On November 19, WilmerHale was among 43 law firms to receive the 2012 Pro Bono Publico Award for outstanding service to the Legal Aid Society and its clients.
In addition, Partner Michael Bongiorno, former Senior Associates Sarah Mohr and Keith Bradley, and former Associate Jing-Li Yu, were recognized for their work advocating for New York's homeless population. WilmerHale represented the Coalition for the Homeless and partnered with the Legal Aid Society to challenge a new policy and procedure that the city had adopted for screening homeless individuals seeking shelter. The policy, if successfully implemented, could have deprived thousands of homeless individuals of life-sustaining shelter. The team persuaded a trial court to vacate the policy and are currently litigating the city's appeal of the trial court's decision.
The work that our colleagues have done in the Coalition for the Homeless litigation is a stellar example of our firm's impressive commitment to pro bono work, and we are very proud of them and all that they have achieved,” said former Partner Doug Curtis, vice chair of the Legal Aid Society. “We are equally proud of our longstanding affiliation with the Legal Aid Society in New York. The work they do—with our financial support as sustaining members, and our pro bono legal support—makes a real difference in the lives of our fellow New Yorkers.”
Each year, the Legal Aid Society recognizes the work of volunteer lawyers, law firms, corporations and other professionals who support the organization and participate in its pro bono program by providing exceptional legal services to low-income New York residents. Chief Judge of the State of New York Jonathan Lippman presided over this year's event, held at the Liberty Theater, and presented the awards.