Lowenstein Launches Center For The Public Interest

Thursday, January 1, 2009 - 01:00

Lowenstein Sandler has announced the establishment of the Lowenstein Center for the Public Interest, reaffirming and expanding the firm's dedication to addressing significant social issues and providing community assistance.

The Center for the Public Interest was launched at Lowenstein's Third Annual Pro Bono Celebration recognizing the service and achievement of individuals at the firm, and the firm's nonprofit partners.

The Center will focus on six areas: children and education; immigration; criminal justice; civil and human rights; the arts; and sustainable and community development.

Lowenstein's Center will be led by Ken Zimmerman, a member of the firm and former chief counsel to New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine. As part of the program, five Lowenstein associates will dedicate 25 percent of their time to the Center's projects and help spearhead the firm's overall pro bono efforts, which in 2007 involved some 230 lawyers and totaled nearly 19,000 hours of attorney and paralegal participation.

Initial projects include serving as the lead New Jersey law firm working with KIND (Kids in Need of Defense), which will provide universal legal representation to unaccompanied children in immigration proceedings; responding to the mortgage lending crisis by assisting HANDS and other local nonprofits to develop a Community Asset Preservation Corporation; and continuing major impact litigation, such as the statewide case undertaken with the Seton Hall Center for Social Justice challenging the raids on immigrant homes conducted by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.

Michael N. Gooen, member of the firm and cochair of its Trust and Estates Group, has been selected for inclusion in Worth magazine's 2008 list of "Top 100 Attorneys." The list, now in its fourth year, recognizes the nation's leading attorneys specializing in trust and estates, philanthropy, elder care, matrimonial and other private practice areas, as determined by nominations and evaluation by the Worth magazine editorial staff.

Mr. Gooen's Trusts and Estates practice focuses on income and transfer tax planning.