Cahill has a long and honored tradition of pro bono work. Each year since 2005, The Legal Aid Society of New York has presented Cahill and 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." In 2016, Cahill and Cahill lawyers were honored by Sanctuary for Families with an Above & Beyond Pro Bono Achievement Award, which honors members of the legal community who have gone “above and beyond” by providing outstanding pro bono representation and advocacy on behalf of victims of domestic violence and sex trafficking. Cahill also received a 2016 Cornerstone Award from Lawyers Alliance for New York in recognition of "providing outstanding pro bono legal services to nonprofit organizations that are improving quality of life for low-income New Yorkers." The firm supports the efforts of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York through Volunteers of Legal Service ("VOLS") to provide an average of 30 hours per attorney to qualifying pro bono work annually.
Cahill provides a variety of pro bono opportunities for its lawyers through established programs, including:
Sanctuary for Families (sanctuaryforfamilies.org)
Sanctuary for Families’ Legal Center is one of the largest providers of free legal services exclusively for victims of domestic violence, sex trafficking, and other forms of gender-based violence in the United States. Cahill works with Sanctuary to assist clients in claiming control of their lives and ending all forms of gender-based violence. Cahill also works with Sanctuary’s Immigration Intervention Project which provides free legal services to foreign-born victims of domestic violence, sex trafficking, and gender-based violence to help them formalize their immigration status, protect them from deportation, and reunite them with children abroad.
The Legal Aid Society of New York (legal-aid.org)
Through our partnership with The Legal Aid Society, Cahill lawyers advocate for educational services for 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, and indigent defendants in criminal appeals. This partnership affords Cahill lawyers the opportunity to represent, on a one-on-one basis, clients who lack legal counsel to secure rights that will profoundly impact their lives.
The Door (door.org)
Through our partnership with the Legal Services Center of The Door, a youth services agency for people between the ages of 12 and 21, Cahill lawyers provide pro bono counsel to young people in crisis through individual representation on immigration (asylum, SIJS, VAWA self-petitions), family law/family violence, public benefits, and public assistance. Also through this partnership, Cahill lawyers conduct Emancipation Clinics. Our attorneys meet with young people who have questions or concerns regarding emancipation, benefits, becoming an independent student for purposes of financial aid eligibility, or combinations of the above issues and teach youth legal rights.
Lawyers Alliance for New York (lawyersalliance.org)
Under the supervision of Lawyers Alliance for New York, Cahill lawyers work closely with their pro bono non-profit and community development organization clients to provide a variety of legal services that benefit low-income New Yorkers, including a wide range of corporate, tax, real estate, employment, contract, intellectual property, and other business law matters.
New York State Small Business Development Center's Veterans Program (http://www.nyssbdc.org/)
Through our partnership with the New York State Small Business Development Center's Veterans Program, Cahill lawyers provide pro bono representation to the Center’s clients, providing veterans with small business assistance, personal legal assistance in litigation matters, transitional support as they separate from the military, and other benefits assistance, depending on the individual clients’ needs.
Surviving the Streets: "Know Your Rights"
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.
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."
- Each year since 1990, Cahill has been named by Volunteers of Legal Service (VOLS) among firms who met or exceed the VOLs Pro Bono Pledge of at least an average of 30 hours of qualifying pro bono work per attorney.
- At Cahill, pro bono hours are considered "billable."
- 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.
Pro Bono Highlights
- 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.