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BACK PAY A Crowell & Moring associate won treble damages in February on behalf of four Mexican immigrants who were not paid for painting services. The workers first turned to Casa de Maryland, a nonprofit that predominantly works with the Central American community. The nonprofit began representing the plaintiffs in 1999. Casa de Maryland staff attorney Jayesh Rathod then reached out to Crowell & Moring for its labor and employment expertise. Litigation associate Daniel Wolff represented the plaintiffs at the Jan. 31 trial. Also part of the Crowell team were partner Kris Meade, counsel Andrew Bagley, and associate Adam Wilson. Wolff, new to the firm, says taking on the case was “a way to get my feet wet immediately.” A Montgomery County Circuit Court judge awarded a total of more than $13,000 in treble damages to the workers, whose employer originally claimed he had not hired them. Employer Raul Rendon could not be reached for comment. LEGAL WIZARD Davis, Cowell & Bowe associate Mark Hanna received the Washington Wizards’ annual Abe Pollin award for his volunteer work at the D.C. Employment Justice Center. Hanna is one of three lawyers in the San Francisco-based firm’s D.C. outpost. The center’s executive director, Judith Conti, nominated Hanna in a 100-word essay. She calls Hanna a “volunteer extraordinaire” who helps staff the center’s Weekly Workers’ Rights Clinics, which assists low-wage workers combat workplace violations. Among the work Hanna performed with the clinic: helping Middle Eastern workers abate post-Sept. 11 discrimination. Conti says this work was of “particular interest and concern” to the 29-year-old Hanna, who was born in Iraq. “I realize the difficulties of immigrants learning about their rights. There are different barriers for immigrants, not only language, there’s also barriers of fear,” Hanna says. Hanna received the award at the Wizards vs. Celtics game on March 13 at the MCI Center. FOR THE LOVE OF SIGHT The Foundation for Fighting Blindness awarded Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher partner Terence Ross the For the Love of Sight Award, recognizing his 20 years of service at its annual gala in February. According to the foundation, Ross’ efforts over time add up to more than $1 million in services. Ross, an intellectual property specialist, has been providing free legal advice to the foundation on such things as trademark registration and employment practices since he began practicing law at Gibson, Dunn in 1974. Ross says he’s attracted to the foundation’s substantial research efforts. The award came as a surprise. “It was one of the few times in my life I’ve been speechless,” Ross says. OPERATION COOKIE DROP There’s nothing like a thin mint in Karbala. At least, that’s the philosophy behind Holland & Knight‘s latest effort to send U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan goodies that taste like home � namely, Girl Scout cookies. “Operation Cookie Drop” is a firmwide effort that has drummed up nearly 2,000 donated boxes that cost $8,000 to ship. The firm’s D.C. office used March 2, Maryland’s presidential primary election day, to bring in local Girl Scouts to its Pennsylvania Avenue office to pack boxes. FINNEGAN FELLOW Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner is looking for a first-year law student to receive its second annual diversity scholarship. The student will receive $12,000 and a place in the firm’s summer associate program. After the June 1 application deadline, a selection committee of staff and attorneys will select a scholar to work out of one of the firm’s five domestic offices. GOOD SCOUTT The D.C. Bar Foundation awarded its annual Jerrold Scoutt Prize to R. Scott McNeilly, a senior staff attorney at the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless. Named after a founding partner of the law firm of Zuckert, Scoutt & Rasenberger, which endows the $2,500 award, the prize recognizes attorneys who have spent most of their careers serving D.C.’s neediest residents. McNeilly represents the clinic’s clients and trains pro bono attorneys. He drafted the legislation behind the District’s Interim Disability Assistance Program and helps lead a citywide coalition to support the program. “I went to law school knowing I wanted to do this kind of work and it’s been absolutely the right decision,” says McNeilly. “I certainly got more out of it than I put in.” FUND RACING Two local law schools raised money for their public interest lawyers in creative ways last month. George Washington University Law School‘s Equal Justice Foundation held a five-kilometer “Race for Justice” on March 27 to raise funds for the school’s Loan Reimbursement Assistance Program, which helps recent graduates who pursue public interest work pay down law school debt. At $25 per entry, the race yielded about $2,000, with support from the Black Law Students Association, the Christian Legal Society, and the National Lawyers Guild, among others. The University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law raised more than $16,000 at its annual Equal Justice Works Auction on March 18 � $4,000 more than in 2003. The funds help pay first- and second-year students who take summer positions at public interest legal organizations. UDC Director of Alumni Affairs Joseph Libertelli says the school will pay a $2,500 stipend to each of roughly 40 students this year. Among the DVD players and gym memberships up for auction, bidders also bid for a shadow day with Jack Olender, president of law firm Jack H. Olender and Associates (sold for $100 in this student-only bid category); the dean’s parking space for a month ($60); babysitting for overworked parents ($40); and a lobby day with Wade Henderson, executive director of Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (sold in a student-only bid for $100). PUBLIC INTEREST FORUM The Washington Council of Lawyers hosts its annual Summer Public Interest Forum June 11 at Arnold & Porter. The forum brings together summer associates, attorneys, and legal services programs to discuss pro bono opportunities in private practice. Howard University School of Law Dean and former Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke will be the forum’s keynote speaker. Pro Bono Bulletin Board is an occasional column covering developments in the public interest and pro bono communities. Alicia Upano can be reached at [email protected].

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