Greenberg Traurig, LLP issued the following announcement on Dec. 19.
Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP has selected its Austin office as its 2019 Pro Bono Office the Year and Houston office staff member Adela E. Gonzales as a recipient of the firm’s Pro Bono Staff of the Year Award.
These accolades are part of the GT Pro Bono Awards, recognizing the attorneys and staff who put in countless hours supporting the community. These awards are announced during national Pro Bono Week which takes place during the month of October.
This past year, Austin attorneys demonstrated a fierce commitment and dedication to advocate for the needs of persons of limited means. From volunteering at legal clinics, representing asylum seekers, lobbying Texas legislature and more, the Austin team provided pro bono assistance across a wide spectrum of areas. The Austin pro bono efforts are organized by Sandra D. Gonzalez, a shareholder in the firm’s White Collar Defense & Investigations Practice. Contributing attorneys included:
Justin Bernstein, Associate (Appellate)
Greg Casas, Shareholder (Litigation)
Emily Collins, Associate (Litigation)
Aaron Gregg, Associate (Government Law & Policy)
Elizabeth Hadley, Shareholder (Government Law & Policy)
Kendyl Hanks, Shareholder (Litigation)
JP Haskins, Associate (Corporate)
Alan Hersh, Associate (Litigation)
Karen Kennard, Shareholder (Government Law & Policy)
Nicole Leonard, Associate (Litigation)
Thao Nguyen, Secretary (Litigation - Appellate)
Mark Stratton, Shareholder (Litigation)
Dale Wainwright, Shareholder (Litigation - Appellate)
Erik Weber, Associate (Litigation)
“Our office has a longstanding commitment to pro bono work. The Austin team views service to those in need as both an honor and privilege,” Gonzalez said. “The immeasurable amount of work and dedication the team has shown is absolutely inspiring.”
In addition to the Austin office award, Adela E. Gonzales, project assistant for intellectual property litigation in Houston, won a firm-wide Pro Bono Staff of the Year Award. Gonzales’s selection is a testament to her stellar work and tireless dedication to pro bono, assisting and supporting cases on behalf of immigrant children and others in need.
“Being able to help others has always been a passion of mine,” Gonzales said. “And to be recognized for doing what I love is one of the greatest honors I could receive. I look forward to continuing my pro bono efforts for years to come.”
“Greenberg Traurig is committed to the principle that all persons are entitled to equal access to justice,” said Caroline J. Heller, shareholder in the Litigation Practice of the firm's New York office and the chair of Greenberg Traurig’s Global Pro Bono program. “We are extremely proud of the Austin office, of Adela and the many people who help us leverage our platform to serve our communities. In doing so, they give a voice to those in need and maximize the impact of our pro bono efforts.”
This year the firm also established a new pro bono honor, the Paul J. Brown Pro Bono Award, named in memory of a Houston office attorney who died in December of 2018. Brown was a litigation Shareholder in the Houston office. For years, he also served as a dedicated Pro Bono Coordinator with an unyielding commitment to helping others. Even when he stepped down from that role, he remained committed to the program, attending meetings of the Pro Bono Coordinators at retreats and supporting the Houston Pro Bono Coordinators in their efforts. Brown’s life-long battle with mental illness was known to only his family and very close friends. He worked very hard to live a life that was not defined by his mental health issues. And while he succeeded for many years, in December of 2018, he took his own life, despite tremendous support from his family, work family, and excellent mental health professionals. The firm chose to honor Brown’s life and legacy of public service by presenting the Paul J. Brown Pro Bono Award to attorneys providing pro bono legal services that address mental health issues with the inaugural award going to Gregory Ostfeld (Shareholder, Litigation, Chicago) and Dan Smulian (Shareholder, Litigation, New York) for their work with the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) in Chicago, Illinois.