Lawyers Alliance Announces 2022 Cornerstone Awards
For outstanding pro bono service to nonprofits
New York, NY, November 16, 2022
Lawyers Alliance for New York proudly announces that two leading law firms, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP and Milbank LLP, will receive 2022 Cornerstone Awards. These awards, the highest business law pro bono honor in New York, recognize superior legal services to nonprofit organizations that are improving quality of life for low-income New Yorkers. A ceremony will be held on November 17 at Paramount.
The Cornerstone Award winners also include 14 talented individuals selected from more than 2,000 business and transactional lawyers who volunteered through Lawyers Alliance during the past year.
“As we mark the 25th anniversary of the Cornerstone Awards, we are pleased to celebrate the spirit of pro bono service together. This year’s amazing honorees, including two exceptional law firms and 14 individuals, along with all of our volunteers, have provided outstanding legal services that strengthen nonprofit programs, operations, and finances,” said Elizabeth M. Guggenheimer, Executive Director of Lawyers Alliance.
This year’s Institutional Cornerstone awardees are:
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP: For Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, commitment to pro bono has been a core value of the firm since its inception, and in recent years it has emphasized leadership in nonprofit law, offering holistic legal advice to pro bono nonprofit clients and drawing knowledge from across the firm. Cleary has partnered with Lawyers Alliance on 59 different pro bono matters for 52 organizations since July 1, 2017, as well as dozens of projects involving attorney externs. Cleary was the first firm to sponsor an extern at Lawyers Alliance. From 1989 through this year, 89 Cleary associates have worked full-time at Lawyers Alliance for four to six month rotations. This has enabled Lawyers Alliance to expand its work, deepened the nonprofit law knowledge at Cleary, and reinforced a public service spirit among firm attorneys and alumni.
Milbank LLP: Milbank’s strong community service ethic is reflected in its more than 25-year pro bono relationship with Lawyers Alliance. The firm expects all of its attorneys to dedicate a minimum of 25 hours to pro bono work annually. In 2021, Milbank topped 57,000 pro bono hours globally and handled 700 active cases, with more than 95 percent of its U.S. lawyers taking on pro bono matters. As part of this work, Milbank attorneys worked on 50 different legal matters for 39 Lawyers Alliance clients in the past five years, helping organizations to navigate leases, contracts, governance issues, and strategic alliances. This work has a positive impact on nonprofits serving low-income communities throughout and beyond New York City, and pro bono clients have consistently praised Milbank’s attorneys for their assistance.
This year’s Individual Cornerstone awardees are:
Amber M. Degn, ABC News / Disney General Entertainment: This in-house counsel is one of Lawyers Alliance’s most reliable volunteers, working with eight nonprofits on waivers, releases, and participation documents.
Ashley E. DeLuca and William Xiong, Ballard Spahr LLP: This team assisted a community health center with financing and development of a new clinic in Coney Island, Brooklyn, benefitting this neighborhood in need.
Douglas Dua, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP: For the last seven years, this dedicated attorney has been assisting nonprofits with complex corporate structuring matters.
Bruce Goldner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP: A supporter of Lawyers Alliance for decades, this experienced attorney fosters his firm’s pro bono spirit and helps nonprofits protect their intellectual property.
Fred R. Green, Herrick, Feinstein LLP: Because of this attorney’s thoughtful client counseling and governance work, numerous nonprofits have been able to scale up their operations and fulfill their missions.
Steven M. Lutt and Julianne Prisco, White & Case LLP: These expert attorneys have helped multiple nonprofits with their real estate needs, including the acquisition and financing of a building in Brooklyn which will serve as a social service community center for senior citizens.
Keith McMurdy, Bloomberg L.P.: This corporate counsel has provided indispensable labor and employment law and governance advice to a range of nonprofits through Lawyers Alliance clinics and full-scope representations.
Rex L. Niswander, Morrison & Foerster LLP: For 12 years, this dedicated attorney has shared crucial immigration knowledge with nonprofits, allowing them to hire and keep instrumental team members.
Aditya (Dean) Ramanathan, Brown Rudnick LLP: This dedicated lawyer has shared his intellectual property expertise with five nonprofit clients over the last two years, demonstrating a true understanding of nonprofits’ needs.
Debra Sapp, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP: This real estate attorney’s commitment to pro bono work has helped shelters serving vulnerable New Yorkers.
Kristen A. Truver, Alston & Bird LLP: This corporate finance attorney helped form a strategic alliance between two nonprofits, a complicated process that included drafting and negotiating terms of the alliance and restructuring both nonprofits’ organizational fabric.
Mario Verdolini, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP: Since 1996, this tax attorney has shared his nonprofit and tax law expertise, which has proven essential to the foundation and growth of countless nonprofits.
For additional details, visit www.lawyersalliance.org/volunteer-recognition.
Lawyers Alliance for New York is the leading provider of business and transactional legal services for nonprofit organizations that are improving the quality of life in New York City neighborhoods. By connecting lawyers, nonprofits, and communities, Lawyers Alliance for New York helps nonprofits to provide housing, stimulate economic opportunity, improve urban health and education, promote community arts, and operate and advocate for vital programs that benefit low-income New Yorkers of all ages. During the past year, staff attorneys at Lawyers Alliance worked with more than 2,000 volunteer attorneys to represent 700 nonprofit clients.
Contact: Emily Crossan, Lawyers Alliance for New York, [email protected] or 212-219-1800
Back to Top