Legal Aid's Partnership with Pfizer Inc.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006 - 01:00

By Steven Banks

Pfizer Inc. has played a leadership role with its outstanding commitment to the provisionof civil legal assistance to low income New Yorkers, both in terms of pro bono representation and financial support.

Jeffrey B. Kindler, Vice Chairman and General Counsel, Pfizer Inc. is a valued member of The Legal Aid Society's Board of Directors. Through his outstanding dedication and commitment to the provision of pro bono representation, many important programs for clients of the Society as well as other legal services providers have been established. Mr. Kindler has shared his expertise with The Legal Aid Society on numerous occasions and has provided invaluable counsel. He is the recipient of the Society's General Counsel Leadership Award. Members of his staff, such as Jean O'Hare, have been invaluable assets to the Society. In addition, Pfizer has provided outstanding financial support to The Legal Aid Society.In 2004, The Legal Aid Society honored Pfizer Inc. for creating the prototype for corporate pro bono . Pfizer established and funded the Pro Bono Adoption Project, that brought together eight distinguished law firms, MFY Legal Services, Inc. and The Legal Aid Society. The Project has been instrumental in finding permanent adoptive homes for numerous foster children.

Soon after the 9/11 Disaster, Pfizer donated laptops, furniture and supplies to assist the Society when it had to vacate its headquarters at 90 Church Street, across from the World Trade Center. Not only was the Society forced to relocate the headquarters to various locations throughout the City, but also found itself with an abundance of new clients who had been affected by the disaster. Since that time, Pfizer has continued to donate laptops and furniture to the Society. Pfizer also established Angels Luncheons, where various legal services providers gather to inform corporate and law firm sponsors of their needs for furniture, supplies and services. Additionally, training programs for nonprofit organizations, developed and sponsored by Pfizer, have been an invaluable support to the Society's staff.

Steven Banks is Attorney-In-Chief, Legal Aid Society (For New York).