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Legal Services of Greater Miami recognizes its pro bono partners

News in Photos

'These pro bono attorneys go the extra mile to serve our community and have worked hard to earn tonight’s distinction'

Monica Vigues-Pitan, Carlos Sardi, Alex Jimenez, and Arya Li

The Florida Bar’s Business Law Section received the Legal Services of Greater Miami’s Equal Justice Impact Award at its Annual Pro Bono Celebration. Pictured are Monica Vigues-Pitan, Alex Jimenez, and Arya Li presenting the award to Business Law Section Pro Bono Committee Chair Carlos Sardi (second from the left).

Legal Services of Greater Miami (Legal Services) recognized the volunteer services of over 260 attorneys at its 2022 Annual Pro Bono Celebration.

Pictured from Left: Daniel Hanlon, Esq., Kristen Jimenez, Elena Otero, Esq. and Jose Casal, Esq., the team from Holland & Knight, accept the Champions for Justice Award.

Daniel Hanlon, from the left, Kristen Jimenez, Elena Otero, and Jose Casal of Holland & Knight accepting the Champions for Justice Award.

Each year the celebration brings together community leaders to honor those “who leave an indelible mark” on the legal profession through service to mark the ABA’s national celebration of pro bono.

“These pro bono attorneys go the extra mile to serve our community and have worked hard to earn tonight’s distinction,” said Vivian Chavez, Legal Services interim pro bono director. “The occasion was especially meaningful and filled with enthusiasm as it had been two years since the celebration to honor their achievements was held in person.”

The Nelson Mullins team accepting the Equal Justice Pro Bono Large Firm Award.

The Nelson Mullins team accepting the Equal Justice Pro Bono Large Firm Award.

The ceremony was kicked off by Executive Director Monica Vigues-Pitan and Sheldon Anderson, chair Grove Bank & Trust, the event sponsor. Anderson welcomed the guests and noted that social justice is more important than ever, and “Grove Bank and Trust is proud to support and play a role in improving society through its support of organizations like Legal Services.”

Legal Services Secretary Arya Attari Li of Ver Ploeg & Marino introduced special guest speaker Judge Bronwyn C. Miller who emphasized the importance of pro bono and stressed how much these cases matter to the most vulnerable. Judge Miller encouraged the attorneys to get involved in pro bono and make a difference in the lives of low-income residents who cannot otherwise afford a lawyer.

The 2022 Equal Justice Awards were presented to:

  • Large Firm Award: Nelson Mullins
  • Law Partner Award: Albert B. Maggio Jr., of CRGO Law
  • Community Partner Award: St. Thomas University College of Law’s Tax Clinic
  • Monica Vigues-Pitan, Judge Bronwyn Miller, and Arya Li

    Legal Services Executive Director Monica Vigues-Pitan, Judge Bronwyn Miller, and Arya Li, Legal Services board secretary.

    Champions of Justice Award: Jose Casal, Daniel Hanlon, Elena Otero, and Kristen Jimenez. A four are with Holland & Knight

  • Impact Award: Business Law Section of The Florida Bar
  • Clinic Volunteer Award: Jessica Lin.
  • Solo/Small Firm Award: Kahn and Resnik

Board President D. Porpoise Evans of Weiss Serota congratulated all the honorees for their time and dedication and summed up the night’s sentiment by calling on all lawyers to take a pro bono case.

“There is a continued need for pro bono in our community given the housing crisis,” said Vigues-Pitan.  “We will continue to leverage those efforts to meet the high demand for legal services, so we can create a more just and equitable community.”

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