Lawyers Alliance for New York Announces 2014 Cornerstone Awards for Lawyers Serving Nonprofit Organizations

Friday, October 31, 2014 - 12:27

Lawyers Alliance for New York is proud to announce that two leading law firms – Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and Proskauer – are recipients of the 2014 Cornerstone Awards, the highest business law pro bono honor in New York. The annual awards recognize outstanding pro bono legal services to nonprofit organizations that are improving quality of life for low-income New Yorkers. 

The 2014 Cornerstone Award winners also include nine outstanding individuals, selected from more than 1,500 business and transactional lawyers who volunteered through Lawyers Alliance during the past year. In recognition of Lawyers Alliance’s 45th year anniversary, the evening will include a special tribute to the 15 Year Circle, comprised of those who have volunteered at least 15 years. 

This year’s Institutional Cornerstone awardees are:

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP: This firm’s exceptional commitment and service is evidenced by the high volume, quality, and impact of its pro bono representation of nonprofit organizations. The firm’s New York office has handled a disproportionately large volume of business and transactional law pro bono matters for its size, including more than 70 legal projects through Lawyers Alliance since 1996 and 10 new projects begun within the last year. This includes an excellent blend of long-term, complex, and immediate matters. Morgan Lewis attorneys’ exemplary assistance with corporate, governance, contract, employment, and intellectual property law is ensuring that nonprofit organizations are powerful forces for improving life in low-income communities.

Proskauer: This firm’s outstanding pro bono tradition is reflected in its longstanding service to New York nonprofit organizations, from Lawyers Alliance’s earliest days as the Council of New York Law Associates through the present. Proskauer attorneys have worked on more employment law pro bono matters through Lawyers Alliance than any other law firm in Lawyers Alliance’s history, providing advice on human resources issues that are essential to the ability of nonprofit groups to operate strong programs. The firm’s corporate and real estate attorneys have provided top quality pro bono legal assistance to numerous nonprofit organizations serving children, families, and seniors. Since Lawyers Alliance first honored Proskauer with a Cornerstone Award in 2005, the firm has handled more than 80 legal matters through Lawyers Alliance, including 13 begun within the past year.

This year’s Individual Cornerstone awardees are:

Carolyn Austin, Arent Fox LLP For her supportive real estate law and negotiation assistance to nonprofit groups working with disadvantaged children and workers.

Alexander W. Bogdan, Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP For his trusted employment law advice to eight nonprofit clients since 2007, allowing these organizations to grow and thrive.

John B. Dodson and Joseph B. Rothenberg, DLA Piper LLP (US) For their quality teamwork on a sale-leaseback transaction that is enabling a community-based organization to continue its education, health, and social services programs.

Emilie A. Hendee, Jones Day For responsive employment law assistance to 16 nonprofit clients over the past seven years and recruiting colleagues for additional pro bono projects that strengthen nonprofit staff and programs.

B.K. (Boong-Kyu) Lee, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP:  For expert structuring and contract advice to a nonprofit organization that is expanding financial counseling to thousands in need in cities throughout the country.  

James W. Perkins, Greenberg Traurig, LLP For leading a stellar team that is helping Lawyers Alliance advocate on behalf of the nonprofit sector regarding a charitable exemption from real estate taxes.

Russell D. Sacks, Shearman & Sterling LLP For keen insight in guiding credit unions serving low-income communities through complex regulatory and compliance matters.

Jonathan E. Silverblatt, Dorsey & Whitney LLP:  For strategic corporate advice enabling nonprofit organizations to pursue partnerships and improve board governance.

15 Year Circle salutes longest serving volunteers

In celebration of Lawyers Alliance’s 45th anniversary, it is recognizing members of the 15 Year Circle, a special group of 63 long-term volunteers whose pro bono work with Lawyers Alliance spans 15 years or more. In many instances, their pro bono participation has spanned decades. Volunteers from the 15 Year Circle have applied their time and legal skills to more than 475 business and transactional law matters for 400 nonprofit clients.  New York City is a better place to live and work as a result.