Pro Bono Partnership, a nonprofit legal assistance provider serving Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York nonprofits, has named its 2011 Volunteers of the Year. These outstanding volunteers were recognized at a reception hosted by Hogan Lovells at Hogan’s Manhattan office. Merck & Co.; Jackson Lewis; Patricia A. Bowen, UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual; Melanie L. Brown, BASF; Gregory M. Conroy, Mayer Brown; and Sally Lake, retired from IBM Research, were honored for their pro bono contributions to the Partnership’s clients. Bethsaida Community, Inc.’s Homeless Women Deserve Treatment Project was also named Outstanding Nonprofit Project of the Year.
Merck & Co. attorneys illustrated their dedication by undertaking 44 legal matters for Partnership clients in 2011 alone. Bruce Kuhlik, Merck general counsel, said, “Merck attorneys recognize the importance of providing pro bono legal services, and our collaboration with the Pro Bono Partnership is a very productive way for us to volunteer. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with the Partnership’s clients and truly honored by this award.”
Susan Corcoran of Outstanding Law Firm of the Year Jackson Lewis, noted, “We believe that, in a profession dedicated to achieving justice, it is our duty to help ensure all have equal access to legal representation, regardless of their means.”
Outstanding volunteer Patricia Bowen, chief compliance officer for UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual, was recruited to help Girl Scouts of Connecticut (GSOFCT) with a bylaws review and revision, but ended up working with GSOFCT for more than a year.
Melanie Brown, BASF’s assistant general counsel, noted, “My experience with the Partnership’s clients has been very positive and rewarding. They are so appreciative of a volunteer attorney's advice and guidance.”
Gregory Conroy of Mayer Brown helped Neighbors Link in Mt. Kisco, NY, which provides programs and services to better integrate the local immigrant community.
Sally Lake has been busy since she retired as associate general counsel of IBM Research. She has reviewed an agreement for the donation of books and artwork for the Bedford Audubon Society (NY) and helped negotiate a sponsorship agreement for support and renovation of Silvermine Tavern.
Rick Hobish, the Partnership’s executive director, says “We are honored to recognize these Volunteers of the Year. Their dedication and outstanding legal skills have made an incredible difference to the lives of the many hundreds of individuals in three states.”