NEW YORK, June 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The American Bar Association (ABA) announced that Stroock will receive the 2022 ABA Pro Bono Publico Award, which recognizes the firm’s outstanding commitment to volunteer legal services for the underserved and disadvantaged. This is the highest honor given by the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, which will present Stroock, one of five recipients, with the annual award on Aug. 5 during the ABA’s Annual Meeting in Chicago.
“We are honored and grateful to receive this recognition,” said Alan Klinger, Stroock’s Co-Managing Partner. “Public service is a pillar of our firm that we constantly work towards expanding and refining for maximum impact. It is a privilege to do this work, and we are proud to see our attorneys’ dedication and enthusiasm towards it recognized.”
“This humbling award is a testament to our attorneys and professional staff who make high-impact pro bono work a priority, and to Stroock’s enduring commitment to equality and justice. We view the ABA’s recognition not as a culmination of our work, but rather as a catalyst that will spark new efforts and magnify our existing efforts to help those most in need, both through our own initiatives and in partnership with our many public interest allies,” said Kerry Cooperman, Director of Stroock’s pro bono program, the Public Service Project.
The award honors Stroock’s 2021 pro bono efforts across a range of areas, highlights of which include:
- Mobilizing in times of crisis. Drawing on the firm’s two decades of experience leading disaster relief efforts, Stroock created the Afghanistan Refugee Assistance Task Force in the summer of 2021, as the Taliban began seizing control across Afghanistan. The Task Force has since provided emergency humanitarian, immigration, resettlement, and other supports to vulnerable Afghans and their families. Stroock also extended the work of the Small Business Legal Relief Alliance (SBLRA), which Stroock launched at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic and which has since provided pro bono legal and financial support to over 750 New York small business owners and nonprofits. Kevin Curnin, former partner and founding director of Stroock’s Public Service Project, provided key vision and leadership in creating the SBLRA and building Stroock’s disaster-relief expertise.
- Criminal justice reform and advocacy on behalf of the incarcerated. Stroock has partnered with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition to help restore voting rights for previously incarcerated individuals across Florida. It also works with legal services organizations on matters to reduce excessive criminal sentences, prepare clemency applications, and help improve conditions in prisons.
- Serving the underserved. Stroock helped secure a precedent-setting determination in a lawsuit alleging that a New York City charter school engaged in practices aimed at forcing students with disabilities to withdraw. The firm also assisted The Legal Aid Society’s efforts to advocate on behalf of noncitizens impacted by prior marijuana convictions.
- Serving those who serve others. Stroock also provided valuable legal support to charitable nonprofit organizations across New York, and nationally, including Community Access, Highland Park Community Development Corporation, and Goddard Riverside Community Center.
Stroock’s longtime commitment to serving the public interest began with the civic reform efforts led by the firm’s founders more than a century ago. In 2001, Stroock launched its Public Service Project — one of the first such practices to be led by a full-time pro bono partner — to offer a multidisciplinary approach to delivering comprehensive legal services focused on disaster recovery, innovative collaborations, and underserved and under-resourced communities.
About the ABA Pro Bono Committee
The ABA’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service works to ensure access to justice through the expansion and enhancement of the delivery of legal and other law-related services to the underserved through volunteer efforts of legal professionals nationwide. The Committee fosters the development of pro bono programs and activities by law firms, bar associations, corporate legal departments, law schools, government attorney offices and others; analyzes the scope and function of pro bono programs; and proposes and reviews policy that affects lawyers’ ability to provide pro bono legal services.
About the ABA
The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at www.americanbar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.
SOURCE Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP