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Frankel Awards The Marvin E. Frankel Pro Bono Awards, given annually to an individual New York lawyer and a New York law firm for continuing commitment to volunteer asylum work, were recently announced by Human Rights First, formerly known as the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights. This year’s individual winner is Sidney Rosdeitcher, a partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, cited for his “extraordinary commitment to helping refugees secure asylum.” Debevoise & Plimpton was honored for its long association with Human Rights First, and for the dramatic film “Chasing Freedom,” recently aired on Court TV and based on actual asylum cases handled by the firm. Namesake of the awards is the late Southern District Judge Marvin E. Frankel, who died in 2002. Judge Frankel was a board member of Human Rights First and a former partner at Kramer, Levin, Naftalis & Frankel. Adoption Project The Pro Bono Adoption Project is poised to begin providing free legal services to parents and child-care agencies throughout the city. The project, which grew out of a May 2003 initiative spearheaded by New York Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye, is intended to reduce the backlog of cases where children have languished in foster care for lack of lawyers to formalize placement in the homes of adoptive parents who cannot afford legal fees. Eight Manhattan law firms have signed on as project sponsors: Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft; Kaye Scholer; Latham & Watkins; Pillsbury Winthrop; Proskauer Rose; Shearman & Sterling; Stroock & Stroock & Lavan; and Weil, Gotshal & Manges. In addition, Pfizer Inc. is a sponsor. Administering the program are Sara Wienkes, supervising attorney for MFY Legal Services, and Marlene Halpern, supervising attorney for pro bono at The Legal Aid Society. The first training program for lawyer volunteers was held in January at Pfizer. Attorneys interested in further programs may call Ms. Wienkes at (212) 417-3774. City Bar Chorus The City Bar Chorus of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York received a New Yorkers of the Week Award late last month from NY1 News, the Manhattan-based cable television station. During a frequently aired three-minute TV broadcast segment over several weeks, the chorus was recognized for concerts performed at city hospitals, firehouses, senior citizen residences and nursing homes, pediatric facilities and AIDS hospices. The 55-member chorus is composed of attorneys, paralegals, legal secretaries, law students and judges.

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