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American Bar Association

Winston & Strawn, LLP, Chicago Office named as the 2006 Ann Liechty Child Custody Pro Bono Award Recipient

The Ann Liechty Child Custody Pro Bono Award is one of five Pro Bono Publico Awards given annually by the American Bar Association. The award is named in memory of Ann Liechty, who was a dedicated child law advocate and former Pro Bono Publico Award recipient. Each year the award recognizes a lawyer or law firm who has enhanced the lives of children by improving or delivering volunteer legal services to children involved in private child custody proceedings.

This year's Ann Liechty Award recipient is Winston & Strawn, LLP, Chicago Office. Winston & Strawn began a partnership with Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Foundation in 2003 at the inception of CVLS's Guardianship Program. The ABA awarded a child custody grant to CVLS to help initiate the pro bono program. Through the CVLS Guardianship program the Probate court is able to appoint Guardian Ad Litems for at-risk children in contested guardianship matters when the children would otherwise not have a voice. More than 40 Winston & Strawn lawyers, including managing partner Chris Gangemi and other partners, have donated over 2,300 hours representing more than 70 children through the CVLS Guardianship Program.

Winston & Strawn was nominated by Margaret Benson, Executive Director of Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Foundation. As stated by Ms. Benson, "Winston attorneys are superb GALs. While representing children in very complex and emotionally charged guardianship cases, they investigate issues and make recommendations to the Probate Court as to the children's best interest.. Without the exceptional partnership that has developed between Winston & Strawn and CVLS, we would not be able to accept anywhere near the volume of GAL appointments that we do now. Scores of at-risk children would not have a voice in where or with whom they are living. The court would be forced to make significant decisions in the lives of these children without crucial information. It is extraordinary to see a large law firm embrace this type of difficult, family law legal work with the enthusiasm, diligence and the top to bottom commitment that Winston has given."

Winston & Strawn will receive its award at the American Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Luncheon on Monday, August 7, 2006, at the ABA's Annual Meeting in Honolulu.

For more information about Winston & Strawn, the Ann Liechty Child Custody Pro Bono Award, or the ABA Child Custody and Adoption Pro Bono Project, contact .

Updated: 5/8/2007

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