New York State Bar Association Honors Attorneys and Law Firms for Their Generous Volunteer Work Within The Legal Community

By David Alexander

January 15, 2024

New York State Bar Association Honors Attorneys and Law Firms for Their Generous Volunteer Work Within The Legal Community


By David Alexander

(Left to Right): Arthur A. Katz, Anne Reddy and Lawlor Quinlan.

Three attorneys and seven law firms were recognized by the New York State Bar Association President’s Committee on Access to Justice on Thursday, Jan. 18, at the association’s Annual Meeting in New York City.

The awards, which were presented at the Justice for All Luncheon, honors attorneys who have earned Empire State Counsel designation by performing 50 hours of pro bono work in 2023.

In Chief Judge Rowan Wilson’s keynote address, he challenged those present to continue their pro bono work, particularly when it comes to civil legal matters.

“Civil laws are hard to navigate on your own and civil cases could mean the loss of homes, jobs and healthcare,” he said. “It is the responsibility of our profession to provide free legal help to people. Doing so also enriches our own lives.”

Anne Reddy of Greenberg Traurig’s New York Office and Lawlor Quinlan of Connors in Buffalo were honored with the Outstanding Pro Bono Volunteer Award. Arthur A. Katz was the recipient of the Free Legal Answers Volunteer Attorney Award.

“The Justice for All Luncheon affords us the opportunity to thank those who have selflessly dedicated their time and expertise to benefit those who cannot afford legal assistance. The honorees represent one of our association’s most coveted principles – providing access to justice for thousands of New Yorkers who are facing crises,” said New York State Bar Association President Richard Lewis.

Reddy has represented clients who were separated from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border, individuals facing the death penalty and a Native American organization providing AIDS/HIV prevention services that was seeking 501(c)(3) status.

She has helped the New York chapter of a major international religious organization navigate the complexities of local churches splintering off to form new or doctrinally divergent organizations. She also serves the state through her role as counsel supporting the 12 commissioners of the New York State Commission on Judicial Nomination, where she has spent more than eight years researching candidates for a seat on New York’s highest court.

Lawlor has provided pro bono representation through the Erie County Bar Association’s Volunteer Lawyers Project. He was honored with the New York State Bar Association President’s Pro Bono Service Award in 2017 for his work representing indigent clients seeking asylum and other relief from the Immigration Courts.

Lawlor is representing women in two different cases seeking relief from convictions that resulted from their being sexually trafficked. He has served as a volunteer and board member of the Response to Love Center, a community outreach center that focuses on the holistic treatment of poverty in Buffalo.

Katz, who has received several leadership awards for his alumni activities on behalf of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, addressed the most inquiries through Free Legal Answers this past year. Free Legal Answers is a Virtual Legal Advice Clinic where attorneys can reply to questions from the public on civil legal issues on a limited scope basis. The New York State Bar Association is the New York State administrator for this program on behalf of the American Bar Association.

In addition, Hutton Andrews Kurth is being honored with the Free Legal Answers Law Firm Award for having the most volunteers.

The Empire State Counsel Justice for All Luncheon also honors law firms that have made pro bono work a core tenant of their mission. The following firms will be recognized for their volunteer work within the legal community during the past year.

  • Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
  • Davis Polk & Wardwell.
  • Willkie Farr & Gallagher.
  • Barclay Damon.
  • Nixon Peabody.
  • Phillips Lytle.

Honoring attorneys who render extraordinary service to the public and the profession is part of NYSBA’s Annual Meeting tradition.

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