Michelle Moriarty recently joined Proskauer as Pro Bono Counsel. She comes from the Center for Reproductive Rights, where she was a Senior Staff Attorney. We spoke with Michelle about her work at the Center, what brought her to Proskauer, and her vision for the Pro Bono Counsel role.
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…
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…
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 (Section 504), and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This settlement is consistent with Proskauer’s long-standing commitment to provide legal services to some of the country’s most vulnerable communities.
In a major victory for unhoused New Yorkers, the New York Court of Appeals recently adopted the analysis of an amicus brief that was filed by Proskauer on behalf of the Coalition for the Homeless. The amicus brief supported the City of New York’s defense of a proposed project to convert a midtown Manhattan hotel into a residential facility for homeless adults seeking employment opportunities.
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 adversity and challenges. We thank and celebrate the following colleagues who rose to the occasion and made a difference for their communities.
Proskauer is proud to represent Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors d/b/a UNITE, a non-profit collaborative started by Special Olympics Chairman Tim Shriver, as pro bono counsel in connection with the planning and production of “The Call to Unite,” a 24-hour livestreaming event beginning on Friday, May 1 at 8 p.m. EDT. Mr. Shriver is leading the event, which will feature Oprah Winfrey, Presidents William J. Clinton and George W. Bush, Deepak Chopra, and a multitude of other guests.
Given the challenges facing people across the globe from the Covid-19 pandemic, Mr. Shriver sought a way to come together and create a much-needed “bear hug” for humanity. The Call to Unite will be a 24/7 livestreaming event that encourages people to huddle around the screen to watch spiritual, cultural, and civic leaders, and performers, and to join them in unity and solidarity to face the pandemic together. The organizers of this event hope to recalibrate viewers’ moods and encourage them to engage with their communities and make donations to help those in need.
Earlier this month, a Law360 article explored a fundamental—yet often overlooked—question: whether the long-held standard practice of tallying pro bono hours remains “the best way to measure pro bono success.” Though attempting to approximate a firm’s commitment to pro bono through quantifiable metrics is laudable, hours alone do not tell the full story. Especially given that half of those seeking legal aid assistance are turned away due to a lack of resources, a firm should not lose sight of the fundamental (albeit less measurable) purpose of pro bono work, which is to maximize access to justice in under-served communities.
A growing body of empirical research aims to address the scarcity of legal services for the poor in the United States. For example, consider Professor Jim Greiner, a leading scholar in the space, who founded the Access to Justice Lab at Harvard Law School in 2016. Unlike most research into the practice of law, Greiner employs Randomized Control Trials (“RCTs”)—the gold standard for research in other disciplines—to explore difficult issues, such as how severely limited legal aid resources might be more efficiently deployed. He has considered such questions as: