Vedder Price

Vedder Thinking | News Vedder Price Completes July “Pro Bono Challenge” Resulting in 1,071 Hours of Pro Bono

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On August 11, 2020, Vedder Price’s Pro Bono Committee held a virtual reception recognizing the attorneys and paralegals who participated in the July Pro Bono Challenge (“the Challenge”), billing at least 5 or more hours of pro bono work in the month of July, as well as the organizations they have assisted. Sixty-eight attorneys and paralegals completed the Challenge, and 120 attorneys and paralegals provided a combined 1,071 total hours of pro bono work.

Due to the extraordinary need for provision of legal services to those unable to pay, our lawyers are committed to fulfilling their professional obligation to provide pro bono legal services to the communities in which they operate. Thus far in 2020, Vedder Price attorneys and paralegals performed over 5,144 hours of pro bono legal services.

Pro Bono Committee Co-Chairs Michelle Olson and Patrick Spangler recognized the attorneys and paralegals who reached various milestones at both an office level as well as on an all-firm level. The Pro Bono Committee oversees the firm’s pro bono activities and works to develop relationships with pro bono agencies around the world. We are proud to recognize the attorneys and paralegals below for providing legal assistance to those in need. Please click the links of the organizations to learn more about supporting their causes.

All Firm Awards

  • Shareholder – Scott H. Olson
    • Mr. Olson dedicated nearly 30 hours to pro bono in July, continuing his significant work with Raphael House, a homeless shelter in San Francisco that provides a safe home and comprehensive counseling to residents even once they have found stable housing. Mr. Olson also provided counseling to the Turnaround Management Association, and association dedicated to helping distressed businesses.
  • Associate – Nate Wright
    • Mr. Wright billed nearly 45 pro bono hours in July, doing a significant portion of his work for the San Diego Junior Theatre and also working on a veterans discharge matter for Bamby Salcedo.
  • Summer Associate – Teddy Gelderman
    • Mr. Gelderman dedicated nearly 26 hours to pro bono in July. In addition to providing pro bono advice on trademarks, Mr. Gelderman worked on expungement of criminal records through Legal Aid Chicago, assisting a client with his discharge upgrade application and providing pro bono counsel to INCubatoredu, a non-profit dedicated providing entrepreneur education in high school.
  • Paralegal – Bella Schamber
    • Ms. Schamber dedicated 45 hours to pro bono work during the Challenge. She worked on numerous veterans advocacy matters, including many discharge upgrade applications.
  • Summer Associate Advisor & Summer Associate Team– Jani Mikel & Jason Sobelman
    • Mr. Sobelman and Ms. Mikel billed a combined 34.4 pro bono hours in July, which was the most amount of any Summer Associate Advisor/Advisee team. The duo worked on a number of criminal defense matters arising out of the recent protests, and also worked on criminal record expungement matters through Legal Aid Chicago. Mr. Sobelman additionally worked on an immigration asylum matter.

Office Awards

  • Chicago – Shareholder Jeanah Park & Associate Ryan M. Helgeson
    • Ms. Park billed the highest number of pro bono hours of the Chicago shareholders, doing significant work on an immigration asylum matter and also working on a prisoners civil rights case and providing assistance to Asian Human Services.
    • Mr. Helgeson billed the highest number of pro bono hours of the Chicago associates, working on several immigration asylum matters.
  • Washington, DC – Shareholder Amy L. Bess & Associate Tamara Droubi
    • Ms. Bess billed the most number of pro bono hours of the Washington, DC shareholders during the challenge. She did a significant amount of counseling for the EVERYBODY WINS!, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving lives through shared reading experiences. She also did work for Change Summer, a non-profit dedicated to providing equal access to high-quality summer camps and enrichment programs.
    • Ms. Droubi billed the most number of pro bono hours of the DC associates during the challenge, working on multiple veterans discharge upgrades.
  • London – Jonathan Edgelow
  • Los Angeles – Shareholder Anthony Pacheco & Associate Austin Schulz-Amos
    • Mr. Pacheco billed the highest number of pro bono of the Los Angeles Shareholders, coordinating a number of veterans discharge upgrade cases.
    • Mr. Schulz-Amos billed the second-highest number of pro bono hours of the LA associates.
  • New York – Jonathan A. Wexler
    • Mr. Wexler billed the highest number of pro bono hours of any of the New Yorl attorneys, providing employment counseling to Malaria No More.
  • San Francisco – Mindy M. Wong
    • Ms. Wong dedicated nearly 25 hours during the challenge to providing pro bono advice and counseling to Turnaround Management Associates, a non-profit association focused on helping distressed businesses. Turnaround needed assistance with respect to canceling their annual conference that was canceled due to the pandemic. She also did a significant amount of work for an individual working in the entertainment industry. Our client and her business partner entered into an agreement to develop reality-based television shows. They had a disagreement which led to them going their separate ways. Ms. Wong is helping the client establish her rights to any projects that the client worked on prior to dissolving the partnership.

Finally, every Challenge participant was entered into a drawing to win a $1,000 donation to the legal aid organization of their choice. The firm is pleased to announce that The Public Counsel Center for Veterans’ Advancement will receive the donation on behalf of Jacqueline M. Helmrick.

Pro Bono Reception


Amy L. Bess


Tamara Droubi


Jonathan Edgelow


Jacqueline Helmrick Carlson


Anthony Pacheco


Jeanah Park


Jonathan A. Wexler


Mindy M. Wong