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Tuesday evening more than 100 Venable attorneys gathered to celebrate the firm’s pro bono work and to announce the winners of this year’s Benjamin R. Civiletti Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year awards. Seth Rosenthal, Pro Bono Chair, thanked the group for their dedication to pro bono work and described the breadth of cases the firm has handled over the past year – from asylum proceedings to children’s welfare matters to cases of wrongful conviction from the Mid Atlantic Innocence Project. “In each case you made the difference,” he told the crowd, “and in some cases that difference was between life and death.” Rosenthal went on to hail the work of Venable attorneys for enabling the DC Central Kitchen to expand its services, winning the freedom of citizens wrongfully convicted of murder, ensuring the continuation of life-sustaining care for individuals threatened with its termination, continuing efforts to remediate racial profiling by state troopers, and securing for individuals accused of crimes in Maryland the right to be represented by counsel at initial bail hearings throughout the state. 

Brian Schwalb commented that while the firm’s overall pro bono hours were up, the percentage of participants had not met the firm’s goals and he exhorted those in attendance to encourage their fellow attorneys to get involved. 

James Boland and Tom Gilbertsen were each presented with the Benjamin R. Civiletti Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year, and Jackie Bottash received the Helping Hands award from the Children’s Law Center for her selfless dedication to the firm’s pro bono program and the work of the Center.