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Congratulations & Thank You to Public Counsel's 2015 Pro Bono Award Recipients

From left, Public Counsel Vice President & General Counsel Elizabeth Bluestein, Pro Bono Honorees David Chao and Tom Freeman of BIRD MARELLA and Public Counsel Pro Bono Director David Daniels

As the nation's largest public interest law firm, Public Counsel provides direct legal services to our most vulnerable, through a pro bono model that leverages the talents and dedication of more than 5,000 attorneys, law students, paralegals, social workers and other volunteers annually. Each year, Public Counsel's law projects honor a select group of those who have gone above and beyond, providing exceptional pro bono service that has changed lives. 

The 2015 Public Counsel Pro Bono Award recipients are an extraordinary group of gifted and dedicated practitioners who have generously donated their time to ensure justice for the most vulnerable in our community. Throughout the month of October, we recognized the honorees with events at their law firms. Please join us in congratulating this year's honorees (listed below).

As part of National Pro Bono Week, Public Counsel's Guardianship Clinic joined forces with 20 pro bono attorneys and legal professionals from Goodwin Procter and Bank of America to complete court forms to secure permanent guardians for kids in danger of entering the foster care system. At this evening outreach event hosted at Goodwin's downtown offices, prospective clients met with legal volunteers and filled out all of the court documents required to become the permanent legal guardians for vulnerable children. The very next day, Public Counsel filed that paperwork with the court, ensuring that these kids will have the stability and support they deserve. 

Also that week, Public Counsel's Consumer Law Project conducted a comprehensive client interview and intake night at the County Law Library for victims of consumer fraud. More than 25 volunteer attorneys from Alston & Bird, Blank Rome, Davis Wright, 21st Century Fox, Gibson Dunn, LADWP, Latham & Watkins, NBCUniversal, Robins Kaplan, Stroock, Tucker Ellis, U.S. Bank, and Winston & Strawn met with potential clients and evaluated their consumer law claims for possible placement with pro bono counsel. 

Your Time And Expertise Can Change Lives! Register Now As A Pro Bono Volunteer

Read more about how you can participate in our Volunteer Opportunities and sign up for our monthly Top 10 List of cases in need of pro bono support. For more information, contact Public Counsel Pro Bono Director David Daniels at ddaniels@publiccounsel.org.

2015 Public Counsel Pro Bono Award Recipients

Thomas R. Freeman and David H. Chao
Bird Marella


Honorees, Appellate Law Program

Paul Dougherty
Wilson Elser


Honoree, Appellate Law Program (Federal Pro Se Clinic)


Adam C. Pullano
Simpson Thacher


Honoree, Center for Veterans Advancement

Eric Isken
Southern California Edison


Honoree, Children’s Right Project (Adoptions Project)


Sabrina Chorok Lee Kwun
Attorney at Law


Honoree, Children’s Rights Project (Guardianship Clinic)


John A. O’Malley and the Garden Grove Litigation Team
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP


Honorees, Community Development Project


Ward L. Benshoof and Andrea S. Warren
Alston & Bird LLP


Honorees, Consumer Law Project


Central District Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney Association


Honoree, Consumer Law Project (Debtors’ Assistance Project)


Richard J. Frey and the West Coast Labor and Employment Practice Group
Venable LLP


Honorees, Early Care & Education Law Project



Mariposa Litigation Team: Emily Ludmir Aviad, Daniel O. Blau, Shannon Cooper, Marie Davis, Grayce S. Frink, Antonieta Pimienta, Rachael Schiffman and Matthew E. Sloan


Honorees, Homelessness Prevention Law Project


Michael J. Galas and Theodore O’Reilly
Gibson Dunn


Honorees, Immigrants' Rights Project


Ronald L. Olson and the Valentini v. McDonald Litigation Team
Munger Tolles & Olson LLP


Honorees, Opportunity Under Law


Scott M. Kalt and John M. Bowman
Elkins Kalt Weintraub Reuben Gartside LLP


Honorees, Pro Bono Director’s Award