Leonard, Street and Deinard has demonstrated enduring dedication to pro bono services, and at the heart of this commitment is the firm’s Legal Clinic at the Community-University Health Care Center in south Minneapolis, where its attorneys provide free legal representation in an effort to help improve the health and welfare of the patients.
The ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service will honor Leonard, Street and Deinard and four other award recipients at the Pro Bono Publico Awards Assembly Luncheon from noon to 1:30 p.m. Aug. 12 at the Moscone Center West during the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco. ABA President Laurel G. Bellows will host the awards ceremony.
“Lawyers lead our nation every day in the quest for justice and equality,” Bellows said. “These award recipients fulfill this mission through their dedication to pro bono work. They are outstanding examples of how lawyers can have meaningful and lasting effects on their communities.”
The Pro Bono Publico Awards honor individuals or organizations in the legal community that enhance the human dignity of others by improving or delivering volunteer legal services to the poor or disadvantaged.
Leonard, Street and Deinard’s Legal Clinic was one of the first of medical-legal partnerships when it started 20 years ago, and it is still the only one administered and solely funded by a private law firm. The majority of the legal representation provided at the clinic is for low-income clients in the areas of family, public benefits, housing and immigration law.
Since the opening of the Legal Clinic in 1993, Leonard, Street and Deinard attorneys have aided about 1,900 clients and dedicated about 83,600 hours to pro bono cases. Last year, the firm provided more than 5,100 hours in pro bono work — about 3.7 percent of its billable hours — in more than 430 matters.
About 45 percent of all Leonard, Street and Deinard attorneys donated 50 or more hours to pro bono matters last year, with 99 percent of associates and 86 percent of shareholders participating.
Leonard, Street and Deinard also works with a variety of other organizations to provide pro bono work and financial support, including Advocates for Human Rights, Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance, the Minnesota Disability Law Center, the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, the Children’s Law Center of Minnesota and the Volunteer Lawyers Network.
The law firm has also partnered with the family of Minnesota attorney Hyman Edelman for the past eight years to jointly sponsor an Equal Justice Works fellow, enabling a law school graduate to focus on legal service in a public interest area.
Other 2013 Pro Bono Publico Award recipients are lawyers Jeffrey Trachtman of New York, Paritica Less of Las Vegas and Bruce B. Blackwell of Orlando, Fla., and Exelon Corp. of Chicago. More information on the Pro Bono Publico Awards and the 2013 recipients is available here.
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