The 2020 Pro Bono Report provides an overview of the firm’s pro bono efforts last year through the Lowenstein Center for the Public Interest. In 2020, Lowenstein dedicated more than 23,000 hours to pro bono work and served 778 pro bono clients, including populations hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, on issues involving nonprofits and microbusinesses, housing, civil rights, immigration, and more.

Highlights include:

  • Providing guidance to more than 230 microbusinesses and nonprofits in securing assistance from federal and state relief programs, as well as educating the public with regularly updated FAQs about how to benefit from the PPP; efforts also included sending letters to Congress with recommendations for more equitable access to loans for nonprofits and microbusinesses, many of which are owned by people of color and women.
  • Protecting the rights of tenants facing eviction in the wake of the pandemic through such initiatives as:
    • Leading a coalition of housing and racial justice advocates to demand a broad moratorium on evictions as well more stringent steps to protect tenants’ rights;
    • Representing tenants in an ongoing lawsuit over the use of rent subsidies funded by New York City’s Special One-Time Assistance (SOTA) program, resulting in significant improvements to the program to ensure residents’ health, safety, and right to legal housing;
    • Educating tenants and homeowners on their protections and obligations in frequently updated FAQs in both English and Spanish (viewed to date by more than 126,000 distinct visitors to the firm’s website).
  • Partnering with Election Protection, a nationwide, nonpartisan, voter protection coalition led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, to recruit more than 240 legal professionals, including firm lawyers, support staff, and alumni, to answer calls from voters on a hotline in an entirely remote setting due to the pandemic, in the midst of a highly volatile presidential election.
  • Protecting the rights of immigrants through such actions as filing appellate amicus briefs to prevent the unlawful removal of juveniles with Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS).

These and other initiatives are an important reminder of how, if we all work together, we can tip the scales toward justice.

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