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Vedder Thinking | News Vedder Price Pro Bono Committee Recognizes Outstanding Attorneys at the 2022 Pro Bono Awards Reception

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On February 9, 2023, Vedder Price’s Pro Bono Committee held its fourth annual Pro Bono Awards reception to recognize the attorneys and paralegals who dedicated their time to pro bono service in 2022.

The event draws attention to the important causes to which attorneys and paralegals donate their time, and highlights the broad scope of pro bono work being done at the firm. Attorneys and paralegals who reached various milestones were recognized at both an office level as well as an all-firm level.

The committee, led by Co-Chairs Michelle Olson and Patrick Spangler, honored those who dedicated the most time to pro bono work in 2022, and those who act as advocates for the pro bono program and encourage involvement from others. The committee oversees the firm’s pro bono activities and works to develop relationships with pro bono agencies around the world.

Due to the extraordinary need for provision of legal services to those unable to pay, the firm’s lawyers are committed to fulfilling their professional obligation to provide pro bono legal services to the communities in which they operate. In 2022, Vedder Price attorneys and paralegals performed 8,658.5 hours of pro bono legal services.

Vedder Price is proud to recognize all the attorneys and paralegals named below for their outstanding commitment to providing pro bono legal assistance to those in need. 

All Firm Awards

Most Pro Bono Hours – All Firm – Shareholder – Anthony Pacheco

In 2022 Pacheco partnered with Public Counsel and other lawyers in his office on an important asylum case, involving the long-running case of a young El Salvadoran woman. His role in this case highlights Pacheco’s unyielding dedication to diversity and inclusion. He was also named a 2023 Leader of Influence: Minority Attorneys by the Los Angeles Business Journal. 

Most Pro Bono Hours – All Firm – Associate – Rachel Easton 

Easton provides pro bono legal counsel to many charitable organizations. The main charity she worked with in 2022 was focused on empowering girls by providing educational opportunities to break the cycle of poverty. Rachel assisted in three complex areas of HR/employment law in the UK, those being: the employment status of individuals, the calculation of holiday pay for workers and National Minimum Wage issues.  

Most Pro Bono Hours – All Firm – Paralegal – Monica Milkint

Milkint worked on the case team for the Veteran Advocacy Project. The team applied for a veteran’s discharge paperwork to be upgraded to honorably discharged. Changing a Veteran’s character of service would expand the veteran’s eligibility for a variety of benefits and resources. In this case, the veteran will be able to seek additional mental health services for PTSD correlated to their military service. Throughout the year, Milkint also participated in client interviews for legal guardianship cases.

Pro Bono Spirit Award – All Firm – Amal Rafiq

Rafiq spearheaded the firm’s involvement in a legal taskforce that provided assistance to multiple clients in preparing and filing asylum applications for a group of female, highly trained special operations soldiers from Afghanistan. These soldiers were in the Female Tactical Platoon (“FTP”), a group that accompanied U.S. special operations forces in Afghanistan in missions involving capturing members of extremist groups. Their role was crucial in gaining knowledge and access to the information offered by women and children who would be present at target sites. After the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the subsequent takeover of the Afghan government by the Taliban, the FTP were threatened with torture and death by the Taliban and were compelled to flee their homes. With the help of U.S. soldiers, many were able to evacuate and be granted humanitarian parole status in the United States. The only path to citizenship is to apply for asylum, or demonstrate that they would be subject to persecution on the grounds of their ethnicity, religion, political opinion, and membership in the FTP were they ever to return to Afghanistan. 

Significant Pro Bono Contributors by Office

Randall Lending – Shareholder 
Sudip Mitra – Associate 

Arianna Goodman – Shareholder 
Mark Svalina – Associate 

Henrietta Worthington – Solicitor 

Los Angeles
Eric McDonough – Shareholder 
Charlie Wang – Associate 

New York
Jonathan Wexler – Shareholder
Francisca Wolfenson Chimenelli – Associate 

Washington, D.C.
Amy Bess – Shareholder
Amal Rafiq – Associate 


Rachel Easton


Amal Rafiq


Randall M. Lending


Sudip K. Mitra


Arianna Goodman


Mark C. Svalina


Henrietta Worthington


Charlie Y. Wang


Eric R. McDonough


Jonathan A. Wexler


Francisca T. Wolfenson Chimenelli


Amy L. Bess