The 18th Annual Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada Pro Bono Awards Luncheon was held on December 7, 2018. View the event program and see below for information about this year’s awardees. Thank you to our generous sponsors and table purchasers.
2018 AWARD WINNERS
Pro Bono Attorney of the Year: Mona Kaveh
Law Firm of the Year: Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP
Lied Award for Most Hours for Law Firm: Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP
Lied Award for Most Cases for Law Firm: Holley Driggs Walch Fine Puzey Stein Thompson
Lied Award for Most Hours for Attorney: Dawn Hathaway Thoman
Lied Award for Most Cases for Attorney: Kathleen J. England
William S. Boyd Award of Excellence: Bank of Nevada
Justice Nancy Becker Pro Bono Award of Judicial Excellence: Honorable Michael L. Douglas, Chief Justice Nevada Supreme Court
Award of Excellence: Daniel F. Polsenberg & Abraham Smith
Vince A. Consul Memorial Pro Bono Award: Michael Kind
Louis Wiener Service Award: Jason Onello
Myrna Williams Children’s Pro Bono Award: Kristopher S. Pre
Public Interest Law Student of Distinction: Samantha Scofield
Ask-A-Lawyer Community Commitment Award: Arturo Sanchez
Volunteer Education Advocate Award: Emily Strand
Kemp Jones & Coulthard, LLP
This prestigious award recognizes an attorney whose life and practice over the past year serves as a singular inspiration to others to embrace or renew a dedication to volunteerism on behalf of those in need. She stays incredibly busy, but still finds time to take on significant pro bono work, especially in the CAP area. Importantly, she does not limit her contributions to direct representation, but serves as a consistent and active inspiration, and mentor to others around her to encourage them to get involved as well.
View Mona’s tribute video to learn more about her contributions.
Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year
This year’s recipient of the Law Firm of the Year Award goes to a firm with a truly exemplary commitment to Legal Aid Center, Pro Bono services, and access to justice. The firm contributed over 1300 hours this year, a truly impressive accomplishment for a firm with 29 attorneys in their Las Vegas office. Amazingly, they had four attorneys in the 50 hour club, and six of their attorneys in the 100 hour club! You have already heard a lot about this firm’s commitment to service today, as their attorneys have picked up a few other awards. Putting it all together under one roof in one year, earns this team the top firm award.
View Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie, LLP tribute video to learn more about their contribution.
Lied Awards are given in recognition of the Lied Foundation Trust, a foundation which has significantly contributed to our organization for more than a decade.
Most Pro Bono Hours by a Law Firm
This firm has successfully institutionalized a culture of giving back, embodying the highest ideals of the attorney’s professional responsibility of pro bono service. This firm consistently makes pro bono an integral part of their culture and identity.
Most Pro Bono Cases by a Law Firm
This firm accepted accepted 27 new pro bono cases this year in a variety of areas of law, including legal assistance to our service members and veterans. For example, they have taken cases in areas as diverse as bankruptcy, CAP, collections, landlord tenant, name changes, gender marker changes, federal copyright infringement defense, divorce and custody, and Nevada Supreme Court appeals in the areas of contract, civil procedure, and inmate civil rights.
Most Pro Bono Hours by an Attorney
Dawn Hathaway Thoman
This attorney makes pro bono a core part of her practice. She has embraced the practice of helping children through the Children’s Attorneys Project, and as a result directs her substantial skill to going above and beyond for all of her clients. In the past year, she has contributed an astonishing 643 hours of time serving children in the foster care system, to ensure their wishes are represented in the process of finding safe, loving, and permanent homes.
Most Pro Bono Cases by an Attorney
Kathleen J. England
Gilbert & England Law Firm
This year’s awardee has been a consistent, tremendous supporter of pro bono for several years. She loves this community very deeply. After October 1, she turned her talent and resources to helping survivors of that vicious attack however she could. In the first week after the shooting, she helped build the Remembrance/Healing Garden downtown. She then reached out directly to Legal Aid Center to offer her legal services for wage and employment claims. Due directly to their dedication, all of her clients received settlements through the Labor Commissioner.
William S. Boyd Award of Excellence
This award is given in honor of William Boyd, to commemorate his extraordinary service to our organization. Each year it honors a business or community leader who has been an outstanding supporter of legal aid and pro bono services.
This year’s recipient stood out because of their sincere commitment to funding legal aid and pro bono efforts. Their tremendous team has become a welcome fixture at so many of our events throughout the year, during which they have demonstrated their dedication to supporting access to justice and the mission of Legal Aid Center.
Justice Nancy Becker Pro Bono Award of Judicial Excellence
This award is given in honor of Nancy Becker, one of the founders of the Pro Bono Project and a strong advocate for access to justice. Each year it recognizes a member of the judiciary who has given his or her time, energy, and influence to encourage pro bono work and support access to justice.
Honorable Michael L. Douglas, Chief Justice Nevada Supreme Court
This jurist has made commitment to advancing pro bono service an integral part of his professional identity in a way few will ever match. He can be counted on to attend every access to justice meeting and pro bono event, and an anticipated highlight of most of his appearances is his usual delivery of unscripted, stirring and inspirational comments. He comes from a tradition of public servants who understand that to accept a high public calling brings with it the responsibility to use that platform to encourage others to be mindful of those around us who don’t enjoy the privileges we take for granted.
View tribute video for Honorable Michael L. Douglas.
Award of Excellence
This award is given to a person or entity that goes above and beyond in providing pro bono services, or support and assistance to pro bono and access to justice.
Daniel Polsenberg & Abraham Smith
Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie, LLP
Our honorees have gone above and beyond expectations in an area of law not represented by one of our other awards.This year that area is appeals cases placed through our amazing program with the Nevada Supreme Court. This year’s honorees have been leaders in this program, contributing both as a part of the Committee that oversees the program as well as volunteering to take on an amazing 6 cases through the program over the last year. They also accept many other appeals cases involving the appeals of abused children, often involving very important issues to our clients. They will drop everything to accept a call from us.
Vince Consul Memorial Pro Bono Award
This award is given in memory of Vince Consul, a long-time advocate for access to justice. Each year it recognizes an attorney who made a substantial commitment to a client with a civil matter.
Kazerouni Law Group, APC
Some of the worst cases we see at Legal Aid Center involve individuals who prey not only on one person, but perpetuate their predatory behavior over and over again. This is exactly the type of case our awardee is especially good at. In fact, over the past year or so, he has taken on two lines of cases against common defendants where businesses have conducted a scheme to take money from a series of our clients. In the brief time he has been volunteering with us, he has already taken 14 of our most challenging consumer protection cases.
View Michael Kind’s tribute video to learn more about his contribution.
Louis Wiener Service Award
This award is given in memory of Louis Wiener for his dedication in helping victims of domestic violence. Each year it honors someone who has made substantial contributions in representing victims.
Onello Law Group
This year’s recipient is an experienced family law practitioner, he routinely undertakes representation of difficult domestic violence, custody, and divorce cases for clients who need assistance dealing with critical life issues. In fact, he spent nearly 100 hours this past year representing domestic violence and other clients, including CAP children.
Myrna Williams Children’s Pro Bono Award
This award is given in honor of Myrna Williams, who was an instrumental force in obtaining legal representation for abused children in foster care. Each year it recognizes an attorney who made an extraordinary difference in the life of a child.
Kristopher S. Pre
This year’s winner volunteered an impressive 91 hours to his CAP cases alone this past year. But that is only part of the story; our awardee also serves as a Volunteer Education Advocate for foster children. In fact, he has served as a Volunteer Education Advocate for six children in addition to his CAP work. And he has also done pro bono custody work in Family Court.
Public Interest Law Student of Distinction
We are so fortunate to have one of the best law schools in the nation right here in our community – the William S. Boyd School of Law. Through the leadership of its deans and faculty, the law school has been committed to public interest law, pro bono service, and our own organization, since its inception. This award recognizes a law student who has made a substantial commitment to the community by doing public interest work and promoting access to justice.
This year’s recipient is a third-year student who has a long history of serving others. She is a Boyd Public Interest Fellow, has served as a Volunteer Education Advocate, and is a Kids’ Court School Educator, along with many other public service activities.
Ask-A-Lawyer Community Commitment Award
This award is given to a volunteer whose tremendous commitment week after week makes the Ask-A-Lawyer Program possible.
This year’s recipient, among his many other volunteer service pursuits, over the last year he has worked an unbelievable 33 shifts, totaling nearly 100 hours at Family Ask-A-Lawyer. Many of the clients at these events are facing daunting family situations involving custody, support or even violence, they have no idea how to proceed, and they need to speak to a lawyer right away about making their situation right. This volunteer provided a lifeline to some of our most desperate clients. To give you an idea of his commitment to pro bono service, he also provided another 40 hours of pro bono direct representation, separate and apart from his Ask a Lawyer service!
Volunteer Education Advocate Award
This award recognizes a non-attorney volunteer who has made a difference in the life of a child with special education needs.
This year’s award winner is an exceptional volunteer. She is a third-year law student at the William S. Boyd School of Law, pursuing a career in public interest or family law. She is active in the Public Interest Law Association, Kids Court, the Organization of Women Lawyers, and Phi Alpha Delta. She also serves as an Arbitrator through the Saltman Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution. Despite all those time commitments, she still made the time to advocate on the behalf of Twenty Five foster children in the last two years!
100 Hours Club:
Dawn Hathaway Thoman
Jeanette “Jae” Barrick
Rachel Sloane Tygret
Hillary Gaston Walsh
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS
Judge Bill Henderson – Family Court
Robyn and Aldo Manzini
Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie
Nevada State Bank
William S. Boyd School of Law
Boyd Gaming Corporation
Southwest Gas Corporation
Litigation Section of the State Bar of Nevada
Kemp Jones & Coulthard
R&R Partners Foundation
Bank of Nevada
Bank of America
Culinary Union, Local 226
THANK YOU TO OUR TABLE PURCHASERS
Kainen Law Group
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Nevada Justice Association
Charles Schwab Bank
Marquis Aurbach Coffing
Holley Driggs Walch Fine Puzey Stein & Thompson
Speaker Jason Frierson
Reid Rubinstein Bogatz
Nevada Senate Democrats
Goldsmith & Guymon
Howard & Howard
Springel & Fink
Mutual of America
Rob Telles for Clark County Public Administrator
Willick Law Group
Thomas & Mack Company
Holland & Hart
Hutchison & Steffen
Clark Hill PLLC
Ghandi Deeter Blackham Law
Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson & Haluck
Advanced Resolution Management
The Dickerson Karacsonyi Law Group
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
Edward M. Bernstein & Associates
FirstMed Health & Wellness Center
Hammer Resolution Facilitators
Southern Nevada Senior Law Program
Garman Turner Gordon
Gallian Welker & Beckstrom
Garg Golden Law Firm
State Bar of Nevada
Nevada Legal News
Law Offices of David C. Nelson