At its 11th annual Above & Beyond Awards for Excellence in Pro Bono Advocacy last night, Sanctuary for Families honored 35 lawyers from 10 outstanding law firms as well as New York Assembly Member Amy Paulin. Awardees have represented survivors of domestic violence and sex trafficking in a wide range of cases, including contested matrimonial cases, family law, U visa applications, international Hague convention, and appellate work. Additionally, they have dedicated hundreds of hours to research and writing, including a national survey of state trafficking laws.
“Above & Beyond gives us the opportunity to pay tribute to the heroic work of the pro bono attorneys and sponsoring law firms that partner with Sanctuary for Families attorneys every day. Our ability to serve our clients is leveraged enormously with the skill and talent of the private bar, ” said Dorchen A. Leidholdt, Director of Sanctuary’s Legal Center. “We are also deeply grateful to Assembly Member Amy Paulin for her skillful, passionate, and tireless leadership in advocating for the rights and interests of survivors of domestic violence and sex trafficking, and for her profound and heartfelt understanding for the challenges they face.”
The 10 law firms honored at this year’s event were: Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP; Cooley LLP; Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP; Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP; Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP; Kirkland & Ellis LLP; Paul Hastings LLP; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP; Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and WilmerHale LLP.
The Above & Beyond event is spearheaded by Sanctuary’s Pro Bono Council, a group of committed professionals who support and promote the work of Sanctuary for Families and in particular its Legal Center. Sanctuary for Families’ Legal Center is the largest of its kind in the country, with 21 full‐time staff attorneys supported by over 500 pro bono attorneys and 400 law student advocates. Together, the Legal Center represents and advises over 5,000 domestic violence and trafficking survivors every year in an array of complex legal cases. Legal Center staff also provide comprehensive trainings to community partners, and advocate for legislative and policy changes to protect survivors of gender violence.
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About Sanctuary for Families
Sanctuary for Families is the leading nonprofit agency in New York State dedicated exclusively to serving domestic violence victims, sex trafficking victims, and their children. Each year, we help thousands of victims and their children build safe lives through a range of high quality services.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.