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NEW YORK (Oct. 20, 2014) – The international law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP will mark the American Bar Association’s (ABA) National Pro Bono Week 2014 with a full schedule of events through Friday, Oct. 31. National Pro Bono Week is a United States-wide event that focuses attention on the increased need for pro bono legal services during challenging economic times. The week also celebrates the outstanding work of lawyers who serve people in dire need of representation.

New York shareholder William C. Silverman heads the pro bono program at Greenberg Traurig. “Pro Bono Week is a great way to draw attention to the increased need for pro bono legal services and encourage our attorneys to get involved,” said Silverman. “We are proud to have 19 Greenberg Traurig offices hosting more than 30 events or activities.”

A key element of Greenberg Traurig’s celebration will be the announcement of a “Pro Bono Office of the Year” awarded to the firm’s Chicago office.

Greenberg Traurig offices throughout the United States will host a range of programs that aim to both honor members of the firm who have dedicated their time to pro bono, as well as raise awareness of new and ongoing projects that attorneys can join.

Greenberg Traurig lawyers across the firm provide pro bono legal services to the indigent and working poor, as well as to numerous civic and charitable organizations dedicated to assisting them. The firm has ongoing partnerships with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Her Justice, Children and Family Justice Center, Just Neighbors Immigrant Ministry, Center for Community Change, University of Miami School of Law’s Children and Youth Law Clinic, Legal Counsel for the Elderly, D.C. Employment Justice Center, ABA Death Penalty Representation Project and the Archdiocesan Legal Network, among others.

Below is Greenberg Traurig’s calendar of events for National Pro Bono Week:


Wednesday, Oct. 22
Austin will host a lunch with special guest Christine Nishimura, a Greenberg Traurig Equal Justice Works (EJW) Fellow with Disability Rights Texas. Through her fellowship, Nishimura gained a full-time position with the organization. Various pro bono opportunities available through Volunteer Legal Services, American Gateways and other legal service organizations will be discussed also.


Tuesday, Oct. 21
Attorneys in the Boca Raton office will gather for a breakfast to hear from shareholders Robert Robes and Rebecca DiStefano. They will speak about their work for the Florence Fuller Child Development Foundation and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, respectively.


Over the past year, several attorneys in the Boston office have worked closely with former EJW fellow Adriana LaFaille and the ACLU addressing prehearing detention procedures for non-citizens facing removal proceedings. The office will host a cocktail event with the ACLU to celebrate their achievements and victories on this project and to thank LaFaille for all of her hard work during her fellowship.


Sunday, Oct. 19
The Chicago office is a silver sponsor of the National Parkinson Foundation’s Moving Day Chicago 2014. Moving Day promotes the importance of movement to manage the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease and to raise funds and awareness. Moving Day events are held across the country. Greenberg Traurig’s co-founder Robert Traurig served on the foundation’s board for several years, and the firm’s Miami office has remained a strong supporter of this cause.

Monday, Oct. 20
At this year’s annual pro bono lunch, the Chicago office will be joined by Jan Feldman, the executive director of Lawyers for the Creative Arts. The organization provides much-needed assistance to clients in all areas of the arts and offers dozens of opportunities for pro bono action every year in both the litigation and transactional fields. Feldman will be speaking about the work his organization does and opportunities for Greenberg Traurig attorneys to volunteer.


Dates to be Scheduled
The Dallas office will host two lunches during their pro bono week celebration. The first will be with Liberty Legal Institute, providing a CLE on First Amendment, Establishment Clause and Hobby Lobby, as well as an offer to attorneys on how to get involved in defending against the erosion of religious liberty (for all religions) in the United States. The second event will include a lunch-and-learn session with Advocates for Community Transformation, a group that supports the legal needs of neighborhoods to clean themselves up through evicting drug house tenants, clean up property titles to ensure owners are able to use their property wisely and assist with individual last will and testament documentation to ensure homes go to members of the family who are interested in living there and contributing to the neighborhood.

Saturday, Oct. 25
Both attorneys and staff will participate in a day of service with Bonton Farm-Works, an urban farm dedicated to providing accessible and nutritious food to Bonton, a small South Dallas neighborhood. This small farm is changing the landscape of the neighborhood. Greenberg Traurig Dallas employees will help with various projects around the farm and learn more about how this one initiative is helping the residents of Bonton fight the many effects of extreme poverty.


Wednesday, Oct. 22
Denver attorneys will participate in the Denver Bar Association’s staffing of a “General LawLine 9” at 9News to assist community members with basic needs.

Thursday, Oct. 30
The Denver office will carry their celebration to the following week by attending a Clarence Darrow performance, a one-man performance starring Judge Sanford Brook (husband of Denver office practice group attorney Jenny Brook). Darrow was a complicated man who “tried to help out in the world” without “malice in my heart.” This sentiment shines through in this story of Darrow’s work before the Pennsylvania Commission investigating the brutal working conditions in its state’s coal mines in the early 1900s. Darrow fought for the eight-hour day and won, and his description of the hearing is a poignant moment during the play.

Friday, Oct. 31
The Denver office will participate in a Lunch CLE titled, “How to Be a Modern Day Clarence Darrow in the Courtroom without the Ethical Pitfalls.” The actor in the Clarence Darrow play, Judge Sanford Brook, will offer an insightful look into the person many legal scholars consider to be the best trial lawyer of the 20th Century. There is much to be learned from Darrow’s passion in the courtroom, his commitment to clients and his pursuits of the highest ideals of the legal profession. This program is co-sponsored by the Colorado Access to Justice Commission and the Denver Access to Justice Committee.


Tuesday, Oct. 21
Houston will host a KIND Intake “Omnibus” Day at their office where multiple families will receive a “Know Your Rights” presentation from KIND, then break out into individual case intake sessions with Greenberg Traurig volunteers. If the event is successful, they plan to host future sessions.

Wednesday, Oct. 22
Attorneys in Houston have been partnering with the Office of Capital Writs by providing assistance with state post-conviction habeas corpus and related proceedings on behalf of indigent individuals sentenced to death in Texas. The Office of Capital Writs works within the judicial system to safeguard the Constitutional rights of the individual. At a lunch on Wednesday, they will present a new case available for volunteer attorneys to provide assistance.

Thursday, Oct. 23
On Thursday there will be a Pro Bono Cocktail Hour celebrating the pro bono efforts throughout the year and introduce attorneys to the wealth of options available to them for helping those in need.


Thursday, Oct. 23
Attorneys in Los Angeles will celebrate their pro bono achievements over the past year with a celebratory breakfast. Karin Bohmholdt will update everyone on the KIND matters they are handling. In addition, it will be an open forum for attorneys to highlight their individual cases and also to address the overall legal needs in their local community.


Tuesday, Oct. 21
The Miami office is hosting an event with members of the Dade County Bar Association’s (DCBA) Legal Aid Society for a luncheon and informal discussion about Pro Bono opportunities.

The Legal Aid Society is the oldest legal services provider for the indigent in Miami-Dade County. Established in 1939 and chartered in 1949, Legal Aid has 23 staff attorneys who handle a variety of matters for indigent individuals, children and families in the following areas: family, domestic violence, guardian ad litem, guardianship, housing, benefits, teen advocacy and bankruptcy.


Monday, Oct. 20
Equal Justice Challenges: Unaccompanied Minors in Immigration Proceedings and Recently Incarcerated Parents in Family Court
This CLE lunch will introduce the work of two Greenberg Traurig EJW Fellows who are making a huge impact. Samantha Rumsey of KIND will address legal challenges facing unaccompanied minors in immigration proceedings. Sean Hill of Youth Represent will address legal challenges facing recently incarcerated youth. Both speakers will review pro bono opportunities.

Thursday, Oct. 23
Pro Bono Reception, Fair and NY Pro Bono Award Ceremony
The New York office will award its annual NY Pro Bono Awards to several deserving honorees.


Friday, Oct. 24
EJW Fellow Madeline Taylor will speak at a lunch about working with recent immigrant families and how to help these families as the holidays approach.


Thursday, Oct. 23
The Philadelphia office will host a luncheon for Greenberg Traurig Fellow Kate Burdick with the Juvenile Law Center. Burdick will bring along a special guest - a youth advocate who will speak about her own experiences with education in the juvenile justice system and the child welfare system.


Thursday, Oct. 23
Phoenix attorneys will share their pro bono undertakings and accomplishments throughout the past year at a lunch celebration. Pro bono liaisons Karl Freeburg and Nicole Goodwin will also outline the pro bono process and everyone will have the opportunity to participate in a question and answer session.


The Silicon Valley and San Francisco offices had a head start on celebrating Pro Bono Week this year. The offices have partnered with attorneys from the Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto (CLSEPA) to conduct two-hour-long pro bono Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) clinics once every few months on an ongoing basis. The clinic involves assisting young, undocumented immigrants to apply for DACA so that they are protected from deportation, can work legally in the United States and can apply for a driver’s license and social security card. During these clinics, pro bono attorneys meet with clients, help prepare forms and review documentary evidence.


Thursday, Oct. 23
The Tampa office will celebrate with a lunch to discuss the cases attorneys worked on over the past year. Included among those is a case they worked jointly with the New Jersey office to assist a pro bono client referred by another law firm with a very successful outcome. Pro bono liaison Robert Soriano will give an overview of the many types of pro bono cases that are available to the volunteer attorneys.


Monday, Oct. 20
In support of Greenberg Traurig’s ongoing project through KIND, the Washington, D.C. office will have a training lunch covering such topics as unaccompanied immigrant children and the detention and reunification system; working with child clients and interpreters; and family court and immigration proceedings for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status cases in Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, Oct. 22
The Washington, D.C. office will host Monica Palacio, director of the Washington, D.C. Office of Human Rights, at a lunch Wednesday. Palacio will present a brief introduction to the important work performed by the Office of Human Rights and share pro bono activities.

Equal Justice Works 2014 Annual Dinner
Each year, EJW hosts a dinner to honor a lawyer whose life and accomplishments demonstrate extraordinary dedication to achieving equal justice for individuals and communities in need. This year, EJW is honoring Thomas J. Sabatino, Jr., executive vice president, chief administrative officer and general counsel at Walgreen Co. Greenberg Traurig and Walgreen Co. co-sponsor EJW Fellow Beth Karpiak at Equip for Equality in Chicago.

Thursday, Oct. 23
Equal Justice Works Breakfast

In recognition of their contribution and dedication to equal justice and public service, the firm is hosting a breakfast in its Washington, D.C. office to honor the Greenberg Traurig Fellows.


Monday, Oct. 20
Alexandra St. Pierre, former EJW Fellow Shahar Pasch and future EJW fellow Toni Pollard will discuss the importance of Greenberg Traurig’s work with the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County and report on the “Successful Transitions” project through which St. Pierre advocates in Palm Beach County and statewide on behalf of children aging out of foster care.

Wednesday, Oct. 22
Shareholder Stephen Mendelsohn will speak at a lunch about his pro bono services on behalf of Ruth and Norman Rales Jewish Family Services.

For more information about National Pro Bono Week, please visit: