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Pro Bono Awards Recognize Life-Changers and Community Builders

2014 Pro Bono Awards

Public Counsel recognized Occidental College Professor Felisa Guillén and her students for providing translation help to Spanish-speaking families in public schools. Click here to see more photos from the 2014 Pro Bono Awards.

Public Counsel held its annual Pro Bono Awards at the Line Hotel in Los Angeles on September 10, 2014, to honor the work of incredible advocates for justice. Every year, Public Counsel and our pro bono attorneys and volunteers give free, life-changing legal help to individals, families and community-based nonprofit organizations and small businesses.

"This is the night where we get to celebrate, applaud and thank the people who have selflessly dedicated their time and unique skills to forever change the stories of the clients we serve," said Pro Bono Director David Daniels. "Each and every Pro Bono Award recipient is a hero who has transformed the futures of those who simply could not access justice without your generous assistance."

This year we honored 24 incredible people who helped people achieve justice in their lives. They included:

A pro bono team from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP led by partner and Public Counsel Board Member Dan Grunfeld worked together with Public Counsel, civil rights attorney Gary Blasi, and Inner City Law Center to craft a path-breaking agreement with Los Angeles County that protects the rights of thousands of the poorest Angelenos who survive on $221 a month in benefits from the General Relief Program.

Attorney at Law Glenn Trager helped young people brought to the U.S. as children to participate in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and pursue their dreams. He also won asylum for a Ugandan journalist who was persecuted for her stand on women's rights.

Occidental College Professor Felisa Guillén organized Spanish-speaking students at the school's Center for Community Based Learning to translate forms and materials for public school parents seeking special education services for their children.

The full list of honorees is below:

President's Award

Dan Grunfeld, David Cox, Esther Ro, Lisa Veasman and Chris Vargas
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

For winning an agreement in Guillory et al. v. Los Angeles County that protects the rights of tens of thousands of the poorest Angelenos in the General Relief Program.

Pro Bono Director's Award

First Legal Network

For providing pro bono courier, messenger, court-filing, service of process, and other legal support to litigation for families facing eviction and fighting fraud.

Appellate Law

Tyna Thall Orren
Orren & Orren

For acting as pro bono appellate counsel for an individual appealing the denial of his claim for disability insurance benefits.


Center for Veterans' Advancement

Stacey Wang
Holland & Knight LLP

For assisting a homeless veteran to settle his family estate and receive more than $100,000.

Center for Veterans' Advancement - New York

Marianne Bellucci
Sidley Austin LLP

For her commitment to helping indigent veterans in New York City.

Children's Rights - Adoptions

Edward Stork
Sedgwick LLP

For ensuring adopted children with special needs receive all the support they deserve to thrive in their new families.

Children's Rights - Education Rights

Felisa Guillén
Center for Community Based Learning
Occidental College

For providing translation services that help Spanish-speaking children and families access special education services in school.

Children's Rights - Guardianship

Katherine Paradero
Attorney at Law

For her support of Public Counsel's pro per guardianship clinic for adults caring for children whose parents are unable or unwilling to care for them.


Community Development

Rosemary Lemmis
Davies Lemmis Raphaely Law Corporation

For helping to preserve a cultural landmark from foreclosure and supporting a nonprofit organization seeking to build a community asset.

Consumer Law

Daniel Allender
Irell & Manella LLP

For defending the rights of 11 truck drivers at the Los Angeles and Long Beach Ports to earn normal benefits and a decent wage for their work.

Debtor Assistance

Roksana Moradi
Simon Resnik Hayes LLP

For taking on numerous complex adversary proceedings and Chapter 7 consumer bankruptcy cases to protect our clients’ right to a financial fresh start and educating consumers about their rights.

Early Care and Education

Lloyd Pilchen
Olivarez Madruga

For spearheading Public Counsel's work to increase access to early care facilities for children in Southeast Los Angeles County.

Federal Pro Se Clinic

Michael A. Garabed
Reed Smith

For ensuring litigants who go to federal court alone have the legal support they need to pursue their claims.

Homelessness Prevention

Susan Hoffman and Jordan McCrary
Bingham McCutchen LLP

For representing indigent clients at risk of losing their homes through eviction, overturning a wrongful eviction and improving the quality of life for Angelenos through our Shriver Housing Project.

Immigrants' Rights

Glenn Trager
Attorney at Law

For assisting immigrants brought to the U.S. as young children to successfully apply for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and for helping to win asylum for a Ugandan journalist who was persecuted for promoting women's rights.

Impact Litigation

Mark Neubauer
Carlton Fields Jorden Burt

John Ulin, Jacob Poorman and Brian Martinez
Arnold & Porter LLP

For being co-counsel in Cruz v. California and fighting for the rights of students to meaningful learning time at some of California's most underperforming schools.