Recipients of the firm’s Albert E. Jenner Pro Bono Award, Jerold S. Solovy Public Service Award and Associates Committee Mentorship Awards were announced at a special TGIF celebration on October 10, 2014 that was video-linked to all offices.
The Albert E. Jenner Award recognizes “attorneys who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to providing pro bono legal services.” Winners of this year’s award were Partner Reena Bajowala and Associate Matt Cipolla. Reena was recognized for her exceptional work in achieving a favorable settlement for tenants of Evergreen Terrace, a Section 8 housing complex in Joliet, Illinois that the city wanted to condemn and demolish.
Matt was recognized for his pro bono work last year that included making a winning argument to the Second Circuit resulting in the court taking the highly unusual step of vacating the firm’s client’s criminal conviction by a jury. Matt also was a key member of the firm’s team in a Section 1983 suit, representing an inmate at Green Haven Correctional Facility in New York.
Partner David DeBruin received the Jerold S. Solovy Award. This award, named for Jenner & Block’s renowned Chairman Emeritus, honors those attorneys who exemplify Mr. Solovy’s unwavering commitment to pro bono, the public good, the organized bar and the highest ideals of the legal profession. David’s selection recognized his career-long dedication to public service and pro bono endeavors. He was a co-chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee for 20 years; served on the steering committee of the ABA’s Death Penalty Representation Project; and has been heavily involved in the DC Bar as a member and vice chair of its Pro Bono Committee, while serving as the firm’s coordinator for the Committee’s Advocacy & Justice Clinic. David currently is chairperson of the DC Public Defender Service Board of Trustees and a board member of the Southern Center for Human Rights. In addition, he has served as a member of the Hearing Committee of the DC Board of Professional Responsibility.
Recipients of the Mentorship Award were Partners Jessie Ring Amunson, Tony Barkow, Ken Lee, Bob Stauffer, Cathy Steege and Dan Weiss. These attorneys, selected by the firm’s Associates Committee from 26 nominations, were recognized for going above and beyond with their generous efforts and effectiveness as both formal and informal mentors.