Super Lawyers is very pleased to announce the recipients of the 2011 Super Lawyers Pro Bono Awards. The awards recognize attorneys, law students, law firms and other legal organizations for offering volunteer legal services to the poor, disadvantage or exploited. Super Lawyers received more than 200 submissions showcasing exceptional pro bono work from around the country.

Selecting the top volunteer efforts for 2011 was no easy task, but Super Lawyers narrowed it down to eight recipients. For the individual recipients, we provide some details about their pro bono work.

For more detailed information about them and the law school and law firm winners below, be sure to check out the upcoming 2012 Pro Bono Digital Edition of Super Lawyers magazine.

Here are the Super Lawyers Pro Bono Award Recipients for 2011:

John Rafferty, Law Student; Villanova Law School; Villanova, PA

Villanova third-year law student John Rafferty singlehandedly organized a new spring break service trip to provide legal services to central Florida farm workers. He recruited and led a group of 19 Villanova University law students, law professors and undergraduate interpreters, as well as law students and professors from the Florida A&M University and Barry University Law Schools. The group met with and provided brief advice and referral or longer term representation for more than 100 low-wage workers in central Florida who had never before had access to legal assistance.

Andrea L. Johnson, Law Student; Columbia Law School; New York, NY

Columbia third-year law student Andrea L. Johnson founded a new Columbia Law School spring break initiative, a pro bono “Care-a-Van,” that brought Columbia Law students to five Wisconsin tribal reservations in order to provide legal services. The students, in partnership with a local organization, hosted wills clinics where they met individually with tribal members to discuss the importance of estate planning and to draft wills. In four days, the eleven students drafted 75 wills –more than the host organization could have drafted in a year and a half on its own.

Amelia McCarthy, Attorney; Gass Weber Mullins; Milwaukee, WI

Amelia McCarthy recently served two years of public service in Africa as a nongovernmental organization adviser to Oonte Orphans and Vulnerable Children Organization in Ondangwa, Namibia. Oonte serves over 450 children who are orphans or otherwise vulnerable as a result of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. McCarthy helped Oonte become recognized as a charitable nonprofit which helped increase Oonte’s visibility.

Paul Alston, Attorney; Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing; Honolulu, HI

Paul Alston and his firm partnered with the Hawaii Appleseed Center on Law and Economic Justice in 2011. As lead counsel, he was involved in two federal court class actions involving the state’s historical failure to maintain its largest and second-largest housing projects, as well as provide residents the rights they have under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Loyola University Chicago School of Law – Life After Innocence Project, Law School Effort, Chicago, IL

Michigan State University College of Law – Legal Clinic, Law School Effort; East Lansing, MI

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, Law Firm, New York, NY

Klee, Tuchin, Bogdanoff & Stern, LLP, Law Firm; Los Angeles, CA

Congratulations to this year’s honorees. They all make the legal profession proud.

[Note: FindLaw’s parent company, Thomson Reuters, acquired Super Lawyers in Feb. 2010.]

— Barb McGivern, Vice President & General Manager, Super Lawyers
with Adam Ramirez, FindLaw Audience Team

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