(CHICAGO) Katten announced today that the firm honored 13 attorneys at its annual Pro Bono Service Awards, held at firm offices throughout the United States and in London. These awards, coinciding with the American Bar Association's National Celebration of Pro Bono, recognize attorneys for their outstanding pro bono service and ongoing dedication to supporting those in need.
"We would like to express our deepest gratitude to the honorees for their unwavering dedication in providing high-quality legal representation to those who need it most," said Jonathan K. Baum, Katten's Director of Pro Bono Services, who this year is celebrating his 30th anniversary in this role. "Their collective efforts have brought about real changes, positively impacting the lives of people they serve and making a meaningful difference for nonprofit organizations with missions to better the communities where we live."
This year's Pro Bono Service Awards recipients, each of whom received a $1,000 honorarium to donate to a charity of their choice, provided a range of services:
Asia Archey Riddick, associate, Affordable Housing and Community Development, New York, works to assist incarcerated mothers, including helping a client access certain court orders and realize her rights to communicate with her children.
Grace A. Caputo, associate, White Collar and Internal Investigations, Dallas, helped secure asylum for a mother and her two young children fleeing gang violence in El Salvador.
Kristen M. Froese, associate, Real Estate, Chicago, worked with a nonprofit organization which provides much-needed furnishings for those who are housing insecure, to help it purchase its first warehouse.
Katya Harrison, senior associate, Private Credit, London, has volunteered with a nonprofit, helping parents secure the educational support for children with special educational needs and disabilities.
Jessica G. Kraver, partner, Intellectual Property, New York, supports a nonprofit dedicated to improving the health, wealth and empowerment of the Black community. She has helped the organization build a trademark portfolio and develop contracts with various local partners. She also supported the commission of a sculpture to be displayed in a public park.
Albert S. Ortiz, partner, Private Credit, Chicago, has helped survivors of domestic violence navigate legal matters.
Corey Samantha Peterson, associate, Commercial Litigation, Washington, DC, resolved a lawsuit with a favorable settlement for a nonprofit against a developer who constructed a residential building on the nonprofit's property.
M. Ramana Rameswaran, partner, Health Care, Washington, DC, works with foundations treating lesser-known diseases, health care providers working with populations that need extra support, and organizations that promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the educational pipeline.
Mario D. Robertson, associate, Financial Markets Litigation and Enforcement, Chicago, focuses on housing discrimination and immigration issues, in which he helped secure a favorable status for a Salvadoran woman fleeing abuse.
Zachary M. Schmitz, associate, Financial Markets Litigation and Enforcement, Chicago, works on immigrant-related matters through the National Immigrant Justice Center and volunteers at the Katten Jose de Diego Legal Clinic.
Jill Settlemyer, associate, Mergers and Acquisitions/Private Equity, Charlotte, helps criminal defendants expunge their juvenile records before federal sentencing if they meet certain criteria under the law.
Benzion J. Westreich, partner, Real Estate, Los Angeles, focuses on dispute resolution between individuals or institutions, as well as family law matters, which have included claims of Agunah issues (divorce matters), abuse and inappropriate behavior.
Additionally, Financial Markets and Funds partner Susan Light, based in New York, received an honorable mention for her work, including guiding a Ukrainian family of five through the complex process of securing temporary protective status and work permits.