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Dear Friend, 

Happy Spring! The City Bar Justice Center honored BNY Mellon and Mayer Brown at an invigorating 18th Annual Gala, The Power of Pro Bono, on April 4 – helping all of us kick off this season of fresh growth with motivating energy and inspiration. Check out a photo gallery here

The Gala’s 300+ guests enjoyed live entertainment, immersive art, and a special program celebrating our honorees’ exemplary pro bono work for a broad range of New York communities in need. Check out Mayer Brown LLP and BNY Mellon's videos profiling their work and featuring inspiring Justice Center client stories. Meanwhile, thanks to our 2023 Gala Benefit Committee and other Justice Center supporters, our successful event raised nearly $1.1 million! This support sustains the pro bono infrastructure that empowers the Justice Center’s three dozen-member team to provide free legal services that benefit 25,000 New Yorkers annually. If there is one thing we took away from the Gala, it’s that it takes a community to “power pro bono.” Whether you attended the Gala or not, can you help widen our impact by donating now? Every dollar, and any amount, helps us to do more. 


Beyond the Gala, read on to see what else is new and upcoming at the Justice Center including legal education resources, community and pro bono outreach efforts, and other team accomplishments! 


Thank you for amplifying the power of pro bono! The Justice Center team wishes you a safe and happy Spring.  

Best regards, 

Kurt M. Denk 

Executive Director 


The City Bar Justice Center’s 18th Annual Gala, “The Power of Pro Bono,” was held on April 4, 2023, at the New York City Bar Association, honoring BNY Mellon and Mayer Brown LLP. A special thank you to our 2023 Gala Benefit Committee and justice advocates who made a personal contribution, helping raise over $1 million


Donate now to help widen our impact and to power pro bono!  


In case you missed it, or to relive the memorable experience, click here to view the photo gallery.

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Congratulations, Lucia! We are excited to share that Lucia Damerau, the City Bar Justice Center’s Fragomen Fellow, received a "2023 Best LGBTQ+ Lawyers Under 40" award from the National LGBTQ+ Bar for her generosity and commitment to helping LGBTQ+ immigrants obtain quality legal assistance through community outreach, advocacy, and representation. Find the announcement here: http://bit.ly/3YVAb5E  

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Welcome to the team! We are excited to introduce Jennifer Arocha, our new Consumer Bankruptcy Project Coordinator. In collaboration with CBP, Jennifer will help New Yorkers struggling with consumer debt and student

loans obtain an economic fresh start. 

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The Consumer Bankruptcy Project (CBP) launched a Student Loan Debt Webinar Series. CBP launched a webinar series informing borrowers about managing student loan debt, relief available, borrowers’ rights and responsibilities, and where to seek assistance. The series, offered in English and Spanish, is part of a community outreach campaign to help New Yorkers facing student loan debt obtain access to economic recovery tools and information. Click here to find out about upcoming events. Help spread the word!  

Ramona Morel, our DEI Advisor, and Cassandra Celestin, our Director of Pro Bono Initiatives, delivered an annual CLE, “Diversity, Inclusion and Elimination of Bias: Practice Pointers for Pro Bono Advocacy” on March 9, 2023 to the New York City Bar Association network. With over 320 participants, the training presented a conceptual framework, concrete skills toolkit and interactive exercise to help enhance attorney competence in pro bono advocacy, with particular attention to diversity and inclusion and the disruption of implicit biases when working with economically disadvantaged clients. 


The Planning and Estates Law Project (PELP) continues advancing legal education. PELP published a new resource for New Yorkers seeking legal information related to disposition of remains. Click here for answers to frequently asked questions. 


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Definitions of LGBTQ+

Concepts and Terms

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Know Your Rights: Immigration Information for Veterans


The newsletter editor is Sammy Darris, the City Bar Justice Center's Communication and Outreach Coordinator. For questions you may reach her at sdarris@nycbar.org.

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