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Vedder Thinking | News Vedder Price Pro Bono Committee Recognizes Outstanding Attorneys and Their Causes

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On January 23, Vedder Price’s Pro Bono Committee held receptions at the firm’s offices to recognize the attorneys and paralegals who had dedicated their time to pro bono service in 2019, to draw attention to the important causes we partner with in our communities and to discuss the program and encourage more pro bono service in 2020. Attorneys and paralegals who reached various milestones were recognized at both an office level as well as on an all-firm level.

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. In 2019, Vedder Price attorneys and paralegals performed over 7,000 hours of pro bono legal services.

Pro Bono Committee Co-Chairs Michelle Olson and Patrick Spangler recognized those with the most hours logged and those who act as advocates of the pro bono program and encourage involvement from others. 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.

All Firm Awards

Most Pro Bono Hours – All Firm – Shareholder – Scott Olson

  • In addition to his service on the Pro Bono Committee, Mr. Olson dedicated 264 hours to pro bono work for Raphael House in 2019.

Most Pro Bono Hours – All Firm – Associate – Jani Mikel and Cody Libman

  •  Ms. Mikel dedicated 353 hours to pro bono work in 2019; Mr. Libman dedicated 389 hours to pro bono work in 2019.

Most Pro Bono Hours – All Firm – Paralegal – Shannon Wysocki

  •  Ms. Wysocki dedicated 66 hours to pro bono work in 2019.

Pro Bono Spirit Award – All Firm – Associate – Caitlin Podbielski

  •  In addition to her service on the Pro Bono Committee, Ms. Podbielski serves as the liaison for Lawyers for the Creative Arts. She assisted on numerous pro bono matters in 2019, including work on/for Girls Inc., Independent Futures, Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind, In the Realm of Senses, and Help for Heroes. She also serves as a go-to advisor for Vedder Price attorneys providing pro bono services in the non-profit space.

Pro Bono Spirit Award – David Hernandez

  • In addition to his service on the Pro Bono Committee, Mr. Hernandez serves as the liaison for KIND – Kids in Need of Defense. Through his work with KIND, David has organized several teams of Vedder attorneys to represent and advocate for unaccompanied minors who are seeking asylum in the US. A former captain in the Air Force, Mr. Hernandez has also been active in providing services to veterans of the Armed Forces.

Office Awards

Pro Bono Contribution Award – Chicago – Shareholder – Tom Dee

  •  In addition to his service on the Pro Bono Committee, Mr. Dee dedicated 193 hours to pro bono in 2019. He serves as the liaison for the National Immigrant Justice Center and his pro bono work in 2019 included work on/for the Loyola Children’s Committee, Zuleyma Emperatriz Manzanon Zelada , and Friends of the Chicago River.

Pro Bono Contribution Award – Chicago – Associate – Sudip Mitra

  • Mr. Mitra dedicated 198 hours to pro bono in 2019, including substantial work on a prisoner’s rights case and work on/for Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind and Aspire.

Pro Bono Contribution Award – Washington, DC – Shareholder – Sadina Montani 

  •  In addition to her service on the Pro Bono Committee, Ms. Montani dedicated 163 hours to pro bono in 2019. Her pro bono work in 2019 included work for/on Community of Hope, PowerShift Network, Ayuda, Greater DC Diaper Bank, oneTILT, Education Law Center, and National Housing Trust.

Pro Bono Contribution Award – Washington, DC – Associate – Meg Inomata

  • Ms. Inomata dedicated 190 hours to pro bono in 2019, including work for/on EcoAmerica, Everybody Wins!, Community of Hope, DC Volunteers Law Project, Howell v DC Bar, Sister Mentors, ChangeSummer, Education Law Center, and the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Pro Bono Contribution Award – Los Angeles – Shareholder – Anthony Pacheco

  •  Mr. Pacheco dedicated 74 hours to pro bono in 2019, including work on/for Zuleyma Emperatriz Manzano Zelada, the TransLatina Coalition, and the San Diego Junior Theatre.\

Pro Bono Contribution Award – Los Angeles – Associate - Deborah Hedley

  • Ms. Hedley dedicated 181 hours to pro bono in 2019, including work for Zuleyma Emperatriz Manzana Zelado and the San Diego Junior Theatre.

Pro Bono Contribution Award – New York – Shareholder – Jon Wexler

  •  Mr. Wexler dedicated 97 hours to pro bono in 2019, including work for the Cerebral Palsey Foundation, Malaria No More, and the Westchester Exceptional Children’s School.

Pro Bono Contribution Award – New York – Associate – Monique Chase

  • Ms. Chase dedicated 121 hours to pro bono in 2019, including work for the Education Law Center.



Professionals



Thomas R. Dee

Shareholder



Deborah A. Hedley

Associate



David M. Hernandez

Shareholder



Cody D. Libman

Associate



Jani K. Mikel

Associate



Sudip K. Mitra

Associate



Sadina Montani

Shareholder



Scott H. Olson

Shareholder



Caitlin C. Podbielski

Shareholder



Anthony Pacheco

Shareholder



Jonathan A. Wexler

Shareholder