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BALTIMORE, MD (6/14/04) — The Pro Bono Resource Center (PBRC) of Maryland has selected Venable LLP attorney Michael Hecht to receive the 2004 Maryland Pro Bono Service Award for his commitment and dedication helping to ensure equal access to justice for those in need.

Mr. Hecht was nominated by the PBRC in part for his work on a single, arduous case that began as a custody case and went through various incarnations at the appellate level and in the contempt arena. His pro bono practice has included cases in the areas of domestic law, construction contract law, criminal law, and veteran appeals. Mr. Hecht has averaged 250 pro bono hours each year since he began his legal career, which was also taken into consideration. So far this year, Mr. Hecht has already logged more than 275 pro bono hours.

"It's an opportunity to practice law in its purest form, a chance to champion the cause of some individual or entity who needs help they could never afford, and a tangible way to give something back to the community,” Mr. Hecht said of pro bono work.

The Pro Bono Service Awards honor outstanding attorneys and non-attorneys who have made a significant contribution to the delivery of pro bono civil legal services to Maryland's poor, through litigation, legal or legislative advocacy or other means.

Nominees include individuals, members of the judiciary, pro bono programs or organizations, law firms, government or corporate legal departments, special projects, or non-legal or organizational involvement.
The Pro Bono award will be presented to Mr. Hecht on Saturday, June 19, during the Maryland State Bar Association’s annual meeting in Ocean City, MD.

One of the American Lawyer’s top 100 law firms, Venable LLP has attorneys practicing in all areas of corporate and business law, complex litigation, intellectual property and government affairs. Venable serves corporate, institutional, governmental, nonprofit and individual clients throughout the U.S. and around the world from its headquarters in Washington, D.C. and offices in California, Maryland, New York and Virginia.