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D.C. BAR AWARDS The D.C. Bar awarded its highest honor, the Thurgood Marshall Award, to the late Supreme Court justice’s alma mater, the Howard University School of Law, at its annual awards dinner June 23 at the Capital Hilton Hotel. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher partner Stephen Glover and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom associate David Pawlik were chosen as Pro Bono Lawyers of the Year. Glover was honored for his work with the Calvary Bilingual Multicultural Learning Center; Pawlik, for volunteering more than 720 hours � 30 percent of his billable hours � to an array of low-income clients. Howrey Simon Arnold & White and Sidley Austin Brown & Wood received the bar’s Law Firm Pro Bono Award this year. Howrey increased its pro bono hours 28 percent this year, to 36,000 hours, and Sidley implemented a program to place fellows at legal service providers. In addition, 75 percent of the firm’s attorneys participated in pro bono matters this year. BRANTON HONORS The Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs held its annual Wiley A. Branton Awards Luncheon at the Grand Hyatt Washington Hotel on June 8. The top honors � given to longtime civil rights advocates in the legal community � went to Arnold & Porter partner Stuart Land and Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr partner John Payton. Land, who chaired Arnold & Porter’s pro bono program twice, was recognized for his work in public education reform, and a firm program that loans associates to public interest organizations for six months. Payton, former D.C. corporation counsel and D.C. Bar president, was legal coordinator of the Free South Africa Movement and argued Gratz v. Bollinger, the University of Michigan Law School affirmative action case, before the Supreme Court. The Alfred McKenzie Award, given to clients who have won significant civil rights victories, was given to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and Patton Boggs received this year’s Vincent E. Reed Award for work in public education. Akin Gump was recognized for its partnership since 1997 with Tyler Elementary School. Patton Boggs was honored for its work with Francis Junior High School. Patton Boggs has also supported Parents United for the District of Columbia Public Schools. A host of firms received outstanding achievement awards. Shearman & Sterling and Steptoe & Johnson were recognized for equal employment opportunity work. Jenner & Block and Tycko, Zavareei & Spiva, for fair housing work. Crowell & Moring; Covington & Burling; Piper Rudnick; Hogan & Hartson; Shaw Pittman; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; and Wiggins, Childs, Quinn & Pantazis, for public accommodations work. Howrey Simon Arnold & White, for disability rights work. Holland & Knight and Williams & Connolly, for immigrant and refugee rights work. And Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, for “special programs” � in particular, a successful suit against gun manufacturers. VIRGINIA AWARDS The Virginia State Bar awarded the Fairfax Bar Association its Lewis F. Powell Jr. Pro Bono Award last month. The bar association was honored for its partnership with Legal Services of Northern Virginia to create a number of programs, including a neighborhood outreach program; consumer, housing, and employment panels; and its Wills on Wheels program. IMMIGRATION ADVOCATE The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) on June 11 recognized Washington solo practitioner J. Michael Springmann and McCrummen Immigration Law Group associate Ty Wahab Twibell of Kansas City, Mo., with its annual Pro Bono Attorneys of the Year awards. The ADC is a grass-roots organization committed to protecting the civil rights of Arabs in the United States. Springmann began as a legal intern in the 18-person D.C. office of ADC in 1997, and continued to work as a volunteer attorney when he graduated from American University Washington College of Law a year later. ADC Legal Adviser Kareem Shora says that the 59-year-old Springmann � who spent a career in the State Department before law school � did “truly phenomenal” work this year. In one case, Springmann helped an Egyptian-American who claimed he was physically assaulted in the Fairfax County Judicial Center jail. “He pays personal attention to people. If he knows someone needs help, he’ll help them out, without regard to money,” says Shora. Twibell helped the ADC on numerous cases in the Midwest, particularly on special registration cases. “He was simply unbelievable,” says Shora. PRO BONO PLEDGE Georgetown University Law Center‘s Pro Bono Pledge Program, which asks students to complete 75 volunteer hours prior to graduation, has seen significant progress in 2004, the law school says. Since its inception in the 2001 school year, the number of hours donated by law students has almost tripled, from 5,294 hours for 2002 graduates to 14,119 hours for 2004 graduates. Also, the number of students to reach the 75-hour goal has increased from 12 in 2002 to 79 this year, the school’s Office of Public Interest and Community Service reported. The program aims to “further the Law Center’s commitment to public service,” according to a news release. Students who complete their hours receive a certificate and a notation on the graduation bulletin. HISTORIC PRESERVATION Fred Werkheiser is a shoe salesman in Bethlehem, Pa., who has a deep interest in Native American archeology. When some of his friends in the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape tribe were battling with Vernon Township, N.J., in 2001 in an attempt to save an archeological site from becoming a sports complex, he called his nephew who had just graduated from law school. The morning after his uncle’s call, then- Piper Rudnick associate Gregory Werkheiser and mentoring partner Deborah Israel were on a train to New Jersey. “When we took it, we thought it’d be a very short case,” says Israel. “[But] the whole thing started to blow up.” A tug of war ensued between the township government and the tribe. The township claimed the Black Creek Native American Site lacked the historical significance needed for protection and attempted to bulldoze the land. Werkheiser and Israel, on behalf of the Lenape tribe, pushed the issue through the courts, through the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and lobbied against a bill in the state Legislature that could have quashed protection of the site. Werkheiser and Israel, both now at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, have finally seen the end of their four-year effort, donating all billable hours while charging the tribe fees such as travel and phone expenses. The Superior Court of New Jersey Appellate Division ruled April 19 to keep all 35 acres of the Black Creek Native American Site on the New Jersey Register of Historical Sites. Vernon Township declined to appeal the ruling to a higher court. “Those first couple of months were physically trying,” says Werkheimer. He was spending nights in the office, and Israel, he jokes, was threatening to call his mother. Tribal council member Urie Ridgeway says the tribe hopes to use the land as an educational center. “This was the first time our tribal community sought out to protect a site in this way. We’re very glad to have them on our side,” he says. 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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