Bernstein Shur Boosts Pro Bono Hours in 2011 and Continues Commitment for 2012
Portland, ME and Manchester, NH (January 12, 2012) — Bernstein Shur, one of northern New England’s largest law firms, announced that in 2011 it contributed more than 2,400 hours of pro bono legal services, valued at more than $600,000. This figure represents a significant 33 percent increase in pro bono hours from 2010.
Attorney Jim Keenan, a member of the firm’s board of directors and chair of its Pro Bono Committee explains, “Providing pro bono legal services is an obligation we take seriously—it is one of our core values. And we are seeing more organizations in need. This is time and expertise provided directly to our communities – the figures do not even include the ongoing efforts of many of our attorneys who take on civic leadership and volunteer roles.”
Many of the firm’s attorneys mentor and provide legal advice to non-profit organizations and volunteer for community service projects in Maine, New Hampshire and beyond.
Jack Montgomery, an attorney in Bernstein Shur’s Energy and Environmental Practice Group, is a tireless advocate for asylum cases, working with the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project, Maine’s only non-profit provider of free or low-fee immigration-related legal services. In 2011, Montgomery logged 300 hours on pro bono cases, won asylum for two individuals and has two complicated asylum cases pending, one involving a Djiboutian family. Montgomery received the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project’s Pro Bono Panel Attorney of the Year award in 2011.
Lori Londis Dwyer, an attorney in the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group, serves as president of the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project’s board of directors and is involved in fundraising efforts for group. In 2011, she successfully worked on asylum cases for families from Burundi.
Linda McGill, who also works in the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group continues to volunteer with the International Senior Lawyer’s Project. McGill helps fulfill the group’s mission of providing world-class legal counsel to promote the rule of law, human rights, and equitable economic development. She was recently honored as an ISLP “Volunteer of the Decade.”
“It amazes me that so many of our attorneys find a way to dedicate significant time and energy serving those in need. It’s inspiring,” reflected Charlie Miller, Bernstein Shur’s CEO. “We take pride in our longstanding reputation for providing leadership in the community through our volunteer work and pro bono legal services. It is a commitment we intend to continue in 2012 and beyond.”
As part of its ongoing commitment, Bernstein Shur annually recognizes two attorneys for their pro bono and volunteer work. In 2011, Linda McGill received the Sumner T. Bernstein Pro Bono Service Award and Roy W. Tilsley, Jr. received the Barnett I. Shur Community Service Award for his work with New Horizons for New Hampshire.
Bernstein Shur includes summer associates in its pro bono initiative by offering the opportunity to do a rotation at a non-profit legal service agency. In 2011 participating summer associates spent four weeks working in-house at Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project in Portland.
About Bernstein Shur
Widely regarded as one of New England’s most entrepreneurial firms, Bernstein Shur is a multi-service law firm with more than 100 attorneys in offices in Maine and New Hampshire. Founded in 1915, the firm provides practical and innovative counsel in the areas of business law, litigation, and municipal law to clients throughout the region and around the world. Bernstein Shur is Maine’s exclusive member of Lex Mundi, the world’s leading association of independent law firms. More information is available at www.bernsteinshur.com.