Jenner & Block Partner Gabriel A. Fuentes will be honored next month as the Hispanic National Bar Association’s 2015 Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year. Selected from candidates across the United States, Gabe will be presented with the award during the HNBA’s 40th Annual Convention on September 4 in Boston. It will be his third honor this year recognizing his career-long commitment to pro bono service. In May, Gabe was presented with the Chicago Bar Foundation’s Edward J. Lewis II Pro Bono Service Award, and just a few weeks ago, he received the firm’s Albert E. Jenner Award.
The HNBA award recognizes Mr. Fuentes’ successful handling of numerous pro bono matters through direct representation of clients, his longstanding dedication to the delivery of pro bono services and his participation in activities extending pro bono legal services to underserved and/or disadvantaged communities. During his 17 years with the firm, he has performed more than 5,000 hours of pro bono work and served as Chicago chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee for four years. He has also been a leader in many organizations dedicated to improving access to justice.
This past year, Mr. Fuentes had a particularly extraordinary run of pro bono victories, including as a key member of a Jenner & Block/ACLU team that challenged US government policies denying a fair hearing process to Central American mother and child asylum-seekers who were detained in a controversial facility in Artesia, New Mexico. As a result of the lawsuit the team filed, the government altered its stance toward the plaintiffs, vacating expedited removal orders, placing each client in regular removal proceedings and, ultimately, closing the Artesia facility.