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American Bar Association

ABA Pro Bono Publico Award - Current Recipients

The ABA Pro Bono Publico Award is presented each year by the Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service to honor individual lawyers, law firms, law schools, government attorney offices, corporate law departments and other institutions in the legal profession that have enhanced the human dignity of others by improving or delivering volunteer legal services to the poor.

In August 2014 the five recipients of the ABA Pro Bono Publico Award will be honored at the Pro Bono Publico Awards Assembly Luncheon held during the ABA Annual Meeting in Boston.

The 2014 Recipients Of The ABA Pro Bono Publico Award

Dechert LLP International

Judge Edward M. Ginsburg (Retired) | Senior Partners for Justice Newton, MA

Alan Howard | Crowell & Moring, New York, NY

Kermit Lowery | LexisNexis, Miamisburg, OH

Norton Rose Fulbright LLP | Houston, TX

Pro Bono Publico Award

Keynote Speaker
The Honorable Robert A. Katzmann
Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Robert A. Katzmann

Robert A. Katzmann Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, assuming that position on September 1, 2014. At his appointment to the federal bench in 1999, he was Walsh Professor of Government, Professor of Law and Professor of Public Policy at Georgetown University; a Fellow of the Governmental Studies Program of the Brookings Institution; and president of the Governance Institute.

A lawyer and political scientist by training, Judge Katzmann received his A.B. (summa cum laude) from Columbia College, A.M. and Ph.D in government from Harvard University, and a J.D. from the Yale Law School, where he was an Article and Book Review Editor of the Yale Law Journal. After clerking on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, he joined the Brookings Institution, where he was a research associate, senior fellow, visiting fellow, and acting program director. His books include: Regulatory Bureaucracy, Institutional Disability, Courts and Congress, Judging Statutes (forthcoming) editor and project director of The Law Firm and the Public Good; co-editor of Managing Appeals in Federal Court; editor and contributing author of Daniel Patrick Moynihan: The Intellectual in Public Life; and editor and contributing author ofJudges and Legislators. In 2007, he delivered the Marden Lecture of the New York City Bar Association, "The Legal Profession and the Unmet Needs of the Immigrant Poor" and later launched the Study Group on Immigrant Representation. He conceived of and sparked the creation of the Immigrant Justice Corps, the country's first fellowship program dedicated to meeting the need for high-quality legal assistance for immigrants. He also convened the Study Group on Immigrant Representation, from which emanated the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project, the first government funded program providing counsel for detained non-citizens.

Judge Katzmann has been a public member of the Administrative Conference of the United States; a vice-chair of the Committee on Government Organization and Separation of Powers of the ABA Section on Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice; a board member of: the American Judicature Society, NYU's Institute of Judicial Administration; a member of the Board of Visitors of Georgetown University Law Center, and of the board of academic advisors of the Rehnquist Center. He served as co-chair of the FTC transition team for the Clinton/Gore Administration, and as special counsel to Senator Moynihan on the confirmation of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. He chaired the Section on Legislation of the American Association of Law Schools. He teaches a course on the administrative process at NYU Law School. He currently chairs the U.S. Judicial Conference Committee on the Judicial Branch.

Judge Katzmann received the American Political Science Association's Charles E. Merriam Award (2001), "given to a person whose published work and career represents a significant contribution to the art of government through the application of social science research." He is a recipient of the Fuld Award of the New York State Bar Association, the Chesterfield Smith Award of the Pro Bono Institute, the Michael Maggio Award of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and the 2012 Learned Hand Medal of the Federal Bar Council. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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Dechert LLP

Logo for Dechert LLP International

Dechert is an international law firm with more than 900 lawyers based in 26 offices throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Dechert is a leader in the pro bono arena - not only because of the breadth and depth of the legal services it provides to both individuals and organizations unable to afford it - but also because of its innovative approach to developing the infrastructure of law firm pro bono programs and its role in developing pro bono, globally.

In 2013, in the United States alone, the firm devoted more than 7% of its total billable time to pro bono work - averaging approximately 103 hours per attorney - and involving 99% of its attorneys. World-wide it provided more than 82,000 hours of pro bono service.

Dechert takes a ""big tent" approach to its pro bono program - and its attorneys handle a diverse array of pro bono matters, reflecting the differing needs of the communities in which the firm has offices, as well as the broad range of skills sets and interests of its attorneys. At any given time, the firm handles upwards of 1,500 individual matters. Dechert's pro bono program is both structured and strategic; the firm strives not only to benefit its individual clients, but to utilize those experiences to reach an exponentially broader base of clients and improve access to justice on a systemic level.

Areas in which Dechert attorneys have provided pro bono services include: public benefits, voting rights, landlord-tenant, prisoner civil rights, veterans, education, immigration, habeas, nonprofits/small businesses, social impact investment, criminal, civil rights and human rights matters. By way of specific example, in the landlord tenant arena, the firm, along with Community Legal Services and Penn Law School, created the Philadelphia Landlord-Tenant Program to assist low-income tenants. Since 2006, Dechert has handled more than 500 matters representing tenants who would otherwise have been pro se and at greater risk of losing their home. Through their work with groups including the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Dechert attorneys have tackled several cases involving the right to vote. They have challenged the implementation of voter identification laws in Texas and Wisconsin and non-compliance with the National Voter Registration Act in Ohio, Georgia and Nevada. Through their partnership with the National Veterans Legal Services Program, Dechert attorneys have also represented dozens of veterans across the country who fought in Iraq or Afghanistan, and are now diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Dechert has also made a substantial commitment to providing legal advice to nonprofit organizations. Working with groups like Pro Bono Partnership and Lawyers Alliance for New York, the firm has provided advice to over 1,200 nonprofit clients on issues including incorporation, leases, contracts and mergers.

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Judge Edward M. Ginsburg (Retired) | Senior Partners for Justice Newton, MA

Judge Edward M. Ginsburg

Edward M. Ginsburg was an Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court for nearly 25 years. Prior to his appointment to the judiciary, Judge Ginsburg ran his own private law practice for 18 years. Upon his retirement from the bench in 2002, Judge Ginsburg founded the pro bono program Senior Partners for Justice in cooperation with the Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association. Senior Partners has grown to more than 1000 members including attorneys, retired judges, and law students. Among the attorneys are many experienced family law practitioners who represent low-income clients and mentor newer attorneys.

In addition to his busy pro bono career with Senior Partners for Justice, Judge Ginsburg serves as a mentor to the family law unit of Community Legal Aid, a legal services organization that provides free legal assistance to low-income residents of Central and Western Massachusetts. He is also an adjunct professor at both Boston College Law School and Suffolk University Law School, where he has taught trial practice and family law for many years. Judge Ginsburg has taught and continues to teach numerous continuing legal education programs for Suffolk University Law School, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, the Boston Bar Association and the Massachusetts Bar Association. A thought leader before there was such a term, his published articles and book chapters have helped shape the practice of family law in Massachusetts. He also writes the popular and sometimes provocative Ask the Judge column for Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. Judge Ginsburg is member of Massachusetts Chapter of the Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and the Massachusetts Family and Probate American Inn of Court.

A valued member of the legal community and a true citizen of the world, Judge Ginsburg has served in leadership roles of many legal and civic organizations. He is one of the longest serving members of the Board of Editors of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly; a longstanding member of the Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee; and Trustee Emeritus of the Flaschner Foundation Judicial Institute. He was selected by the Supreme Judicial Court Steering Committee on Self-Represented Litigants to chair the Limited Assistance Representation Advisory Group which designed the first LAR pilot project in Massachusetts. Outside the legal world, Judge Ginsburg served on the Board of Trustees of World Education, Inc. and World Learning, Inc. where he now has Emeritus status.

Judge Ginsburg has received many awards honoring his excellence as a jurist, educator, and force for furthering access to justice for all. Lawyers Weekly named him Lawyer of the Year in 2004. In 2005, the Supreme Judicial Court Standing Committee on Pro Bono selected him for the prestigious John and John Quincy Adams pro Bono Public Award. Also in 2005, the Boston Globe named Judge Ginsburg Bostonian of the year for his revelations about leaks in Big Dig tunnels which he discovered while leading efforts in 2002 to 2005 to recover costs from Big Dig contractors. He is a graduate of Philips Exeter Academy, Harvard College, and Harvard Law School.

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Alan Howard | Crowell & Moring, New York, NY

Alan Howard

Alan Howard is a partner in Crowell & Moring's New York office and is a member of the firm's Litigation Group Steering Committee. Alan has over two decades of experience handling litigation and arbitration matters domestically and internationally. He has tried cases to juries and judges in federal and state courts throughout the U.S. and to arbitrators in proceedings under the rules of the American Arbitration Association and International Chamber of Commerce.

Alan often represents defendants confronting multiple proceedings in multiple jurisdictions and has particular experience representing foreign companies, and senior officers of foreign and domestic companies engaged in high stakes disputes. He has extensive experience representing financial institutions, and in particular, in the area of Anti-Money Laundering regulations and compliance. Alan also has litigated a number of intellectual property matters, including patent cases, cases involving theft of trade secrets and disputes involving software providers.

Alan also does extensive pro bono work. He represented one of the defendants in the nationally prominent "Jena 6" proceedings in Louisiana, a case of national prominence for its civil rights implications. In a story featured in The American Lawyer in July 2009, as well as on CBS Evening News and CNN, Mr. Howard not only represented the youngest of the Jena 6 defendants, but became his guardian making him part of his family.

Alan currently is lead trial counsel on behalf of 500 skilled workers from India who were victims of one of the largest human trafficking schemes in the country's history. The action, against a large marine fabrication company, has been the subject of a feature story by Dan Rather and numerous articles and editorials in the New York Times.

Alan also serves as vice chairman the Board of Directors of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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Kermit F. Lowery | LexisNexis, Miamisburg, OH

Kermit Lowery

Kermit is a Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for the LexisNexis US Legal Department. Kermit is a 26-year veteran with LexisNexis. During his tenure he has been responsible for all aspects of customer contracting for LexisNexis online products and services. He is also responsible for global content licensing, intellectual property issues, copyright compliance, customer bankruptcies, litigation and other legal matters for the business units he supports.

Before joining LexisNexis, Kermit was an Assistant Judge Advocate in the US Army Judge Advocate General's Corps. Kermit was a career Army officer who recently retired as a Colonel in the US Army JAG Corps with more than 39 years of active and reserve duty.

Kermit is admitted to practice before the Ohio Supreme Court, the US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, the US Army Court of Criminal Appeals and US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

Kermit is a member of the Dayton, Ohio and American Bar Associations as well as the Association of Corporate Counsel. He is the 1st Vice President of the Dayton Bar Association and the immediate past President of the Greater Dayton Volunteer Lawyers Project. Kermit is also an advisory board member for the University of Dayton Program in Law and Technology.

Kermit graduated from Wright State University with dual majors in Political Science and Communications and was awarded a Juris Doctor from the University Of Dayton School Of Law.

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Norton Rose Fulbright | Houston, TX

Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

Norton Rose Fulbright is one of the largest global legal practices with more than 3,800 lawyers in over 50 locations spanning six continents. Its lawyers advise on transactional and litigation matters across key industry sectors, including financial services; energy; infrastructure, mining and commodities; transport; technology and innovation; and life sciences and healthcare.

Norton Rose Fulbright provides the world's preeminent corporations and financial institutions with a full business law service, operating in accordance with its global business principles of quality, unity and integrity. Norton Rose Fulbright aims to provide the highest possible standard of legal service in each of its offices and to maintain that level of quality at every point of contact.

Norton Rose Fulbright has quickly earned a reputation in the legal market for its global platform and overall performance. In American Lawyer's 2014 "AmLaw 100" list, Norton Rose Fulbright ranked sixth place in revenue. Acritas ranked Norton Rose Fulbright seventh in its "Sharplegal 2013 Global Elite Brand Index," which tracks the value of brands in the global legal market. Law360 selected Norton Rose Fulbright to its "Global 20" list as one of the 20 firms with the greatest global reach and expertise. BTI Consulting recognized Norton Rose Fulbright to its "BTI Brand Elite" list highlighting the 26 law firms with the strongest brands.

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Updated: 7/17/2014

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