April 6, 2017 (New York) – On April 5, international law firm Proskauer, alongside Bloomberg L.P., was honored at the City Bar Justice Center’s 12th Annual Gala for the 2017 City Bar Justice Awards. The award honors both Proskauer and Bloomberg L.P. for their leadership and dedication to pro bono and public service, as they joined forces in an effort to help veterans obtain disability benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
“At Proskauer we believe it is our responsibility to help create and support programs that lead to lasting change. The City Bar Justice Center’s Veterans Assistance Project has enabled Proskauer with our colleagues at Bloomberg to make a real difference in the lives of many low income veterans,” said Joe Leccese, Chairman of Proskauer. “We are honored to receive this award in recognition.”
Proskauer and Bloomberg L.P. began their partnership in April 2016 and have come together to hold monthly team meetings to educate and train their pro bono volunteers on how to navigate the complicated VA claims process. In 2016, Proskauer lawyers dedicated more than 1500 pro bono hours to these cases. There are currently 41 Proskauer lawyers participating in this program.
“We are delighted to recognize Proskauer and Bloomberg for their exemplary actions to level the playing field for hundreds of low-income New Yorkers without counsel in our community,” said John S. Kiernan, President of the New York City Bar Association. “This event is not only a celebration but a rallying call to keep up this important work. This is a critical time for the legal profession to stand up and demonstrate our commitment to equal justice for all.”
Kiernan, along with Jane Sherburne, Chair of the City Bar Fund Board, presented the awards on Wednesday night. Michael Cardozo, partner, and David Levine, General Counsel, accepted the awards on behalf of Proskauer and Bloomberg L.P., respectively. This year’s gala provided critical support for the Justice Center, which protects the rights of over 20,000 New Yorkers each year through pro bono legal assistance, know-your-rights presentations, legal clinics and the largest free civil legal hotline in New York.
Proskauer’s expansive pro bono work ranges from civil rights litigation cases and complex corporate transactions for nonprofit organizations to direct services for individual clients in need. In 2016, the Firm added new dimensions to its long-standing support for our nation’s veterans. In addition to partnering with Bloomberg L.P. to aid dozens of veterans through the Justice Center, lawyers across the firm fought for “discharge upgrades” for veterans whose status bars them from obtaining vital benefits, delivered transactional and intellectual property legal services to female veterans who own small businesses, and helped low-income veterans prepare their wills and plan their estates to secure the future for their loved ones.