On November 17, 150 people gathered at the Colgate-Palmolive Company to honor outstanding pro bono service by business lawyers in New York City. The annual Cornerstone Awards is hosted by Lawyers Alliance for New York, a leading provider of business and transactional legal services for nonprofit organizations that are improving the quality of life in New York City.
Each year, Lawyers Alliance assists a network of more than 750 volunteers from more than 100 law firms and corporate legal departments to serve more than 440 nonprofit groups that are creating affordable housing, stimulating economic development, providing child care, and delivering social services in neighborhoods all over the City.
Two law firms received Cornerstone Awards. Proskauer Rose LLP was recognized for counseling 20 different nonprofit groups in employment law, corporate transactions, and nonprofit regulatory and compliance matters. Shearman & Sterling LLP was honored for its service to 17 different organizations, part of the firm's successful effort to increase both the volume and the impact of its pro bono work in recent years.
Nine individuals also received Cornerstone Awards at the ceremony. Phillip Azzollini, Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP, was recognized for his work on numerous legal matters for Figure Skating in Harlem, which provides educational and athletic opportunities for girls in the Harlem community. Carolina A. Fornos, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, was honored for providing assistance to Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health. Marc Hurel, DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US LLP, received a Cornerstone Award for helping the Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union to secure a long-term lease. Stephen D. Millas, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, was honored for his real estate work for three community-based organizations, Jovenes 24 Horas A.D., Inc., 116-120 Grove Street Housing Development Corporation, and Jazzmobile.
Lawyers Alliance also recognized Sheree Reinbach and Miriam McKibben, Arent Fox PLLC, for assisting Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City. Melissa G. Rosenberg, Goodwin Procter LLP, received an award for providing employment law guidance to a wide array of nonprofits, including Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center, Ifetayo Cultural Arts Facility, International Network for Public Schools, Hudson Guild, Literacy Assistance Center, Neighbors Helping Neighbors, and Recreation Rooms & Settlement. Rita Tendolkar, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, was honored for providing services to Northside Center for Child Development, El Guapo, and American Woman's Economic Development Corporation. Michelle Vago, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, received a Cornerstone Award for helping nonprofits serving youth, including Rocking the Boat, Canarsie Adolescent Recreational Program, New York Center for Interpersonal Development, and Council for Unity, Inc.
Barbara A. Schatz and the Nonprofit Organizations/Small Business Clinic at Columbia Law School received a special Cornerstone Award. For many years, the Clinic has accepted a wide variety and high volume of volunteer assignments through Lawyers Alliance.
Published December 1, 2005.