With millions of Americans still struggling in a sluggish economy, it’s good to know there are lawyers and law students who are willing to volunteer their services for those who can’t afford it.

Super Lawyers is proud to announce the recipients of the 2012 Super Lawyers Pro Bono Awards. The annual awards honor those in the legal profession who represent poor, underrepresented, and exploited clients, without charging them a dime.

“We bring visibility to excellence in the practice of law,” said Julie Gleason, Director of Research at Super Lawyers. “The attorneys, firms and programs receiving the awards demonstrate such excellence in practice for those in need, and serve as an inspiration to the entire legal profession.”

This year’s award winners include law firms, solo practitioners, a law school, and a unique legal collaboration. The recipients are:

  • Steven M. Lieberman, an attorney with Rothwell, Figg, Ernst & Manbeck, P.C., in Washington, D.C. Lieberman worked to uphold the protection of voting rights of all religious voters, and to expand voter participation in all special elections in the District.
  • Pearl Law Group, a law firm in San Francisco. Attorneys with Pearl Law Group obtained a visitor visa for a Chinese woman to see her grandchild for the first time. They also helped a father who suffers from immune system disorders successfully avoid deportation.
  • J. Robert Linneman, an attorney with Santen & Hughes in Cincinnati, Ohio. Linneman fought to defend the civil rights of protestors involved in the Occupy Cincinnati movement.
  • Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, a law firm in Washington, D.C. Lawyers from Akin Gump helped secure a landmark decision for seven Somali plaintiffs who brought claims of extrajudicial killing, torture, and war crimes against their country’s former prime minister.
  • West Virginia University College of Law’s Clinical Law Program in Morgantown, West Virginia. The Clinical Law Program at WVU College of Law allows students to gain experience in multiple practice areas through the school’s Immigration Clinic and Veterans’ Assistance Project.
  • Jennifer Cunha, a law student at the University of Wisconsin Law School in Madison, Wisconsin. Cunha served as president of Legal Assistance for Disaster Relief and expanded the law school’s pro bono program.
  • The Pittsburgh Pro Bono Partnership in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This partnership provides direct legal service to needy families and individuals through its collaboration of 34 law firms and legal departments.

The 2012 Super Lawyers Pro Bono Award recipients were chosen by a review committee based on factors such as impact and innovation. Law students and law programs were evaluated on additional factors such as leadership and community outreach.

The list is available in a special 2012 Pro Bono Super Lawyers Digital Edition. To nominate someone for 2013, go to the Super Lawyers Pro Bono Awards page.

(Disclosure: Super Lawyers and FindLaw.com are owned by the same company.)

— Mary Williams, Director, Marketing and Product, Super Lawyers
with Andrew Chow, FindLaw Audience Team

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