Akin Gump Pro Bono Awards Recognize Firm’s Best U.S., Int’l Public Interest Work

(Washington, D.C.) – On June 22, Akin Gump celebrated its annual Pro Bono Awards, recognizing members of the Akin Gump community who contributed to the firm’s more than 70,000 hours of pro bono work in 2015.   

The event, hosted by firm chairperson Kim Koopersmith in concert with pro bono partner Steven Schulman, included a videoconference among all U.S. offices, as well as individual office celebrations. The individuals, teams and matters recognized at the firmwide ceremonies were:

  • Pro Bono Office of the Year: the New York office, for its demonstrated commitment to increasing pro bono work in 2015
  • Pro Bono Practice Group of the Year: the Los Angeles corporate group, for performing an average of 105 pro bono hours per attorney in 2015, a particularly remarkable number for a practice group focused solely on transactional matters
  • Pro Bono Partner of the Year: Barbara Mullin (Philadelphia, intellectual property), for her fearless representation of pro bono clients
  • Pro Bono Counsel of the Year: Roxanne Tizravesh (Houston, litigation), for her many years of advocacy and legal work on behalf of domestic violence and trafficking victims
  • Pro Bono Associate of the Year: Lauren Connell (New York, corporate) for her ongoing work with detained Central American immigrant woman and children following her four months of service as the first coordinator of the Karnes Immigrant Family Pro Bono Project in Karnes City, Texas
  • International Pro Bono Attorney of the Year: Thiha Tun (London, investment funds) in recognition of his work advancing social venture funds, including funds that expand training programs in India and independent living programs for special needs adults in the U.K.
  • Aravind Ambalavanan and Frey Getahun (Washington, information technology) as recipients of the 2016 Diane Streat Award, named after a longtime Akin Gump Dallas paralegal who passed away in 2013 and who exemplified the very best in volunteerism and community service both inside and outside of the firm. Mr. Amblavanan and Ms. Getahun were recognized for their work assisting former Akin Gump Equal Justice Works fellow Krista Selanu to develop a phone app that provides basic legal information to Arkansas families with sick children.
  • Pro Bono Litigation Matter of the Year: a Los Angeles team’s work with the Disability Rights Legal Center 
  • Pro Bono Transactional/Counseling Matter of the Year: a Washington, D.C. team’s work with the Smashing Walnuts Foundation, helping to secure $12.6 million annually in federal funding for pediatric cancer research
  • Larry Tanenbaum as the 2016 Akin Gump Pro Bono Hall of Fame inductee in recognition of his decades of leadership in the pro bono practice, representing almost 100 pro bono clients and serving as a mentor to the next generation of pro bono lawyers. Mr. Tanenbaum joins an esteemed list of Akin Gump Hall of Fame recipients: Robert Strauss, Alan Feld, Vernon Jordan, Colleen Coyle, Stan Samorajczyk, Judge William Norris, Rex Heinke, Michael Elrod, Diane Couchman, Daniel Micciche, Donald Alexander, John Dowd, Howard Jacobson, Mark MacDougall, Judge Michael Small and Judge Patricia Millett.

In Akin Gump’s Washington, D.C. office, the awards ceremony was bookended by a silent auction and raffle that raised over $21,000 for the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, and the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, shattering the previous year’s total.

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 900 lawyers in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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