Pro Bono Opportunities
The Legal Aid Society of New York (www.legal-aid.org)
Under the supervision of The Legal Aid Society, Cahill lawyers work closely with their pro bono clients to provide much needed representation to:
- young children who are the subjects of abuse and neglect proceedings in New York Family Courts.
- disabled individuals in need of social security benefits.
- tenants who are denied the most basic of services.
- indigent defendants in criminal appeals.
The Door (www.door.org)
Cahill's pro bono partnership with The Door provides Cahill lawyers with a variety of opportunities to:
- help young people in crisis through individual representation.
- participate in immigration and emancipation clinics.
- conduct workshops that inform and educate on topics of interest, including arrest procedures, juvenile rights and free speech rights.
Surviving the Streets: "Know Your Rights"
In 2008, a team of Cahill associates pioneered the teaching curriculum "Know Your Rights." Designed specifically for urban students whose schools are heavily patrolled by NYPD safety agents and who are interested in learning about the legal process and how it affects them, the seminar series covers rights under the Constitution such as arrest procedure, search and seizure, juvenile rights, voting rights and free speech rights. "Know Your Rights" has gained national attention by non-profit press, and a teaching manual has been developed to facilitate the continued expansion of the program. Now in its fifth year, "Know Your Rights" workshops are held for students of various Urban Assembly Schools around the five boroughs. The program is currently being expanded with the creation of a "Media Law" curriculum and manual covering topics such as trademarks, copyrights, digital infringement, and fair use. This curriculum will be used to teach "Media Law" seminars at the Urban Assembly Media High School in Manhattan and other schools in the future.
Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (www.transgenderlegal.org)
Through the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, Cahill lawyers assist transgender individuals with the "Name Change Project." The project allows transgender individuals to begin conforming their legal identities to the way they identify and live their lives. Our lawyers lend their services by advising clients on the applicable law and petitioning a court as well as appearing as co-counsel to the Fund in court proceedings.
Pro Bono Notables
- Each year since 2005, The Legal Aid Society presented the firm or our lawyers with the Pro Bono Publico Award "in recognition of Cahill's outstanding commitment to the cause of equal justice through pro bono service."
- At Cahill, pro bono hours are considered "billable."
- In 2011, Cahill was named by Volunteers of Legal Service (VOLS) among the firms who exceeded the VOLS Pro Bono Pledge of at least an average of 30 hours of qualifying pro bono work per attorney.
- Cahill lawyers have represented more than 100 young pro bono clients of the Legal Aid Society's Educational Advocacy Program, advocating for educational services for young children who are the subjects of abuse and neglect proceedings in New York family Courts.
- Cahill associates who seek experience handling cases from start to finish participate in Legal Aid's Criminal Appeals Program. Associates have argued numerous appeals in New York's Appellate Division.
- Won a reversal for a pro bono defendant in a criminal appeal.
- Secured citizenship for an 18-year old immigrant from Bangladesh.
- Won social security benefits for a disabled 16-year old boy.
- Won special education benefits for three disabled siblings with severe developmental delays.
- Prevailed in obtaining a court order for a Queens tenant that required her landlord to remedy numerous housing violations.
- Obtained special education benefits for a disabled kindergartner that were granted by the New York Department of Education.
- Won disability benefits for a disabled woman with severe osteoarthritis.
- Won placement for a developmentally challenged three-year-old boy in pre-school programs that included a full-day classroom, play therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.
- Secured charter school placement for a needy five-year-old foster child who had been classified by her school as emotionally disturbed and having behavioral problems.
- Advised independent, non-profit women's health clinics in their formation of a national association.
- Won special education benefits for three brothers with learning disabilities.