Duane Morris has worked with TVC for many years, providing pro bono representation to veterans at the U. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Metro area, providing free advice to more than veterans.
Outward Bound Center for Peacebuilding: Duane Morris helped OBCP establish as a not-for-profit entity in and has provided ongoing pro bono legal representation ever since. Schwamm , a partner in the Corporate Practice Group, for his long-standing representation of the organization in a variety of matters.
Office The award recognizes an attorney who exemplifies the spirit of pro bono: The Legal Clinic for the Disabled LCD provides free legal services to low-income people with physical disabilities and to the deaf and hard of hearing. Nominated by our pro bono client, the Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project NELP , Arthur has assisted numerous start-up entrepreneurs with establishing brand distinctions, including trade-name and trademark guidance, as well as trademark registrations at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
NELP was established in by the City Bar Justice Center to provide low- to moderate-income microentrepreneurs with the legal services necessary to start their businesses on a secure foundation. The annual award recognizes a law firm that has contributed significant hours and effort to pro bono legal services to individuals or groups that cannot otherwise afford those services and shows an extraordinary commitment to provide access to the courts for all Floridians.
Since , Circle Urban Ministries has worked to combat poverty, improve the educational, social, and vocational opportunities for at-risk youth, and help stabilize low-income families by providing quality social services and community development to Chicago's Austin community.
Duane Morris recognizes the sacrifices that service members have made for our country and is committed to helping them solve significant problems that have arisen as a result of their service. We assist veterans and their families with disability benefits appeals, discharge upgrades, homelessness prevention and many other civil legal needs. Our attorneys also represent organizations dedicated to empowering military service members, veterans and veteran-owned small businesses. The new legal information and referral pop-up clinics increase our outreach to veterans who need support for federal court appeals of VA denials, discharge upgrades and other challenges.
Attorneys and staff collaborated with local organizations to provide pro bono aid to military service members, families and businesses in recognition of Veterans Day. The workshop focused on choice of entity selection and veteran specific tax benefits. Duane Morris attorneys additionally provided one-on-one counseling concerning choice of entity, formation, patents and trademarks, doing business online and licensure agreements, employment law, and more.
Before , no capital area legal aids provided pro bono representation to veterans residing in the D. Together, the collaboration staffed five legal clinics across D. In , the collaboration launched weekly legal clinics at the D. Securing Remands Before the U. She was denied service-connected disability benefits after sustaining a painful skin disorder when extinguishing a bulk fuel fire.
She received an Army Commendation Medal while on active duty for quickly and calmly extinguishing a bulk fuel fire caused by a leak in the fuel pipeline on base, which could have caused major damage and personnel injuries if not for her prompt actions. The client filed a claim for service-connected disability benefits related to the skin disorder, which was denied for years because the VA physicians never "saw a rash" appear in any of her medical appointments.
Firm attorneys discovered the client had been treated several times by the VA, including twice surgically, for painful knots and cysts on the back of her hands. Advocating for Veterans Aid and Benefits in Ukraine Duane Morris attorneys from London, New York, Newark and Philadelphia teamed up with other international firms through TrustLaw Thomson Reuters Foundation to research medical, financial, educational, housing and other types of support that countries provide to their military members and veterans globally.
Firm attorneys researched how veterans are classified and treated under Israeli law. The global report was in support of a Ukrainian charitable organization working to educate, advance, and legislatively enact aid for Ukrainian veterans and military service members.
The decision affected , service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses and 2. The Federal Circuit allowed the VA to ignore the Act's mandate for competitive bidding by veteran-owned small businesses, and rely instead on its unilateral discretion in awarding contracts.
For more information about the case, read the Duane Morris Alert. Those of us who have been fighting the fight for many years truly know and understand the significance of your work! Veterans clinics around the country mobilized around the issue, due to its far-reaching consequences for all law school clinics and their regular reliance on EAJA fees for daily operations. In response, Duane Morris volunteered to represent dozens of amici, advocating the real-world need for access to attorneys' fees to help supplement the cost of free legal assistance.
Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims agreed, confirming the importance of pro bono clinics and noting how the "labyrinthine corridors" of the VA system create a "seemingly interminable struggle to obtain disability benefits. Appellate Victory for Vietnam Veteran with Hearing Loss Duane Morris assisted a client, who served as a field artilleryman during the Vietnam War and now suffers from bilateral hearing loss and tinnitus.
Since , he has sought and appealed improper denials for service-connected disability benefits. The Firm successfully represented him before the U. The CAVC remanded the case, ordering the VA to provide the veteran with a new audiology team, new medical opinions and the opportunity for the veteran to provide any additional relevant evidence for the VA to consider.
Juan worked as a truck driver and Josefina worked various jobs, including as a seamstress, strawberry picker and house cleaner. When their eldest child, Marisela, finished high school, she enlisted in the Navy to serve the country that had given her and her family so much.
This program was designed to give active duty military members peace of mind while serving the U. Originally from Ghana, one client nearly was beaten to death for being gay and was imprisoned for 20 days to "cure" his homosexuality. The client fled Ghana to Brazil and eventually set out by bus, foot and human smuggler through South and Central America to California, seeking safety and asylum.
In California, the client was detained by United States immigration officials and placed into deportation proceedings. Duane Morris defensively argued that the client feared persecution in Ghana and should not be ordered removed. Another client, a gay man from Jamaica, was forced to marry a woman to "prove" he was not gay. He fled his home country after being stoned and his wife attempting to kill him. He sought asylum in the United States so he could live a happy, secure life with his partner.
Duane Morris attorneys from the Miami and Philadelphia offices successfully represented the client in an affirmative asylum application based on persecution related to his sexual orientation. Our client helped the United States military during Operation Iraqi Freedom and was promised a special immigrant visa over 10 years ago, but as of , he had yet to be granted the visa.
Out of options and facing threats of violence, he and his two small children sought refuge in Greece, but were turned away and forced back to Iraq. The client finally interviewed with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in December and was told he would receive his visa within 60 days, but the visa again was delayed.
Duane Morris facilitated communication with the United States Embassy in Iraq to expedite the already overdue process, which the client received in June Catholic Charities Dallas assisted the client in moving to Dallas, Texas, where he had employment opportunities waiting. Deportation Order Reopened for Mother and Daughter Our client, a year-old mother, fled El Salvador with her 9-year-old daughter after being threatened by gangs in their hometown. They were ordered deported from the United States after their prior attorney inexplicably withdrew their political asylum application at a prior hearing.
The two were detained in detention centers in Dilley, Texas, and Berks County, Pennsylvania, for many months. Upon learning of the family, attorneys in Duane Morris' Washington, D. The mother and daughter finally were released from detention while the attorneys continue to prosecute their asylum application.
Asylum Relief for Trafficking Survivor A hairdresser by profession, our client, a Nigerian national, was lured to Ecuador by a regular client and allegedly good friend with promises of better work opportunities. The client was commercially sexually exploited for almost one year before she escaped and fled to the United States. Traveling from Columbia to Panama, then overland through Central American and Mexico, our client sought asylum at the U.
Not only was our client afraid to return to Nigeria for fear of reprisal by her traffickers, but she also was afraid of persecution on account of her Christian religious beliefs. While she was in South America, one of the branches of the client's church was burned down by Boko Haram, Nigeria's militant Islamist group. Duane Morris attorneys represented the client in a bond hearing advocating for her release from detention as well as her asylum and withholding of removal hearings.
Upon release, Duane Morris attorneys and Casa Cornelia Law Center, a public interest law firm in Southern California aiding victims of human and civil rights violations, helped the client develop a new home and community. Duane Morris offices teamed up to staff dozens of naturalization clinics around the United States. Duane Morris salutes the indomitable human spirit. Recognizing the need for new beginnings, clean slates and renewed hope, our attorneys provide thousands of pro bono hours to survivors of human trafficking and victims who were exploited and wrongfully convicted.
We are humbled and inspired by the strength of our clients and the depth of their resiliency in spite of daunting circumstances. Vacatur Representation for Trafficking Survivors For several years, Duane Morris attorneys have represented domestic survivors of commercial sexual exploitation and human trafficking around the country in vacating criminal convictions resulting from their trafficking.
As vacatur laws are enacted in states across the United States, Duane Morris' pro bono practice has expanded to new jurisdictions. States likewise are expanding the list of vacatable offenses in recognition that survivors often are convicted of inter alia weapons and assault charges, as well as drug-related convictions as a direct result of their trafficking. Duane Morris attorneys successfully vacated drug-related criminal convictions for a pro bono client who endured a tremendous amount of abuse since immigrating to the United States.
As the mother and sole caretaker of three young U. The victory gave the client the best opportunity to avoid deportation and remain in the country with her children. In another case, Duane Morris represented one of the first survivors in New Jersey to have her trafficking-related convictions vacated under a New Jersey law permitting vacatur of criminal convictions for those who have been trafficked.
Incorporating New Legal Aid for Trafficking Survivors in Southern California Prior to , no legal aid specifically served survivors of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation living south of Los Angeles. GEMS serves girls and young women survivors of commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking. GEMS members practiced marketing pitches, discussed interview questions and learned about operating a bakery from Sweet Generation , a woman-run business in New York that supports internship programs for at-risk youth and teaches job readiness in their creative bakery space.
Duane Morris and Deloitte team members also learned about the commercial sexual exploitation of children in New York and packed crisis bags for survivors as they enter the GEMS program. Donated more than 4, pro bono hours Worked on nearly motions and legal labs Illinois Survivor Becomes National Leader Trafficked, beaten and subject to unimaginable emotional abuse for more than 20 years, our client escaped in and dedicated her life to helping others escape similar circumstances.
The Act allows state courts to vacate prostitution-related convictions if the petitioner can show they were a victim of trafficking at the time of the conviction. CAASE addresses the culture, institutions and individuals that perpetrate, profit from, or support sexual exploitation. In doing so, Duane Morris attorneys helped set a precedent in Illinois, which will aid many more survivors to vacate convictions from their criminal records wherein they really were the victim, not the criminal.
The average age at which children are targeted by traffickers is 12—14 years old. As a result, mentoring, education and support are key, both for youth and adults. Our attorneys represent survivors in motions to vacate prostitution-related criminal convictions, lead know-your-rights workshops, host civil legal clinics and provide legal counseling and representation to survivors concerning the myriad of civil legal issues they confront.
Among other measures, the New York Safe Harbor for Exploited Children Act provides specialized services for survivors recognizing their status as victims of crime and the unique traumas they face. Nationally, there is less than one civil legal aid attorney to help every 10, Americans living in poverty.
Children are the most legally underrepresented and vulnerable members of society. In the United States, 21 percent—or one in five—children live in families with incomes at or below the federal poverty guidelines. Ensuring family unity and stability for children and families through all types of legal proceedings has been a hallmark of the Duane Morris Pro Bono Program since its founding.
Securing Grandparent Guardianship and Visitation Rights in Massachusetts Several years ago, a team of attorneys obtained a judgement from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court holding that grandparents have legal standing to petition for visitation rights with their grandchildren.
The client was a year-old grandfather who had been denied contact with his granddaughter for over 10 years by her legal father. Protecting Tenants Facing Eviction Across the country, Duane Morris attorneys represent tenants living in uninhabitable conditions and facing eviction.