In the past year, I’ve had the privilege of working on pro bono matters ranging from criminal justice to voting rights to veterans’ benefits. To help address legal challenges and needs amplified by the pandemic, Proskauer has developed a number of new pro bono partnerships and has called upon its lawyers to take on more matters and expand the program’s reach. Late last month, I took advantage of one such opportunity as I consulted with an entrepreneur who is in the initial stages of starting a business.
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.
Through Proskauer’s partnership with the City Bar Justice Center and Lawyers for Good Government, we helped launch the nationwide COVID-19 Small Business Remote Legal Clinic to consult with small businesses across a range of pressing issues: contracts & force majeure, leases, insurance, and, of course, the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. One of the most active areas for the legal clinic has been labor & employment issues as entrepreneurs fight to keep their employees, balance their checkbooks, and abide by laws that seem to change by the week.
To train other participating firms and volunteers, a Proskauer team consisting of labor & employment partners Lloyd Chinn, Patrick Lamparello, and Nicole Eichberger and associates Caralyn Olie and Dominique Kilmartin, produced a webinar on the most important labor and employment law considerations for New York small businesses.
To consider the great need, among people of limited means, for civil legal services during the COVID-19 crisis, a good starting point is where we were before the crisis started. In short, civil legal resources for the poor in the United States are woefully inadequate. According to the Legal Services Corporation, which documents the justice gap in America, between 62% and 72% of civil legal needs among low-income Americans are addressed inadequately or not at all. Indeed, the United States fares very poorly in this regard when compared to other western democracies.
The current health crisis would be devastating under any circumstances but, from a legal standpoint, this crisis has laid bare the long-term challenges we face.
This November, Proskauer is celebrating its year-round commitment to veterans by announcing a new partnership with American Corporate Partners (ACP), the nation’s leading veteran mentoring program for service members transitioning to corporate careers.
Ten senior partners and executives at Proskauer were selected to provide career guidance and personalized, one-on-one mentorships…