Press Release

Kathi Pugh Award For Pro Bono Service Presented to Natalie Fleming Nolen

$10,000 donation funded by MoFo and The Morrison & Foerster Foundation made to Human Rights First

24 Jul 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 24, 2015) –  Natalie Fleming Nolen, a litigation associate in Morrison & Foerster’s Washington, D.C. office, has been named the recipient of the 2015 Kathi Pugh Award for Pro Bono Service.

Morrison & Foerster 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 Ms. Fleming Nolen continue Ms. Pugh’s legacy.

“Natalie is an outstanding advocate for her pro bono clients and an inspiration and role model for integrating pro bono representation in a MoFo career,” said Morrison & Foerster chair Larren M. Nashelsky.

“This is an especially appropriate moment to recognize Natalie’s pro bono work,” said Morrison & Foerster senior pro bono counsel Jennifer Brown. “In the last months of 2014, she went to trial on two asylum cases and a long-standing housing case in New York – all while she was living in Washington, D.C. She has become MoFo’s east coast in-house human rights expert, instrumental not only in her own asylum cases, but also as an advisor and consultant to others in the firm.”

Ms. Fleming Nolen joined Morrison & Foerster after graduation from Harvard Law School in 2006 and quickly became one of the firm’s pro bono superstars. She has contributed to the representation of 13 asylum and two Special Immigrant Juvenile Status clients, as well as a group of Haitian sexual assault victims attacked in post-earthquake encampments. Beyond her extensive assistance to immigrants and refugees, Ms. Fleming Nolen has also represented low-income tenants in two significant and legally challenging matters, with great results for her clients. Since receiving the New York State Bar President's Pro Bono Service Award in the young lawyer category in 2012, Ms. Fleming Nolen’s contributions have continued unabated.

As the winner of the Kathi Pugh Award, Ms. Fleming Nolen has the opportunity to direct a $10,000 donation to a nonprofit legal services organization that enhances access to justice for low-income people and meets The Morrison & Foerster Foundation’s guidelines for charitable contributions. She has selected Human Rights First to receive this contribution, which will be funded by the Foundation and the firm.

“Human Rights First creates the political environment and policy solutions necessary to ensure consistent respect for human rights – a vital national interest,” said Ms. Fleming Nolen. “MoFo has partnered with the organization through the Asylum Representation Project to provide pro bono representation to indigent asylum seekers. It is an honor to receive this award and to be able to help an organization that is incredibly important to me.”

This is the second annual Kathi Pugh Award. The inaugural award was given to Alfredo Silva in recognition of his wide-ranging pro bono contributions, including his leading role in the firm’s highly successful pro bono collaboration with the nonprofit organization that created the Bay Lights, the art installation on San Francisco's Bay Bridge.

Morrison & Foerster is a pro bono leader. The firm galvanized the 1991 gathering of law firm leaders that led to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®, the bedrock of pro bono today. One of the first law firms to create a full-time pro bono counsel position, MoFo dedicates extraordinary resources to help attorneys contribute their best through pro bono work. The American Lawyer ranked MoFo in the top 10 for both U.S. and international pro bono work for 2015; 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; and the firm has landed a spot on Law360’s Pro Bono Firms list each of the five years since it started publishing.

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