an amicus brief on behalf of 25 leading colleges and universities in support of a preliminary injunction, and, in the alternative, for partial summary judgment sought by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the Northern District of California against Interim Final Rules issued by the … Continue Reading

It Is Time to Address the VA’s Enormous Backlog of Claims for Disability Benefits

Nearly half of the 20 million veterans in the United States use at least one government benefit or service offered by U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (commonly known as the “VA”). Many of these veterans have developed mental and physical disabilities related to their service, and are entitled to compensation.  However, despite the urgency to … Continue Reading

Proskauer Virtual Volunteers Support LACBA’s Veterans Legal Service Project Clinic

Next week, Proskauer will headline the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Veterans Legal Services Project (VLSP) clinic. Proskauer attorneys sponsor the clinic every November – but this year’s clinic will be very different. The VLSP clinic has adjusted to the realities of 2020 and, in doing so, has found new ways to improve its services … Continue Reading

Challenging Proposed DHS Rule Harmful to Lower Income Families

On October 2, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking governing the “Affidavit of Support” requirements under section 213A of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Certain immigrants seeking to come to the United States are required to submit an Affidavit of Support signed by a sponsor who agrees to … Continue Reading

Proskauer Files Amicus Brief on Behalf of 25 Leading Colleges and Universities Challenging New DHS and DOL Interim Final Rules Restricting H-1B and Other Visa Programs

On October 30, 2020, Proskauer filed an amicus brief on behalf of 25 leading colleges and universities in support of a preliminary injunction sought by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the Northern District of California against Interim Final Rules issued by the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Labor. The new Rules substantially restrict … Continue Reading

Confronting Racial Injustice: Felony Convictions and the Right to Vote

The idea that individuals with a felony conviction should be barred from voting for at least some period of time is widely accepted across the United States. But when you consider that current laws arose out of explicit racial animus following the Civil War and the end of slavery; when you look at the disproportionate effect the … Continue Reading

Election Protection and the Need for Nationwide Voting Standards

Proskauer’s participation in Election Protection, through hosting a call center with Firm, client and alumni volunteers across the United States, provides an invaluable service to individual voters ensuring they have an equal opportunity to cast their ballot.  This volunteer experience also provides great insight into the current condition of democracy in America.  It lays bare … Continue Reading

Proskauer Files Amicus Brief Urging Protection for Low-Income Tenants of Color Amidst COVID-19 and Impending Eviction Crisis

As documented in numerous studies, the brunt of COVID-19’s impact has fallen most heavily on racial and ethnic minorities who have suffered higher hospitalization and mortality rates as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment as a consequence of the virus and government efforts to contain it. As a result, many low-income tenants—Black and Latinx, disproportionately—are … Continue Reading

Election Protection 2020: Preparing Voters for Election Day

For the past 14 years, Proskauer has partnered with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in its Election Protection initiative, a nonpartisan project mobilizing law firms, law schools, in-house counsel, and other members of the legal community to ensure every vote is counted fairly and equally.  Proskauer will again host a national call … Continue Reading

Advocating for Transgender, Intersex, and Gender Nonconforming People’s Equal Access to Homeless Shelters

Nearly one-third of transgender individuals experience homelessness at some point in their life, and 70% of those who have stayed in a homeless shelter have reported some form of mistreatment, including harassment and refusal of service, due to their gender identity.  Transgender individuals are significantly more likely to end up homeless than the general population … Continue Reading

Ten Years for a Second Chance? New York’s Sealing Statute Lags Behind Other States

In 2018, Proskauer highlighted the importance of a New York law that gives those with criminal convictions an opportunity to build a better life. New York Crim. Proc. Law § 160.59 (“CPL 160.59”) allows persons convicted of certain crimes to apply for their criminal record to be sealed upon meeting two requirements: (1) at least … Continue Reading

Proskauer Represents Forensic Scholars in Successful Amicus Brief Overturning Wrongful Conviction After 40 Years

On August 24, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, sitting en banc, reinstated defendant Ronnie Long’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus, challenging his rape conviction more than four decades earlier.  Proskauer filed an amicus curiae brief in support of Mr. Long on behalf of some forty leading scholars … Continue Reading

Another Public Health Crisis: The Intersection of Gun Violence & COVID-19

As COVID-19 ravages communities across the United States, another serious public health crisis is also escalating: gun violence. Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit organization and longtime Proskauer partner dedicated to ending gun violence, has been examining the impact of COVID-19 on the gun violence epidemic, as well as making important recommendations. In a recent … Continue Reading

Know Your Rights: Proskauer Partners with The Legal Aid Society to Provide Information and Resources to Immigrants

Many immigrant families in the U.S. live with the fear that their loved ones will be detained on very short notice during Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) raids. Just this week, a Proskauer pro bono volunteer answered a call to the Immigration Helpline from a woman seeking help after her undocumented husband was arrested and … Continue Reading
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