(CHARLOTTE) Katten announced today that the firm was the recipient of two pro bono awards for its unwavering support and dedication of service to two nonprofit organizations based in Charlotte.
The Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy (CCLA) and Council for Children's Rights (CFCR) honored Katten with their 2022 Pro Bono Awards at the Mecklenburg County Bar annual meeting in late May, spotlighting the firm’s steadfast commitment to providing pro bono services.
"In every community in which our attorneys practice, we are always grateful for the opportunities that local legal services agencies provide us to employ our skills on behalf of the most vulnerable, those in need of a champion to even up the odds," said Jonathan Baum, Katten's director of pro bono services. "In Charlotte, the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy and the Council for Children's Rights play such a critical leadership role. To be given an award by these two outstanding organizations is icing on the cake."
Katten has a long history of supporting CCLA, which has a mission of pursuing justice for those in need, in providing comprehensive civil legal services for the region's low-income residents, such as helping individuals remove criminal charges and convictions from their records through expunctions; helping eligible clients restore driver's licenses that had been revoked because they were financially unable to pay fines or appear in court; and representing tenants in housing disputes. Most recently, Katten attorneys represented more than 20 homeowners in a historically Black Charlotte neighborhood to prevent the removal of development restrictions that would have inevitably led to gentrification of the neighborhood.
The CFCR, the largest child advocacy agency in the state, accepts court appointments in the highest-conflict Mecklenburg County child custody cases to represent the best interests of the child or children involved in those cases. Katten has been one of CFCR's biggest law firm supporters in Charlotte, where current and former attorneys have served on the board and as the executive director. Katten's attorneys and business professionals have long participated in the custody advocacy program, serving as volunteer attorneys or custody advocates, and hosting training sessions.
"Katten is committed to supporting the Charlotte community through our financial support of organizations like CCLA and CFCR, but more importantly, by providing pro bono services for the most vulnerable among us and, in doing so, treat them with the compassion, respect and dignity they deserve, and give them the same service and attention that our paying clients receive," said Katten partner Richard Farley, who is the Pro Bono Committee chair in Charlotte. "We're very proud of the rewarding work we have done over the years in partnership with these worthy organizations, and we're humbled by these awards; it is really CCLA and CFCR and their attorneys and staff who deserve these accolades, which they rarely publicly receive."