Valdespino wins 2003 ABA Pro Bono Publico Award

first_imgValdespino wins 2003 ABA Pro Bono Publico Award June 1, 2003 Regular News Jacqueline Valdespino of Coconut Grove will receive one of the 2003 American Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Awards during the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco at a noon luncheon August 11 at the Moscone Center.ABA President Alfred P. Carlton, Jr., will host the Pro Bono Publico Awards luncheon, and San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown is the invited keynote speaker.Receiving awards with Valdespino — who also won Florida’s Tobias Simon Pro Bono Service Award this year — will be Kimball Anderson of Chicago; Mary Pat Toups of Laguna Woods, Calif.; the law firm of Latham & Watkins; and the Legal Division of Pfizer Inc., in New York.Valdespino will receive this year’s ABA Ann Liechty Pro Bono Child Custody Award, presented in memory of a former Pro Bono Publico Award recipient to honor a lawyer who has provided outstanding free legal services to children in custody cases.Valdespino has dedicated her 16-year legal career to enhancing the lives of children through the delivery of quality free legal services to children in child custody proceedings. She has served as a guardian ad litem in numerous family and matrimonial cases, and in 1997 was named as the Put Something Back organization’s Guardian Ad Litem of the Year. Since 1992, when she established her own law practice, Valdespino has accepted 33 pro bono guardian ad litem assignments, to which she has dedicated nearly 2,000 hours of work. She also served on the board of directors of the Child Abuse Prevention Program in Miami and as a mentor in The Florida Bar Family Law Section Mentor Program.“The individuals and firms receiving 2003 ABA Pro Bono Publico Awards have displayed tireless dedication to ensure that legal services are available to so many people in need,” said Debbie Segal, chair of the ABA committee. “Their creativity, energy and innovative approaches set an example for the entire legal profession. They deserve our highest commendation.”Anderson, of Chicago, was instrumental in developing the concept that members of his law firm should individually pledge to undertake a minimum of 35 hours of pro bono work, a significant departure from the “collective” goals most firms establish. He also led the private bar’s efforts in 2002 to persuade then Illinois Gov. George Ryan to commute the death sentences of all Illinois death row inmates, a natural extension of his extensive pro bono work representing those sentenced to death.Toups, of Laguna Woods, Calif., has spent her legal career in pro bono service. Since being admitted to the California Bar in 1974, she has been a volunteer lawyer at the Legal Aid Society of Orange County and the Public Defenders’ Office at the Orange County Juvenile Court. She has worked pro bono at the Volunteer Attorneys Office of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, where she represented abused children. She currently provides pro bono services to the elderly, works as a volunteer lawyer on the American Association of Retired Person’s legal hotline, and serves as a volunteer lawyer to senior citizens at the Senior Citizens Legal Advocacy Program of the Legal Aid Society of Orange County.Latham & Watkins, an international law firm with more than 1,400 lawyers in 20 offices worldwide, has a longstanding commitment to providing pro bono legal services, financial support, and volunteer time to charitable organizations and to individuals throughout the world. It is a founding member of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project and is a signatory to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge — a commitment to devote an annual average of 60 hours per lawyer to free legal representation.The Legal Division of Pfizer Inc. has a long record of pro bono work, which it formalized in 2001 by establishing its in-house pro bono program, which features a full-time legal division staff position dedicated to the delivery of pro bono services.center_img Valdespino wins 2003 ABA Pro Bono Publico Awardlast_img

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