Lawyers Who Lead By Example

The National Law Journal named New York litigation partner J. Alexander Lawrence to its 2015 Pro Bono Hot List for his efforts to ensure that women in Texas continue to have access to abortion services. He led a MoFo team that, along with the Center for Reproductive Rights, challenged the constitutionality of a Texas law that placed restrictions on abortion clinic operations. “We could not have achieved success in this case of great importance without the amazing efforts of Alex and his team,” said Stephanie Toti, senior counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights.


Recent Accolades + Awards

The Western Center on Law and Poverty gave Morrison & Foerster the 2018 Max Gillam Pro Bono Award at the Western Center’s annual Garden Party.  The honor is in recognition of the Firm’s work on Housing Works v. County of Los Angeles, a case brought to increase access to much needed benefits for indigent Californians with mental and developmental disabilities. The outstanding work of the following attorneys was recognized: Charles Barquist, Ryan Malloy, Heriberto Alvarez and Matthew Hofer.
American Immigration Council gave Morrison & Foerster its American Heritage Award for its pro bono work challenging inhumane conditions for immigrants housed in short-term immigration detention centers run by U.S. Customs and Border Control in Arizona. Over the past three years, the MoFo team led by Colette Reiner Mayer in the Bay Area and Louise Stoupe in Tokyo, has worked tirelessly in its fight to improve these conditions, alongside co-counsel the American Immigration Council, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the ACLU of Arizona, and the National Immigration Law Center.;
Children’s Bureau presented the firm with its Changing the World for Children Award at its 114th Annual Celebration, recognizing the firm’s longstanding contribution of pro bono legal services and its financial support through The Morrison & Foerster Foundation. Children’s Bureau is a Los Angeles area nonprofit whose mission is to protect vulnerable children through prevention, treatment and advocacy.
The National Law Journal named Morrison & Foerster to its 2018 Pro Bono Hot List. The award recognizes the firm’s success in a case filed in 2009 to win information and medical care for veterans who suffered lasting effects after being subjected to secret tests of toxins and psychological agents during their military service decades ago.
Morrison & Foerster was given the 2018 Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation Award for excellent service.  The award recognizes firms for pro bono legal services that strengthen the global social entrepreneurship movement and improve the lives of the world’s poor and disenfranchised.
Justice in Aging, a national organization that fights poverty among seniors, presented William Stern and the firm, including Claudia Vetesi and Elizabeth Balassone, its Justice Award. The award highlighted the team’s work on the Hart v. Berryhill class action, which is bringing relief to thousands of Bay Area residents who were unjustly denied disability benefits.
New York litigation associate Adam Hunt was honored by his alma mater, the New York University School of Law, with the 2018 Public Service Award from the school’s Public Interest Law Center. The award recognizes alumni for their contributions to the public interest, and is presented at an annual event that raises funds for current law students to engage in public interest work during their summers.
Financial Times named San Francisco partner Derek Foran to its 2017 North America Innovative Lawyers list in the Rule of Law and Access to Justice category, citing his success in holding the Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion organization, accountable for harassing and interfering with the constitutional rights of doctors and women. Derek represents the National Abortion Federation in a case against the Center, which has released fraudulently obtained and heavily edited videos that have led to threats of violence against abortion providers.
American Lawyer named Morrison & Foerster the winner of its 2017 Global Legal Awards Grand Prize in Citizenship for the firm’s work with refugees in Germany. In giving the award, AmLaw highlighted the commitment of lawyers in the Berlin office who serve as guardians for refugee children who arrived in Germany without their parents, as well as the firm’s extensive legal assistance to nonprofit organizations that are dedicated to supporting the refugee community.
San Francisco Energy and Environment attorney Corinne Quigley received an award for her pro bono legal services to nonprofit affordable housing developer NeighborWorks Home Ownership Center at its annual event. After the permits for NeighborWorks’s proposed self-help housing development in Colusa County, California were denied by County staff in 2015, Corinne led NeighborWorks through a series of appeals and months of negotiations to final approval of a revised project in March 2017.
American Lawyer recognized Morrison & Foerster with its Global Pro Bono “Advocacy Project of the Year Award” for its work addressing the European refugee crisis. Lawyers in the firm’s Berlin office devoted more than 1,200 hours to refugee assistance in 2016. Some serve as volunteer guardians for child refugees who arrived without their parents, securing government benefits, helping them prepare for asylum hearings, and tending to their more general needs. MoFo lawyers also work closely with several refugee-involved NGOs, including one that is creating Hotel Utopia, a new hotel that will provide refugees with jobs, vocational training, and access to community supports. MoFo shares the award with several other firms and NGOs.
Housing Works California presented Morrison & Foerster with its Tom McGuiness Community Leadership Award for its work in Housing Works v. County of Los Angeles. The firm, together with several legal services groups, is representing people with mental disabilities to secure better access to public benefits in Los Angeles County. The clients include County residents who were unable to secure and maintain General Relief Benefits due to their mental disabilities and organizations that provide aid to these residents.
Adam Hunt received the New York State Bar Association President’s Pro Bono Service Award for his outstanding pro bono contributions to vulnerable New Yorkers. The award recognizes Adam’s role in several pro bono matters, including impact litigation to reform solitary confinement; rein in unwarranted surveillance of religious and political groups; and increase payments to meet the needs of children in foster care. Adding to the honor, Adam won the award for the First Judicial District (Manhattan), location of the single largest concentration of lawyers in the country.
Legal Services of the Hudson Valley (LSHV) gave Morrison & Foerster its Access to Justice Award for the firm’s litigation advocacy on behalf of special education students in the Mt. Vernon, New York school system. Presenting the award to MoFo's Matthew D'Amore, LSHV’s senior counsel said, "No other law firm has had the unwavering involvement, matched with the talent, drive and enthusiasm, that MoFo has delivered for LSHV clients, without fail."

The National Law Journal named Morrison & Foerster to its 2017 Pro Bono Hot List, recognizing the firm for its June 2016 Supreme Court victory in the most important abortion rights case of a generation, Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt. The Journal singled out New York litigation partner Alex Lawrence, who served as co-lead counsel on the Whole Woman's Health case throughout the litigation.

The Hot List represents the National Law Journal's choices for the year’s most significant victories achieved by law firms acting "pro bono publico" - for the public good.

San Francisco Pro Bono Counsel Dorothy Fernandez was honored by the San Francisco La Raza Lawyers Association for her years of pro bono contributions to the community.
Legal Services NYC, the nation’s largest provider of civil legal services, honored Morrison & Foerster as a Pro Bono Leader at a reception preceding its annual Jazz for Justice dinner. The award is given each year to the top ten law firm contributors to the Legal Services NYC pro bono program.
The Iranian-American Bar Association honored Morrison & Foerster with its annual Pro Bono Award in recognition of work done by the firm, and especially Kayvan Sadeghi, to reform solitary confinement in New York prisons.
Bronx Defenders gave Morrison & Foerster its 2016 Pro Bono Partner of the Year award at its annual gala. The organization, whose activities include representing one-half of the indigent criminal defendants in the Bronx, recognized the firm for co-counseling a legal challenge to court delays that deny the right to a speedy trial to Bronx defendants who are accused of misdemeanors.
Los Angeles Litigation Senior Counsel Timothy Ryan received the First District Appellate Project Volunteer of the Year Award. FDAP--a nonprofit law office that ensures quality representation of indigent appellants in criminal, delinquency, dependency and mental health appeals in California’s First District Court of Appeal--recognized Timothy in appreciation for providing outstanding pro bono employment law advice to FDAP.
The Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice recognized Morrison & Foerster at its Celebration of International Pro Bono Excellence, held at the New York City Bar Association. The Vance Center honored MoFo’s Tokyo office for its research on the subject of “Coercion and Consent in Sex” for pro bono client Amnesty International.
The National Immigration Law Center honored the firm with its 2016 Courageous Luminaries Award. The award recognizes the firm’s contributions to the immigrants’ rights movement, in particular, the lawsuit the firm is co-counseling with the Center and others against the U.S. Border Patrol for inhumane conditions at its detention facilities in Arizona.
Law360 named Morrison & Foerster to its Pro Bono Firms of the Year list for the seventh time. The list recognizes the top pro bono firms in the country, based on a record of pro bono victories, a willingness to tackle tough pro bono cases, and an overall outstanding commitment to pro bono work. MoFo is one of only two firms in the country that has appeared on this list every year since it began.
The State Bar of California conferred its 2016 Jack Berman Award of Achievement on Morrison & Foerster associate Elizabeth Balassone in a ceremony held during its annual meeting. The award recognizes exemplary pro bono service provided by lawyers in their first five years of practice.
The California Innocence Project selected Morrison & Foerster to receive its first annual EXONR8R (exonerator) award. The award recognizes the firm’s dedication to the Project’s mission of seeking justice for the wrongfully convicted, including the firm’s assistance with reviewing the thousands of requests for help that the Project receives each year.
The San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program-- San Diego's oldest and most comprehensive legal services organization--gave Morrison & Foerster its Outstanding Law Firm award at its Justice For All Celebration. Last year, more than a dozen MoFo associates and paralegals dedicated time to cases referred by the Program, in matters that ranged from guardianships to tax advice to the trial of a custody case.
Vault ranked MoFo no. 9 in its list of best law firms for pro bono.  Each year, Vault surveys thousands of law professionals. The pro bono ranking is based on responses in the associate survey to the question: “Please rate your firm’s commitment to pro bono work,” which offers a 10-point scale that ranges from “Not at All Committed” to “Strongly Committed.”  Vault noted that Morrison & Foerster “is consistently recognized for its commitment to the community and pro bono.”  Vault’s rankings and ratings are regularly featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Forbes, Fortune, Money, and countless other news outlets.
Demos, a public policy organization, honored MoFo for its voting rights work at its annual gala. Demos recognized the firm for its work as the organization’s co-counsel in two voting rights matters: a California effort that led to the modernization of the state's voter registration system and ongoing North Carolina litigation focused on voter registration by the state’s motor vehicles department and public assistance agency.
The New Economy Project honored Morrison & Foerster with its Pro Bono Leadership Award at the group’s 20th anniversary celebration. The award recognizes the work of MoFo lawyers in the New York office who represented former students of unscrupulous trade schools in seeking to be discharged from heavy burdens of student loan debt that yielded no educational benefit.
Derek Foran, Christopher Robinson and Linda Shostak received the Christopher Tietze Humanitarian Award from the National Abortion Federation (NAF), which honors significant, lifetime contributions in the field of abortion service delivery and/or policy. NAF recognized the MoFo pro bono litigation team for representing the organization in a lawsuit to protect against the disclosure of secretly recorded videos of abortion providers taken by anti-abortion activists who used subterfuge and fraud to attend NAF's annual meetings.
San Francisco corporate partner Susan Mac Cormac was honored with the 2016 ABA Business Law Section's National Public Service Award for her pro bono work on behalf of nonprofits and social enterprises. Recognizing Suz's creativity in building structures that enable nonprofits to fund their programs through income-generating activities, the award credits Suz with offering "a bold, sustainable infusion of humanitarian principles into modern capitalism."
Legal Aid of Marin (CA) recognized Anna Erickson White, Michael Agoglia, Nicole Serfoss, Dina Roumiantseva, Rachael Noguera, and Nora Wineberg with the Wiley Manual Award for Pro Bono Legal Services. The MoFo lawyers are co-counsel representing low-income tenants in a lawsuit to rectify uninhabitable conditions in a multi-unit dwelling in Novato.
San Francisco partner Derek Foran was honored by NARAL Pro-Choice America’s for his team's success representing the National Abortion Federation in a lawsuit to halt the dissemination of secretly recorded videotapes obtained under false pretenses by anti-abortion activists attempting to discredit Planned Parenthood andd other abortion providers. Learn more about this important case.
The Justice & Diversity Center of the Bar Association of San Francisco (“JDC”) recognized Morrison & Foerster with its 2015 Outstanding Law Firm in Public Service Award. Sixteen MoFo attorneys and staff were among JDC's top volunteers this year.
The Financial Times honored San Francisco partner Susan Mac Cormac as “the overwhelming choice for most individual North American lawyer this year,” citing her work to create alternative corporate forms that enable organizations to widen their purpose beyond maximising shareholder return so they can pursue environmental and sustainability goals.
The UK legal business publication Who’s Who Legal announced that Morrison & Foerster is the winner of its 2015 Who’s Who Legal Award for Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year. Who’s Who Legal applauded MoFo’s long-standing pro bono tradition and “inspiring level of senior buy-in,” noting that in addition to its “undeniably impressive” pro bono victories and triumphs, “what makes the practice stand out from others is the time taken to match matters to lawyers’ skill sets and interests, making it a truly personal and unique experience for each individual involved.” An awards ceremony will be held in New York next spring.
New York senior counsel James Bergin and associate Joanne Sur, and Brussels associate Sotirios Petrovassan were honored by Sanctuary for Families with a 2015 Above & Beyond Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Advocacy. They were recognized for their diligence and sensitivity in assisting a victim of extreme violence and stalking.
At its La Mancha Awards, Casa Cornelia in San Diego honored Morrison & Foerster associate Kevin Kwon for his pro bono service on asylum matters.
Law360 names Morrison & Foerster a “Pro Bono Firm of the Year” for the sixth year running. The list recognizes the top pro bono firms in the country, based on a record of pro bono victories, a willingness to tackle tough pro bono cases, and an overall outstanding commitment to pro bono work.
Morrison & Foerster's increased pro bono hours and breadth of participation jumped it to the top 10 in the American Lawyer's pro bono ranking, from #23 last year. AmLaw featured MoFo in its annual pro bono issue, highlighting the successful conclusion of a ‎federal civil rights suit filed in 2010 against the Clark County, Nevada, foster care system. The case, which the firm co-counseled with Oakland, California's National Center for Youth Law, resulted in $2.08 million for seven children who suffered physical abuse and medical neglect while in foster care. MoFo also placed eighth in AmLaw's first international pro bono list.
The National Legal Aid & Defender Association honored the firm with its 2015 Beacon of Justice Award for its significant contribution to expanding opportunities for those unable to afford counsel. The firm’s nomination focused on its direct service to low-income entrepreneurs and small businesses, corporate and finance work for nonprofits involved in microfinance and community development, and corporate and finance work for nonprofits that are helping individuals become financially independent through increased educational opportunities or expanded skills that make it more likely they will find employment.
The D.C. Circuit Judicial Conference recognized the Washington, D.C. office of Morrison & Foerster for achieving its "40 at 50" standard, with more than 40% of the office's lawyers contributing at least 50 hours of pro bono service last year. MoFo was one of 23 law firms honored at a breakfast that featured Chief Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ‎and U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson.
The National Law Journal named J. Alexander Lawrence to its annual Pro Bono Hot List for his work with the Center for Reproductive Rights defending Texas women’s access to safe and legal abortion.
London employment attorney Caroline Stakim receives the Lawyer of the Year Award from TrustLaw, Thomson Reuters Foundation's global pro bono service. Lawyers, judges, and representatives of NGOs from around the world attended the awards ceremony in London. TrustLaw invited nominations for this honor from the NGOs and social enterprises around the world that it connects to pro bono attorneys. Two pro bono clients nominated Caroline: You Make It Ltd., which promotes entrepreneurship among young people, and StudentHubs, which encourages social activism among students.
Morrison & Foerster is named by Who’s Who Legal as one of ten firms that are “clear frontrunners” who are “setting the benchmark for others to follow” in pro bono practice. The firm won praise for taking its pro bono commitment “to a new level by adopting a formal expectation that every lawyer provide an average of at least 25 hours of pro bono services per year.” Who’s Who Legal is published by the London-based Law Business Research Ltd.
Morrison & Foerster is named to the Law 360 Pro Bono Firms of the Year, for the fifth year in a row. The list recognizes the top pro bono firms in the country, based on a record of pro bono victories, a willingness to tackle tough pro bono cases, and an overall outstanding commitment to pro bono work.
Human Rights First gave New York litigation attorney Adam Hunt its Pro Bono Star Award for excellence in legal advocacy on behalf of his asylum client from Congo. After winning asylum, Adam undertook extraordinary efforts to verify his client's adoption of his deceased brother's four children so they, too, could gain asylum in the U.S.
Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) honored Morrison & Foerster with its Pioneer of Justice Law Firm Award for MoFo’s 40 years of strategic partnership with ERA. Among other work, Palo Alto partner Marc Peters has led a team evaluating Title IX compliance in 116 schools. The result will be a report and tool kit that will assist thousands of educators, parents, girls and young women across the country.
Legal Services for Children recognized San Francisco attorney James Schurz with its Pro Bono Leadership Award, for the extraordinary commitment to Bay Area children that he has demonstrated by enthusiastically encouraging Morrison & Foerster lawyers to represent Legal Services for Children’s clients.
The Northern California Innocence Project gave James Brosnahan its pro bono award for courageously stepping forward to represent George Souliotes on the retrial of three murder charges with fewer than two months to prepare. According to the Innocence Project, having “one of the most respected and recognized trial lawyers in the country lead this trial was the most incredible gift imaginable.” After Brosnahan won exclusion of faulty evidence, prosecutors reached an agreement that exonerated Souliotes and freed him after 16 years behind bars.
Super Lawyers recognized Morrison & Foerster with a 2013 Pro Bono Award for the firm’s leadership in the Civil Gideon movement, which advocates establishing a right to counsel in civil cases that involve basic human needs such as housing, custody, safety, and health. The firm donated its cash prize of $5,000 to our pro bono partners Public Counsel and the Justice and Diversity Center of the Bar Association of San Francisco.
The Federal Pro Bono Project in conjunction with the Bar Association of San Francisco and the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California gave its Outstanding Public Service Award to San Francisco attorneys James Schurz and Robert Petraglia. The attorneys were recognized for their skilled lawyering representing homeless plaintiffs in Arcata, CA and achieving “policy changes that greatly improve conditions for the homeless in Arcata and Humboldt County. These changes include amendments to the City’s ordinances that were challenged, better services for homeless people living outdoors, and greater free speech protections.
Morrison & Foerster was recognized as Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year in Fairfax County by the Fairfax Bar Association. The award recognizes our Northern Virginia office for a level of pro bono commitment that "stands as a model for other law firms."
The Justice & Diversity Center of The Bar Association of San Francisco presented the firm with its Right to Civil Counsel Leader Award for the firm’s commitment to providing pro bono legal services in cases involving basic human needs, including housing, child custody, sustenance, safety, and health.
The East Bay (California) Community Law Center honored Morrison & Foerster, The Morrison & Foerster Foundation, and former Senior Pro Bono Counsel Kathi Pugh as “stalwart partners” in its work.
The Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project presented Morrison & Foerster with its Leap for Justice award, recognizing the firm’s contributions to the organization’s work during its first decade of existence.
The Alameda County Bar Association Volunteer Legal Services Corporation honored Morrison & Foerster with its Guardians of Justice Award.
The New York State Courts Access to Justice Program recognized senior pro bono counsel Jennifer Brown with an award for “outstanding work and dedicated pro bono service.” Brown directs Morrison & Foerster’s participation in the New York City Family Court Volunteer Lawyer Program, which provides brief advice to unrepresented litigants in family court.
At its La Mancha Awards, Casa Cornelia in San Diego honored Morrison & Foerster associates Christian Andreu-von Euw and Jeffrey David for their high level of pro bono service in asylum matters.
The Western Center on Law and Poverty bestowed The Earl Johnson Equal Justice Award on San Francisco senior litigation partner James Brosnahan, recognizing his lifelong body of achievement as a national leader advancing equal justice.
The National Legal Aid & Defender Association honored the firm with its 2012 Beacon of Justice Award for its significant contribution to securing and expanding the right to counsel first recognized by the Gideon v. Wainwright decision 50 years ago. Washington, D.C. Managing Partner Bradley Lui accepted the award on behalf of the firm.
Morrison & Foerster is named to the Law 360 Pro Bono Firms of the Year, for the fourth year in a row. The list recognizes the top pro bono firms in the country, based on a record of pro bono victories, a willingness to tackle tough pro bono cases, and an overall outstanding commitment to pro bono work. MoFo is one of only three firms to appear on the Law 360 list in each year since it was inaugurated in 2010.
The American Judicature Society presented a certificate of appreciation to Morrison & Foerster at its annual lunch during the American Bar Association convention in San Francisco. MoFo assisted the Society in its recent move to affiliate with Vanderbilt Law School in Nashville, Tennessee. The American Judicature Society, now 100 years old, is a membership organization comprised of judges, lawyers, and members of the public that promotes an independent and qualified judiciary and a fair system of justice.
The Asian Law Caucus (ALC) recognized the firm as its Pro Bono Honoree for our work on a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed on behalf of the ALC, the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Congratulations to Raj Chaterjee, Angela Kleine, Debra Urteaga, Stefan Szpajda, and Daisy Belle Visitacion for their work on this matter.
The New York State Bar Association awarded the New York office its President’s Pro Bono Service Award, for making an outstanding contribution to ensuring that low-income New Yorkers have equal access to justice.
The Asian Law Caucus named Morrison & Foerster its Pro Bono Honoree.
The AIDS Legal Referral Panel recognized the firm with a certificate of appreciation for its generous participation in the Pro Bono Connections Initiative.
The Global Language Project honored Morrison & Foerster for its pro bono assistance to the organization.
The Legal Aid Society of San Mateo presented Morrison & Foerster with its Guardian of Justice Award.
The Brooklyn Family Defense Project presented a pro bono excellence award to Morrison & Foerster, honoring the firm’s partnership with the Project as “crucial to upholding our vision of legal and social justice for low-income families.”
Casa Cornelia in San Diego honored Morrison & Foerster with its La Mancha Law Firm of the Year Award for the firm’s extraordinary level of pro bono legal services to indigent immigrant victims of human and civil rights violations.
The United States District Court for the Northern District of California’s honored Morrison & Foerster for its high level of participation in the Federal Pro Bono Project.
New York litigation partner Jamie Levitt was featured in a New York Law Journal special supplement, "Lawyers Who Lead By Example." Ms. Levitt, former Chair of the firm's Pro Bono Committee, was recognized for her “particular passion for defending vulnerable populations against fraud, even in the most controversial matters" and her leadership on the boards of several public interest legal organizations.
American Lawyer honored James Brosnahan with a Lifetime Achiever Award. Mr. Brosnahan was one of only eight attorneys to receive the award that year, which honors outstanding private sector success and a devotion to public service. Am Law highlighted Mr. Brosnahan's pro bono accomplishments, including his advocacy for a Mexican housewife accused of helping Central American refugees escape into the United States—although convicted, she served no prison time—and alleged Irish Republican Army member Kevin Artt, whom Mr. Brosnahan represented in extradition proceedings—a case close to Mr. Brosnahan's heart, given his Irish roots.  Mr. Brosnahan was also recognized for founding the Volunteer Legal Services Program of the Bar Association of San Francisco in 1977.
MoFo was named to the Law360 Pro Bono Firms of 2012 list for the third year in a row. The list recognized the top 20 pro bono firms in the country, based on a record of pro bono victories, a willingness to tackle tough pro bono cases, and an overall outstanding commitment to pro bono work. MoFo was one of only four firms to appear on the Law360 list in each year since it was inaugurated in 2010.
Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (VLA) selected the firm to receive the 2012 S. Jeanne Hall Pro Bono Service Award for its exceptional pro bono service through the support of its programs and individual cases as well as hosting VLA's Art & Law Residency since the program began in 2009.
The Legal Aid Society of San Diego gave the firm its Outstanding Volunteer Service Award for its contribution to pro bono services in 2011-2012.
The AIDS Legal Referral Panel recognized Keith Wetmore with its 2012 James C. Hormel Philanthropist Award for MoFo's many years of outstanding service to ALRP.
Starlight Children's Foundation honored the firm with its 2012 Jacki Carlish Humanitarian Award in recognition of over 20 years of pro bono services valued at over $3 million.  Since 1991, attorneys in several of our California offices, Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, New York, and London have represented Starlight in intellectual property matters, employment issues, real estate leasing, trademark and general corporate matters.
The McCarton Foundation for Developmental Disabilities honored MoFo for its extensive pro bono contributions to the Foundation's work with children with autism, at its Celebration of Learning Gala.
The Daily Journal named San Francisco associate Rita Lin to its list of top women lawyers for 2012 in recognition of her work as co-counsel with Lambda Legal in Golinski v. Office of Personnel Management, which challenges the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on behalf of a federal district court employee who was rebuffed when she sought to enroll her same-sex spouse on her federal employee health plan.
The New York State Bar Association recognized Natalie Fleming Nolen with its 2012 President's Pro Bono Service Award in the Young Lawyer Category for her work on behalf of immigrants and refugees, including winning humanitarian parole for Haitian victims of rape and obtaining special immigrant juvenile status for minors who were facing deportation from the United States.
The HIV Law Project in New York gave MoFo its Distinguished Pro Bono Award, citing the firm's lengthy and successful representation of an HIV positive man who was threatened with eviction from his home.
Arturo Gonzalez was honored as Attorney of the Year by Centro Legal de la Raza, for advancing the rights of immigrant, low-income and Latino communities through legal representation, education and advocacy.
The Federal D.C. Circuit Judicial Conference Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services honored the firm's Washington, D.C. office at the annual 40 at 50 Judicial Pro Bono Recognition Breakfast, recognizing that at least 40 percent of the attorneys in that office performed 50 hours or more of pro bono work during 2011.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and Superior Court of the District of Columbia named 37 lawyers from MoFo's Washington, D.C. office to the Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll, for performing at least 50 hours of pro bono service in 2011.  Twenty-four of these attorneys were also named to the court’s High Honor Roll, for pro bono contributions in excess of 100 hours.
The Volunteer Legal Services Program of the Bar Association of San Francisco ("VLSP") awarded MoFo its 2011 Outstanding Law Firm in Public Service Award.   In presenting the award to Jim Brosnahan, Judge Katherine Feinstein, San Francisco Superior Court's Presiding Judge, noted that more than 70 MoFo attorneys participated in VLSP pro bono matters in 2011, contributing over $1 million in pro bono legal services. 
Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom honored Rita Lin with its 2012 Legal Service Award in recognition of her important and vital work to advance the rights of the LGBT community, including representation of Karen Golinski.
Susan Mac Cormac was one of the attorneys named as California Lawyer of the Year by California Lawyer magazine for co-chairing the working group that drafted SB 201 creating Flexible Purpose Corporations.  The law now makes it possible for California businesses to fold goals of sustainability and social morality into their missions.
The National Law Journal named MoFo a recipient of its annual Pro Bono Awards for its display of exemplary commitment to access to justice.  San Diego partner  Drew Woodmansee was profiled for his advocacy and litigation work that led to the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell on September 30, 2011. Beginning in 2009, a MoFo pro bono team has represented four gay servicemembers who served their country with distinction but were dismissed, or were poised to be dismissed, under Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
Casa Cornelia honored MoFo with its La Mancha Law Firm of the Year Award for its extraordinary level of pro bono legal services to indigent immigrant victims of human and civil rights violations.  Casa Cornelia stated that this "extraordinary level of commitment is only possible when a firm's leadership encourages and facilitates pro bono service among its partners and associates."
Disability Rights California (DRC) honored MoFo for its considerable and critical contributions to the Darling v. Douglas lawsuit challenging cutbacks to Medi-Cal funded Adult Day Health Care (ADHC).  DRC commended Palo Alto litigators Ken Kuwayti and Stefan Szpajda for their strategic and successful efforts to stop the elimination of ADHC as well as Los Angeles litigators Ben Fox and Shirley Hufstedler for their compelling appellate efforts in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
The National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) honored the firm with its 2011 Beacon of Justice Award for its significant contribution to pro bono appellate representation.  NLADA was moved by MoFo' true commitment to justice by stepping up to represent issues and people that would otherwise be forced to navigate the appeals process without any guidance.
The Financial Times, in its 2011 U.S. Innovative Lawyers issue, highly recommended MoFo's Los Angeles office for winning a landmark education rights case by using the California constitution's guarantee of equal educational opportunity. The result prevents teacher layoffs at inner city public schools and has repercussions for schools across the United States.
The Pro Bono Institute (PBI) selected MoFo as the recipient of the John H. Pickering Award for the firm's unwavering commitment to pro bono, noting that the firm billed over 95,000 pro bono hours in 2010.  PBI highlighted the firm's recent pro bono victories including a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court regarding protecting juveniles from life sentences without parole in non-homicide offenses as well as securing the release of a man wrongly imprisoned for 20 years.
The American Lawyer honored Gordon Erspamer with a Lifetime Achiever Award. Mr. Erspamer wa one of only eight attorneys to receive the award that year, which honors outstanding private sector success and a devotion to public service. According to Am Law, the 2011 Lifetime Achiever recipients "are extraordinary lawyers, certainly, but for them, that’s just the beginning of what makes them successful." Mr. Erspamer's profile highlights his pro bono accomplishments on behalf of U.S. veterans that have spanned more than three decades, making him "a legend in military circles." The special section was published in the September 2011 issue of American Lawyer.
The Western Center on Law & Poverty (WCLP) named Tokyo attorney Jack Londen as one of the recipients of the Brinsley Award.  Named in honor of former WCLP Board Chair John Brinsley, the award celebrates the heart of Western Center which is passionate service, leadership, and extraordinary commitment to pro bono services and the community.
MoFo was named to the Law 360 Pro Bono Firms of 2011 list. The list recognized the top ten pro bono firms in the country, based on a record of pro bono victories, a willingness to tackle tough pro bono cases, and an overall outstanding commitment to pro bono work. In particular, Law 360 recognized the firm's impact in juvenile justice, education rights, and advocacy for people with disabilities.
The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California awarded its 2011 Social Justice Award to Sean Gates and his team for their extraordinary work in Reed v. State of California to protect the equal education rights of students affected by teacher layoffs in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The award was presented at the ACLU's 17th Annual Law Luncheon in Los Angeles.
Public Counsel gave its 2011 Pro Bono Award to Los Angeles attorneys Sean Gates, Hailly Korman, and Miriam Vogel, and Tokyo attorney Jack Londen for devoting eight months to negotiating and protecting a resolution in Reed v. State of California.  The result is a landmark protection of students’ fundamental right to equal educational opportunity that protects at least 75,000 students annually in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
The American Bar Association Section of Litigation awarded its top pro bono honor, the 2011 John Minor Wisdom Public Interest and Professionalism Award, to the firm on behalf of its work on educational reform for low-income children and children with disabilities.
The AIDS Legal Referral Panel recognized the firm with a certificate of appreciation for our generous participation in the Pro Bono Connections Initiative with ALRP.
Los Angeles partner Sean Gates has been named the recipient of a 2011 California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year (CLAY) Award in the public interest law category for achieving an innovative class action settlement in Reed v. State of California, to protect the equal education rights of students who are affected by teacher layoffs. The settlement goes far beyond the three public schools attended by the initial plaintiffs, to protect up to 45 schools.  As a result, the Los Angeles Unified School District must consider equal protection implications as well as teacher seniority in making layoff decisions.

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