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May 15, 2024

ABA announces awardees, new format to honor 2024 top pro bono providers

CHICAGO, May 15, 2024 — The American Bar Association will honor three individuals and two entities for their outstanding commitment to volunteer legal services for low-income and disadvantaged persons during the 2024 ABA Annual Meeting, July 31-Aug. 6 in Chicago.

The Pro Bono Publico Award represents the top honors given by the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, which over the years has spotlighted pro bono efforts of individual lawyers and small and large law firms, government attorney offices, corporate law departments and other institutions in the legal profession. For the first time, the award presentation this year will be held at a luncheon on Aug 5, which is the first day of the ABA House of Delegates meeting at the Grand Hyatt in Chicago.

The three attorneys honored with a 2024 Pro Bono Publico Award are:

  • Fawaz Bham, a pro bono champion and community advocate, is a partner with Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP in Dallas, Texas, where he chairs its pro bono committee. For over a decade he has built and led innovative and systemic-changing programs, such as the small business clinics and, most notably, the Dallas Attorney Volunteer Program’s Virtual Clinic Platform in collaboration with the Dallas Bar Association and Legal Aid of Northwest Texas. To date, the platform has held 283 clinics and processed more than 16,000 applications, with over 40 different law firms and organizations participating and addressing an area of matters for underserved individuals.
  • Adrian Urquhart Winder, who has been described as a “rockstar pro bono counsel,” is a partner at Foster Garvey, where she represents public and private clients in trial and appellate litigation, with a particular focus on real estate and municipal law. She also has served, among other pro bono activities, as counsel for the Family Violence Appellate Project in Washington, the only civil legal aid organization in the state dedicated to representing domestic violence survivors pro bono. Among her major successes are prevailing in litigation representing a survivor who had suffered a nearly 30-year abusive relationship, which strengthened Washington’s Abusive Litigation Act.
  • James Volling, a native Minnesotan, is now senior counsel at Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP in Minneapolis. He has served in various firm leadership roles, including chair of the Pro Bono Committee. He has demonstrated longtime commitment to the delivery of pro bono legal services, focusing largely on three areas: children, post-conviction representation and prisoner reentry. As one example, in 2017 he was the lead plaintiffs’ counsel in a putative class action lawsuit filed on behalf of minor children challenging, on constitutional grounds, Hennepin County’s child protection system ─ and prevailed, achieving a landmark settlement.

The two entity awardees are:

  • Prudential Financial, which has been described as setting the “gold standard” for volunteerism and serving underserved populations, especially in Newark, New Jersey, where the company has been headquartered for 149 years. In 2023, 100 Prudential Law, Compliance, Business Ethics and External Affairs (LCBE) volunteers performed more than 840 hours of pro bono legal service. In 2023,100 Prudential legal department volunteers performed more than 840 hours of pro bono legal service. And, in the past 5 years, more than 275 Prudential LCBE volunteers have donated their time to eight nonprofit legal services organizations, ranging from Connecticut to Dallas.
  • Hoover Penrod, a small firm of 10 attorneys, has had an enormous impact on the lives of low-income households in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Founded in 1935, the firm has built a reputation as a leading provider of charitable service and assistance to the region. It has been instrumental in building a partnership with Blue Ridge Legal Services, a nonprofit provider in the area. Attorneys at the firm have taught at area universities, led more than a dozen local nonprofits and served in local governments.

The ABA Pro Publico Awards began in 1984. Past years recipients can be found here.

(Media: Individual pictures of the recipients are available upon request. Please email [email protected].)

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on X (formerly Twitter) @ABANews).