NLADA NAMES 2010 BEACON OF JUSTICE AWARDEES - LAW FIRMS WHO HAVE PROVIDED SIGNIFICANT PRO BONO REPRESENTATION IN THE AREA OF IMMIGRATION LAW
WASHINGTON, DC, September 15, 2010 — In honor of their extraordinary commitment to providing pro bono legal representation in the area of immigration law, the National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) is pleased to award the 2010 Beacon of Justice Award to 34 law firms across the country.
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP; Arnold & Porter; Cozen O'Connor; Crowell & Moring LLP; Dickstein Shapiro; Dorsey & Whitney; Dykema Gossett, PLLC; Foster Quan, LLP; Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy LLP; Fredrikson & Byron, P.A.; Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP; Goldman & Goldman, P.C.; Goodwin Procter; Holland & Knight; Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP; Hunton & Williams; Jenner & Block; King & Spalding; Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP; Latham & Watkins; Law Office of Marisa DeFranco; Leonard, Street and Deinard; Morrison & Foerster LLP; Parker, Butte and Lane Law Firm; Parrilli Renison; Perkins Coe LLP; Quarles & Brady; Reed Smith; Richard Toscano; Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P.; The Sparks Law Corporation; Steptoe & Johnson; Troutman Sanders; Williams, Kastner & Gibbs PLLC
The award will be presented at the NLADA Exemplar Award Dinner on October 6 at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, DC. The event will begin with a reception at 6:00 p.m. and dinner at 7:00 p.m. Also being honored that evening are Justice John Paul Stevens with the Lifetime Achievement Award; Rick Cotton, executive vice president and general counsel of NBC Universal with the 2010 Exemplar Award and Alan Alop of Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago and McGregor Smyth of The Bronx Defenders with the Kutak-Dodds Prizes.
As people in the United States continue to feel the effects of a severe economic crisis, both US citizens and non-US citizens have found themselves the targets of controversial state-based laws that give police the power to detain and question people they suspect of being in the country illegally. An equally large number of people abroad who find themselves persecuted for one reason or another struggle to define a path toward citizenship and/or a legal presence in this country. For a significant number of these people, access to a lawyer to help them or their loved ones is out of reach and the road to assistance of counsel is fraught with delays, financial hurdles, discrimination and confusion.
To balance the scales of justice, 34 law firms from across the country have set the bar high with their commitment to pro bono work to ensure that vulnerable people caught in the web of complex immigration laws, policies and detention, are treated fairly and humanely and that their course to a legal presence in the United States is just. Those firms, listed above, are leaders in the creation of innovative models that attack systemic injustices on myriad fronts. The broad range of pro bono cases taken on by these firms include but are not limited to: asylum applications; appeals assisting immigrant victims of domestic abuse; victims of sex trafficking; the treatment of people with mental disabilities in the immigration court and detention system; religious and political persecution cases; juvenile immigrant cases; advocacy for immigration rights of detainees and children; and support for the recognition of immigration rights for same-sex couples.
“The commitment on behalf of these firms to provide counsel pro bono in immigration law cases furthers the movement of justice for all and highlights the critical partnership between the legal services community and the private bar,” said Jo-Ann Wallace, president and CEO of NLADA. “While we call it ‘equal justice,’ at bottom the mission is about ensuring that all people, regardless of their citizenship, are treated with fairness and respect; it is about protecting human dignity; it’s about people.”
For more information on the 2010 Beacon of Justice Award and/or the 2010 NLADA Exemplar Award Dinner, please contact Deborah Dubois, vice president of marketing, communications and development, at (202) 452-0620, ext. 223, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA), founded in 1911, is this country’s oldest and largest nonprofit association of individual legal professionals and legal organizations devoted to ensuring the delivery of legal services to the poor. For nearly 100 years, NLADA has secured access to justice for people who cannot afford counsel through the creation and improvement of legal institutions, advocacy, training and the development of nationally applicable standards. NLADA serves as the collective voice for both civil legal services and public defense services throughout the nation.