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Awards and Recognition

As a result of our commitment to pro bono work, we have received the following awards and recognition:

On October 16, 2018, The Legal Aid Society awarded Cravath with the 2018 Pro Bono Publico Award in recognition of outstanding pro bono service, dedication and commitment to the organization and its clients. The Firm received the award in recognition of its work on juvenile rights issues. In addition, partner Darin McAtee was nominated for individual recognition.

On October 25, 2017, The Legal Aid Society awarded Cravath with the 2017 Pro Bono Publico Award in recognition of outstanding pro bono service, dedication and commitment to the organization and its clients. In addition, a number of attorneys were nominated for individual recognition, including partners Damaris HernándezDarin McAtee and Rachel Skaistis.

On October 17, 2017, Cravath was honored by Sanctuary for Families at its annual “Above & Beyond Pro Bono Achievement Awards and Benefit,” which was held in New York City. The awards recognize “outstanding pro bono representation and advocacy” provided to victims of domestic violence, sex trafficking and related forms of gender violence. Cravath was selected as a 2017 honoree for its work on a Sixth Circuit amicus brief, which focused on domestic violence issues that must be considered in Hague Convention abduction cases. The Cravath team working with Sanctuary for Families on this matter was led by partner Rachel G. Skaistis.

On June 14, 2017, Cravath was honored for its longstanding commitment to pro bono work by MFY Legal Services Inc., an independent, not‑for‑profit law firm dedicated to achieving social justice, at the organization’s annual Dinner‑Theatre Benefit in New York City. MFY prioritizes the needs of people who are low‑income, disenfranchised or have disabilities, by providing direct civil legal assistance, conducting community education, engaging in policy advocacy and bringing impact litigation. Cravath partner Thomas E. Dunn, a member and past Chairman of MFY’s Board of Directors, attended the benefit and accepted the award on behalf of the Firm.

On April 27, 2017, the Disability Rights Advocates honored Cravath at an event celebrating co‑counsel. Led by partner Darin McAtee, Cravath has partnered with the Disability Rights Advocates on two class action law suits, one regarding the lack of access to police departments by those with mobility disabilities and the other regarding the failure of the City of New York to install and maintain curb cuts at the ends of sidewalks, and an amicus brief and argument regarding police officers fired for using hearing aids.

On March 5, 2014, the United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of Cravath client, Diana Montoya Alvarez, upholding the Second Circuit's decision to affirm the denial of a petition pursuant to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, which requested that Ms. Montoya Alvarez's daughter be returned to her home country, the United Kingdom, for custody proceedings. The petition was filed by the father of Ms. Montoya Alvarez’s daughter in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in November 2010, more than 16 months after Ms. Montoya Alvarez and her daughter left the United Kingdom to come to the United States. After an evidentiary hearing in February 2011, the district court denied the petition because the child was “now settled” in the United States, a defense to return available where, as here, the petition is filed more than one year after the child’s removal. In October 2012, the Second Circuit affirmed. On June 24, 2013, the Supreme Court granted the father’s petition for a writ of certiorarion the issue of whether the one-year period in the “now settled” defense can be equitably tolled. Briefs were filed by the parties and amici, including the Solicitor General, who supported Ms. Montoya Alvarez's position. Oral argument was held on December 11, 2013. Cravath partner Lauren A. Moskowitz argued on behalf of Ms. Montoya Alvarez before the Second Circuit and the Supreme Court.

In 2013, Cravath received the 2013 Social Justice Award from the Urban Justice Center for outstanding pro bono work. For 29 years, the Urban Justice Center has served New York City’s most vulnerable residents through a combination of direct legal service, systemic advocacy, community education and political organizing. They assist their clients on numerous levels, from one-on-one legal advice in soup kitchens, to helping individuals access housing and government assistance, to filing class action lawsuits to bring about systemic change.

On April 10, 2013, Cravath was honored by the City Bar Justice Center at the program’s Annual Gala. The City Bar Justice Center, as part of a public service affiliate created by the New York City Bar Association, has dedicated itself over the past four decades to providing low-income clients throughout New York City with the information and tools they need to succeed within the legal system. By assembling a vast and diverse network of legal service providers, the Justice Center has created a wealth of pro bono resources and programs to ensure equal access to economic, immigrant and family justice. Over the years, Cravath has played an active role in supporting this mission through its leadership with the New York City Bar Association and ongoing financial support of the City Bar Justice Center.

On February 7, 2013, Cravath was honored at Her Justice Inc.’s (formerly inMotion) 13th annual Commitment to Justice Awards in New York City. Her Justice provides free legal and social services to low-income women, including recent immigrants and those suffering from domestic violence. Each year, the organization honors the contributions of those who have volunteered, promoted or supported the cases and work of Her Justice. Cravath received the “Law Firm Award” for its pro bono work. Cravath associate Lindsay J. Smith received a “Legal Team Award” for her outstanding advocacy on behalf of a mother of two children who was abused by her former husband. Lindsay helped the client obtain final orders of child support and custody after the client had moved to a domestic violence shelter with her daughters. She is now assisting the client to obtain a divorce, helping to ensure that she and her children will be free from future harm. Additionally, discovery attorney Alysa D. Mokas received a “Pro Bono Liaison Award” for her initiative in recruiting Cravath attorneys to represent Her Justice clients, as well as organizing Her Justice CLE training sessions at the Firm.

On February 9, 2012, Cravath individuals were honored at Her Justice’s 12th annual Commitment to Justice Awards. Her Justice provides free legal and social services to low-income women, including recent immigrants and those suffering from domestic violence. Associate Christopher D. Belelieu received a “Legal Team Award” for his outstanding legal work representing a Hispanic mother of three children who was abused by her former husband. Christopher helped the client obtain legal immigration status under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), employment authorization and lawful permanent residence as well as a divorce that allowed her to gain custody of her children. Additionally, numerous other Cravath lawyers and other employees were named to the Honor Roll, which recognizes the contribution of those who have volunteered, promoted or supported the cases and work of inMotion in various ways.

On November 9, 2011, Cravath was honored at The Legal Aid Society’s Pro Bono Awards Ceremony in New York City. Each year, the organization honors leading pro bono lawyers, legal support staff, law firms and corporations for their outstanding pro bono services provided to The Legal Aid Society and the Society’s clients. The Firm was recognized for its victory in a murder case on grounds of newly discovered evidence, and successfully defending the ruling on appeal. As a result, the Society’s client was released from prison after serving 14 years. Cravath partners Evan R. Chesler, Darin P. McAtee and Antony L. Ryan and associate Robert A. Miranne were recognized for their contributions.

On November 5, 2011, Cravath was honored by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan at the organization’s annual dinner. Each year, the ACLU of Michigan honors individuals and organizations that have worked to advance the cause of civil liberties and civil rights in Michigan. Cravath was recognized for its pro bono work, donating more hours to ACLU of Michigan cases than any other firm in the country. Cravath partners Julie A. North and Karin A. DeMasi and their teams were recognized for their contributions.

On February 17, 2011, Evan R. Chesler was honored at the annual Law & Society Award luncheon of the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI). The event honors prominent members of the private bar for their exemplary commitment to public service. Evan was recognized for his accomplishments as a litigator and his deep commitment to pro bono work.

On January 27, 2011, the late Robert D. Joffe, Cravath partner from 1975 until 2010 and the Firm’s Presiding Partner from 1999 until 2006, was honored posthumously with the Distinguished Public Service Award at the Annual Dinner of the New York State Bar Association’s Antitrust Law Section. Bob was recognized for his accomplishments as a preeminent antitrust lawyer who was dedicated to public service and human rights work from the earliest days of his career. This work included serving in the Ministry of Justice of the Government of Malawi for two years and representing black workers in Martin v. Wilks, a pro bono civil rights case that went to the United States Supreme Court. Bob also served as a director of public interest organizations such as Human Rights First, where he was Vice Chair of the Board, and The After-School Corporation. Cravath partner Stephen S. Madsen presented the award, which was accepted by Bob’s brother, Richard Joffe, on behalf of the Joffe family.

In 2009 and 2010, Cravath was recognized with The Legal Aid Society's Pro Bono Awards. The Firm was among those honored for its work with Legal Aid and its clients.

On October 6, 2009, Cravath was honored by the Volunteers of Legal Service, Inc. (VOLS) at its 25th Anniversary reception. The Firm received the VOLS Pro Bono Award for taking the VOLS Pro Bono Pledge, to meet or to exceed the VOLS annual goal of providing at least an average of 30 hours of qualifying pro bono work per attorney.

At the 2009 Her Justice (formerly inMotion) Commitment to Justice Awards, several Cravath associates and former associates received Legal Team Awards in honor of their outstanding volunteer work on inMotion cases. Additionally, numerous other Cravath lawyers and other employees were named to the Honor Roll, which recognizes the contribution of those who have volunteered, promoted or supported the cases and work of Her Justice in various ways.

Cravath was presented with the 2008 Pro Bono Publico and Public Service Law Firm Award at The Legal Aid Society’s annual Pro Bono Awards for its extraordinary pro bono commitment to Legal Aid and its clients. The Firm was honored in particular for its tireless work as co-counsel in long-running litigation on behalf of homeless families with children, seeking to compel New York City and New York State to meet state constitutional requirements relating to the provision of shelter. The landmark settlement in 2008 resolved 25 years of litigation and provides a permanent and enforceable right to shelter for homeless children and their families. Fifteen Cravath partners, associates and legal assistants received individual awards in recognition of their contributions to this matter.

Cravath was honored at The Legal Aid Society’s 2007 Pro Bono Awards. Twenty-one partners, associates and legal assistants received Pro Bono Publico Awards in recognition for their involvement in two significant litigation matters. The first was the homeless children and families lawsuit. The second is a federal class action suit challenging the inadequate pre-release planning and transitional services available to people with psychiatric disabilities being released on parole from New York State prisons.

In 2007, Evan Chesler was presented with the Human Relations Award by the Anti-Defamation League.

Cravath was honored by the Innocence Project for our support of the organization, including work as the Innocence Project’s corporate counsel and assistance in establishing the Exoneree Emergency Fund.

The Lawyers Committee Against Domestic Violence (LCADV) presented Cravath with its “In The Trenches” Award in recognition of our extraordinary support of the work of the LCADV.