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Pro Bono Pro Bono Section

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Our Commitment to Pro Bono

Proskauer has a long history of public service and a distinctive pro bono program that enables its lawyers to make a broad impact through a variety of projects.

Our Program
We encourage our lawyers to make pro bono a vital part of their practice from the beginning of their careers, and pursue pro bono matters with the same vigor they devote to billable work. Every first-year associate is given a pro bono project upon joining the Firm, and all of our lawyers are expected to perform at least 50 pro bono hours annually.

Our Clients
Our extensive pro bono docket ranges from high-impact litigation and complex transactions for nonprofit organizations to matters for low-income individuals seeking equal access to justice. We help a wide range of pro bono clients, including community groups, refugees, domestic violence and human trafficking victims, low-income tenants and artists, veterans, Holocaust survivors, people with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. Our lawyers have played a crucial role in shaping issues such as gender equality, voting rights and religious freedom.

Our Team
Our pro bono program is led by a full-time pro bono partner who is a former federal prosecutor, and a full-time pro bono manager with prior experience as a senior litigation associate. This team works closely with the Firm’s corporate social responsibility program, as well as the Pro Bono Initiative Committee.  

 

“Most of us became lawyers because words like ‘equality’ and ‘fairness’ and ‘justice’ meant something to us. Our pro bono and corporate social responsibility programs at Proskauer are really intended to allow each of us, from the most junior to the most senior, whether staff or lawyers, to realize upon these values and to make an impact on the lives of the most vulnerable people in our communities.”
Joseph M. Leccese
Chairman of the Firm



 Recent Highlights

 

Proskauer Raises Awareness for Salvadorians as Nation Joins International Criminal Court

Proskauer and the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice have joined forces to produce a brochure on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to assist the Comisión de Derechos Humanos de El Salvador (Human Rights Commission of El Salvador or CDHES), a human rights NGO, in raising awareness among Salvadorans about their country’s membership in, and the protections afforded by, the ICC. 
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Proskauer, Disability Rights Advocates and the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey Sue New Jersey on Behalf of Incarcerated Students With Disabilities Over Denial of Education

Proskauer, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLU-NJ) and Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) are suing the New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC) and the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) for failing to provide education to youth with disabilities throughout the prison system, including to students held in solitary confinement.
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Proskauer Honors Outstanding Pro Bono Work at 9th Annual Golden Gavels

On November 15, Proskauer honored its lawyers and staff who have made significant pro bono contributions this year at its ninth annual Golden Gavel Awards ceremony. Lawyers and staff from offices across the United States participated in the event.
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Proskauer Partners With Election Protection and Answers Voters' Calls

Two hundred fifty-five volunteers from Proskauer’s Boston, DC, New York and Los Angeles offices, alumni and friends of the Firm gathered on November 7 and 8, Election Day, to answer 3,150 calls from voters in Ohio, Tennessee, South Carolina and Arkansas. This effort is in partnership with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan voter protection coalition that aims to ensure eligible voters are able to participate in fair voting practices at their designated sites.
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Proskauer Files Class Action Lawsuit on Behalf of Deaf Probationers and Parolees

Proskauer partner Russell Hirschhorn and associates Madeline Rea and Robert Sheppard are serving, pro bono, as lead counsel in a class action lawsuit on behalf of probationers and parolees who are deaf or hard of hearing, against the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections (LDPSC) and its secretary, James LeBlanc.
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Proskauer Partners With the Legal Aid Society on Vindication of First Amendment Rights on Filming NYC Police Officers

Proskauer is serving as co-counsel with the Legal Aid Society in the filing of a federal lawsuit on behalf of Ruben An in a timely case that seeks to establish that the video recording of police is protected by the First Amendment, an issue that has not been addressed by the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
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Bloomberg and Proskauer Work with the City Bar Justice Center to Provide Pro Bono Services to Veterans

We joined Bloomberg L.P. at its New York headquarters to participate in a CLE training in which both the Proskauer team and Bloomberg’s in-house counsel team learned how to navigate the Department of Veterans Affairs claims process.
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Proskauer Develops IRS Guidelines to Help Wrongfully Incarcerated Individuals Claim Tax Exclusion

Proskauer is pleased to have worked with the policy staff of longtime pro bono client The Innocence Project as well as After Innocence, two leading organizations for exonerated prisoners, in their efforts to encourage prompt U.S. Internal Revenue Service guidance on recently enacted statute I.R.C. Section 139F. The statute excludes from gross income, and thus effectively from federal income tax, a wide range of compensatory payments to “wrongfully incarcerated individuals.”
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Firm Gives Pro Bono Advice to RIP Medical Debt, the Charity Behind John Oliver’s $15M Debt Forgiveness

On the June 5th episode of the HBO program, Last Week Tonight, John Oliver forgave nearly $15 million of medical debt. And thanks to the work of charity RIP Medical Debt and Proskauer lawyers Ron Franklin, David Miller and Jinyoung Joo, the debtors did not have to pay tax on the debt forgiveness.
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LGBT Advocates Issue Revised Hospital Guide for Treating Transgender Patients

In May 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finalized new rules confirming that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are protected against health care discrimination under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.
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Read more about Proskauer's pro bono efforts.