NEW YORK — Human Rights First today announced that three law firms will be honored with the Marvin E. Frankel Award for Pro Bono Service: Greenberg Traurig LLP, Latham & Watkins LLP, and Morrison Foerster. Human Rights First congratulates these law firms on this accomplishment and their continued commitment to life-saving pro bono work.
The Frankel Award is presented annually to law firms that demonstrate outstanding commitment to pro bono service, helping Human Rights First achieve justice for refugees in the United States. Human Rights First will officially present the awards during its annual in-person awards celebration dinner on October 24th in New York City.
“Over the past year, pro bono attorneys around the country have stepped up in historic numbers to represent refugees fleeing Afghanistan, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the many other conflicts and human rights abuses that occur around the world,” said Jenna Gilbert, Director of Refugee Representation, at Human Rights First. “The law firms we honor with this year’s Marvin E. Frankel Award have demonstrated their commitment as extraordinary leaders in pro bono during this challenging period. Thanks to their tireless work, they have changed lives and provided asylum seekers with the legal protections they deserve to feel empowered in their new communities.”
The award is named for Judge Marvin E. Frankel, co-founder and former chairman of Human Rights First. During his lifetime, Judge Frankel was a champion for the human rights movement and understood the critical impact pro bono representation can have on the lives of clients and lawyers. Under his guidance, Human Rights First developed a nationally recognized pro bono representation program that is now one of the largest of its kind in the country.
In 2021, our refugee representation team partnered with 2,139 pro bono attorneys across 175 law firms, corporations, and law school clinics to provide standard-setting, life-saving legal representation to asylum seekers from around the world. Despite ongoing court closures and other delays, our team won asylum or related relief for 89 clients, won adjustment of status for 66 clients, secured citizenship for two clients, reunited 21 families, and conducted 15 trainings for our allies in the legal profession.
From the 2022 Marvin E. Frankel Award honorees:
Greenberg Traurig LLP
“We are incredibly honored to receive the Marvin E. Frankel award, which we are only able to earn due to the strong strategic partnership Greenberg Traurig and Human Rights First have shared on a number of pro bono matters over the years. This award is a reflection of the commitment Greenberg Traurig has always had to uplifting our communities through pro bono work and philanthropy, particularly under the leadership of our Global Pro Bono Program Chair Caroline Heller. It has been humbling to see our attorneys in California, across the United States and around the world come together to help vulnerable communities that have been forced from their homes with little or no resources.” — Vincent Chieffo and Adam Siegler, Co-Pro Bono Coordinators for Greenberg Traurig’s Los Angeles Office.
Latham & Watkins LLP
“We are deeply honored by this award from Human Rights First. For more than two decades, we have partnered with Human Rights First on matters designed to promote and safeguard the rights of asylees and refugees in the United States. We are grateful to be recognized for our pro bono commitment, and very proud to collaborate with Human Rights First on this fundamental work.” — Marc Jaffe, Office Managing Partner of Latham & Watkins’ New York office.
“The dedication and advocacy of the attorneys and staff at Human Rights First are second to none. It has been an honor to work with them very closely over the past year and we are grateful for this recognition of our partnership.” — Dorothy Fernandez, Pro Bono Counsel, Morrison Foerster.