The 17th Annual Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada Pro Bono Awards Luncheon was held on December 8, 2017. View the event program and see below for information about this year’s awardees. Thank you to our generous sponsors and table purchasers.
2017 AWARD WINNERS
Pro Bono Attorney of the Year: Dawn Lozano
Law Firm of the Year: Kemp Jones & Coulthard
Lied Award for Most Hours for Law Firm: Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP
Lied Award for Most Cases for Law Firm: Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP
Lied Award for Most Hours for Attorney: Dawn Hathaway Thoman
Lied Award for Most Cases for Attorney: Marshal Willick
William S. Boyd Award of Excellence: Wynn Resorts
Justice Nancy Becker Pro Bono Award of Judicial Excellence: Honoarable Cam Ferenbach and Honorable William Cobb
Law Firm Risting Star: Pisanelli Bice
Vince A. Consul Memorial Pro Bono Award: William Brown
Louis Wiener Service Award: Marilyn Caston
Myrna Williams Children’s Pro Bono Award: Mona Kaveh
Public Interest Law Student of Distinction: Seleste Wyse
Ask-A-Lawyer Community Commitment Award: Mary Bacon
Volunteer Education Advocate Award: David Schoen
100 Hours Club:
Dawn Hathaway Thoman
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS
Judge Bill Henderson, Family Court
William S. Boyd School of Law
Bank of America
R&R Partners Foundation
The Rogers Foundation
Bank of Nevada
Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie
Kemp, Jones & Coulthard
Southwest Gas Corporation
Culinary Workers Union, Local 226
THANK YOU TO OUR TABLE PURCHASERS
Hutchison & Steffen
Robyn & Aldo Manzini
Marquis Aurbach Coffing
The Dickerson Karacsonyi Law Group
Nevada Justice Association
Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson & Haluck
Haines & Krieger
Reid Rubinstein Bogatz
John J. Cahill, Public Administrator
AT&T (2 tables)
State Bar of Nevada
Kainen Law Group
Holley Driggs Walch Fine Wray Puzey Thompson
Hanratty Law Group
Gentile Cristalli Miller Armeni Savarese
Holland & Hart
Willick Law Group
FirstMed Health & Wellness Center
Kolesar & Leatham
Garman Turner Gordon
Charles Schwab Bank
Black & LoBello
Hammer Resolution Facilitators
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
Senate Democratic Leader Aaron Ford
Southern Nevada Senior Law Program
Committee to Elect Jason Frierson
Ghandi Deeter Blackham
Edward M. Bernstein & Associates
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Dawn M. Lozano
Gallian Welker & Beckstrom
Garg Golden Law Firm
Boies Schiller Flexner
Nevada Legal News
Pro Bono Attorney of the Year
Dawn M. Lozano Ltd.
This prestigious award recognizes an attorney whose life and practice inspire others to embrace or renew a dedication to volunteerism on behalf of those in need. This volunteer has never been recognized by us before, but over her entire legal career, she has donated so much of herself to helping others.
View Dawn’s tribute video to learn more about her contributions.
Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year
This year’s recipient goes to a firm with an unparalleled commitment to legal aid, pro bono services, and access to justice. The firm contributed over 1,300 hours this year, a truly impressive accomplishment for a firm with 14 attorneys. They adopted the Children’s Attorney Project as their signature, firm-wide pro bono project, and take it very seriously, focusing on infants and toddlers in foster care whose legal and constitutional rights are often overlooked. A team of the firm’s attorneys, led by Randall Jones and Michael Gayan, co-counselled a complex class action with our staff counsel on behalf of more than 10,000 community residents, participating in multiple appeals and writs filed in the Nevada Supreme Court, and even a trip to the U.S. Supreme Court.
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 through a program with the Attorney General’s Office of Military Legal Assistance.
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 689 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
Willick Law Group
This attorney accepted 22 new cases this year. He has been a consistent, tremendous supporter of pro bono for several years. To give you an idea of his commitment, he personally volunteered over 230 hours of pro bono legal work on behalf of his clients this year, and has cultivated a genuine culture of volunteerism at his firm. All four attorneys in his firm contributed over 100 hours of pro bono service this year.
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 they are involved with Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada in so many different ways. Their company’s legal department take pro bono cases involving abused children and can cite child welfare case law as easily as they can gaming law. Their company created a unique program to help their employees gain citizenship, designing free education classes for their employees wishing to gain citizenship, then paying the $725 application fee for them. Not satisfied with that, they created a partnership with Legal Aid Center so that we could help every employee with the over 20 page citizenship application known as the N-400. This past year, over 120 employees were helped. Their chief legal Counsel Kim Sinatra sits on the Board of directors for Legal Aid Center. And finally, they were one of the first companies in Nevada to help us with our endowment fund challenge.
View Wynn Resort’s tribute video to learn more about their contributions.
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 Cam Ferenbach & Honorable William Cobb
This year, we honored two judges who have been significant pro bono supporters for years. Both of these judges provided instrumental assistance in creating and ensuring the continuing success of the Federal Pro Bono Program in the District of Nevada. This year, our awardees made sure that the Program would enjoy even greater success in the future. They both devoted many hours to apply lessons learned in revising and improving the administration of the Program, as well ensuring continuing funding for the reimbursement of costs incurred by pro bono counsel.
Law Firm Rising Star
This award recognizes a law firm which has achieved the greatest advance in pro bono participation over the course of a year.
This year’s awardee is a firm that has made a major impression in the community since its founding and has elevated consistent pro bono service to one of its core principles. That commitment is reflected in the fact that the firm has quickly risen to occupy the sixth spot in terms of total hours contributed by all firms in the community, at 716 hours, for a firm of 11 attorneys.
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.
This year’s winner has been taking cases with the Pro Bono Project for over ten years. However, this last year, he outdid himself, assisting one client with nearly 200 hours of time prosecuting a civil fraud case. This was on top of the 190 hours he had already spent on the case in previous years. Some of the worst cases we see at Legal Aid Center involve individuals who prey not only on one person, but perpetuate their scam over and over again. One such individual preyed on members of the Hispanic community, convincing them they could save their homes from foreclosure by filing lawsuits. By the time our awardee got involved, this defendant had targeted over twenty vulnerable individuals. This attorney sued this individual, securing a judgment of over 1 million dollars, hopefully putting her out of business for good.
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.
Nevada Family Law Group
This year’s recipient graduated from the Boyd School of Law in 2008 and has dedicated substantial time to serving as pro bono counsel to her hometown community members ever since. In 2017 she really took her dedication to the next level. She routinely undertakes representation of multiple clients, including difficult domestic violence, custody, and divorce cases for clients who need assistance dealing with critical life issues.
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.
Kemp Jones & Coulthard
This year’s winner was nominated by our staff CAP counsel, who often observe her inspirational and zealous advocacy on behalf of her several CAP clients in court. She volunteered an incredible 264 hours to her CAP cases this past year alone.
View Mona’s tribute video to learn more about her contributions.
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, was the 2017 Champions of Justice Law Student of the Year, 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 attorney is truly one of a kind. Anyone who has met her knows that she is energetic and full of joy, as well as being an exemplary attorney. It is so admirable that she has made it a priority to give back to the profession by serving those who cannot afford to pay. Among her many other volunteer service pursuits, over the last year she has worked 19 shifts, totaling 38 hours at the Landlord Tenant Ask-A-Lawyer held at the Regional Justice Center Civil Law Self Help Center. Through this program, she provided a lifeline to some of our most desperate clients.
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.
The Abrams & May Law Firm
This year’s award winner is an exceptional volunteer. After a distinguished career in the United States military, he became a Certified Paralegal. He has received numerous awards and commendations for his dedication to service and commitment to excellence. He has also made the time to advocate on behalf of twelve foster children just in the last year. He has consistently offered to take some of the most challenging foster care cases and he advocates for these students with zeal, passion and dedication.