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Partner Erica Ross and Associates Daniel A. Epstein and Alan J. Iverson were presented with the Albert E. Jenner Pro Bono Award, which recognizes firm lawyers who have provided exceptional legal services to the under-resourced.
Partner Robert L. Graham, who recently retired, received the inaugural Robert L. Graham Mentor Award in recognition of his commitment to mentoring younger lawyers throughout his 45 years at the firm.
The Associates Committee Mentorship Awards went to Partners Amy M. Gallegos, Erin R. Schrantz andformer Partner Leah J. Tulin; Special Counsel James S. Woolrich and Associates Jonathan A. Beitner, Hannah K. Costigan Cowles and David B. Diesenhouse.
Albert E. Jenner Pro Bono Award
Ms. Ross was noted for her exceptional work focusing on appeals in state and federal appellate courts and the US Supreme Court. In 2015, Ms. Ross took on a pro bono appeal challenging an Illinois Medicaid policy that was said to be “the most complex regulatory scheme ever seen in a pro bono appeal” by one of her nominators. Ms. Ross briefed and argued the case at the Seventh Circuit, winning a remand.
Mr. Epstein was recognized for his devotion of more than 1,500 hours of pro bono work since arriving at the firm in 2015. He has represented clients in a variety of cases, including winning emergency and plenary orders of protection for a domestic violence victim; researching and drafting a brief and mooting a partner who was presenting oral argument to the Supreme Court in a habeas case in which the Court favorably ruled that its grant of certiorari had been “improvidently granted,” ultimately leading to the clients’ release from prison; achieving a favorable plea deal for a homeless man accused of attempted murder; and writing a merits brief and drafting a petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc in the Seventh Circuit in a denial of a habeas petition.
Mr. Iverson was honored for his impressive work on asylum and immigration cases. As a second year associate, he has successfully first-chaired a challenging asylum case and has helped bring about several; wins in cases involving gang-based and domestic violence claims – both developing areas of law that can present difficult issues of proof.
Named for one of the firm’s name partners, the Albert E. Jenner Award has been presented annually since 2001. Each winner receives $5,000 that they may donate to the charity or charities of their choice.
Robert L. Graham Mentor Award
The Robert L. Graham award, named for Jenner & Block’s long-time partner and former managing partner, will be awarded annually to firm lawyers who exemplify Mr. Graham’s dedication to mentorship, the public good and the highest ideals of the legal profession. Throughout his tenure at the firm, Mr. Graham took seriously the responsibility of passing on the culture of the firm to younger lawyers. He shared his belief that the law is a profession and not just a business and that lawyers must always maintain professionalism, specifically, being involved in the organized bar and in the community, representing the underrepresented and underprivileged, treating opposing counsel and parties with respect and civility while fighting for clients and being a part of a diverse firm where people can express different views and still come together.