MoFo News Item

Kathi Pugh Award for Pro Bono Service Presented to Adam Hunt

29 Oct 2018

Adam Hunt, a Litigation associate in Morrison & Foerster’s New York office, has been named the recipient of the 2018 Kathi Pugh Award for pro bono service. MoFo established the award in 2013 when Kathi Pugh retired after two decades of running the firm’s pro bono program. It recognizes the values, enthusiasm, and compassion that Ms. Pugh brought to the pro bono program and celebrates the remarkable ways that lawyers like Mr. Hunt continue Ms. Pugh’s legacy.

Mr. Hunt has been a significant contributor to the pro bono program since joining the firm as a summer associate in 2009, totaling nearly 1,500 hours since 2013. He has represented clients in a variety of matters including asylum cases, foster care support, solitary confinement reform, and unwarranted government surveillance. In 2017, Mr. Hunt was awarded the New York State Bar Association President’s Pro Bono Service Award.

Most notably, Mr. Hunt has spent more than 350 hours since 2007 to help grant asylum to a refugee from the Republic of Congo who experienced severe persecution because of his association with his uncle, a prominent member of a political opposition group who was murdered after publishing an article critical of the Congolese regime. The client fled to the U.S. after surviving hours of torture while in Congolese custody and was granted asylum with the help of Mr. Hunt and others at MoFo. From there, Mr. Hunt spent several years fighting for the client’s four children, nieces and nephews he adopted after his brother’s death, to be granted asylum as well. For his efforts, he was recognized as a “Pro Bono Star” by Human Rights First.

Mr. Hunt’s work extends to the New York state foster care system where he’s spent more than 1,000 hours since 2010 fighting for increased stipends for foster care parents, and to inmates in New York state prisons where he played a key role in negotiating a settlement for solitary confinement reform with top officials in the governor’s office. He also successfully fought to end the New York City Police Department’s extremely broad surveillance program of the Muslim community.

As the winner of the Kathi Pugh Award, Mr. Hunt was given the opportunity to direct a $10,000 donation to a nonprofit organization that enhances access to justice. He has directed the contribution, which will be funded jointly by the Firm and The Morrison & Foerster Foundation, to be split between the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) and the Education Law Center (ELC) in Newark, N.J. Mr. Hunt worked for the ELC after college before beginning law school and worked for the NYCLU during law school and while at MoFo.

This is the fifth annual Kathi Pugh Award. San Francisco senior counsel Ruth Borenstein, San Francisco partner Alfredo Silva, Washington, D.C. partner Natalie Fleming Nolen, and San Diego associate Christian Andreu-von Euw were the firm’s prior honorees.



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