December 21, 2017 — Hughes Hubbard and several firm lawyers received 2017 Pro Bono Publico Awards for providing exceptional legal services to the Legal Aid Society and its low-income clients.

On Oct. 25, the firm and 11 of its attorneys, along with three of its recent alums, were honored at the Legal Aid Society’s annual awards ceremony, held at The Prince George Ballroom in Manhattan. New York Court of Appeals Chief Judge Janet DiFiore presided over the event and presented the awards.

Ted Mayer, Fara Tabatabai, Margot Warhit and HHR alum Michael Tiger were recognized for their efforts over a 10-year period that resulted in a landmark class-action settlement in February that will help thousands of low-income New Yorkers avoid homelessness or secure affordable housing.

After consulting with the Legal Aid Society since 2008 on timing and strategy, HHR filed a lawsuit in December 2015 on behalf of four single mothers facing eviction and homelessness because the monthly public assistance they received from the state was “grossly inadequate” and far below fair market rent levels.

Under the terms of the settlement, the state of New York agreed to substantially increase the monthly rent subsidies it provides to low-income families in New York City, which has the largest number of homeless people in the U.S. The settlement also expanded the city’s public rental assistance program to include survivors of domestic violence. 

The following HHR attorneys were recognized for their work protecting the rights of immigrants: Sarah Cave, Bill Beausoleil, Charlie Cohen, Ross Lipman, Erica Aghedo, Valerie Cahan, Amina Hassan, Michael Polka and HHR alumni Hannah Miller and Austen Ishii.

They provided immigrant clients with representation in their various petitions, including for asylum, deferred action for childhood arrivals, pardons through the New York State clemency program and special immigrant juvenile status. They also represented clients facing imminent removal by making requests for prosecutorial discretion, filing writs of habeas corpus and litigating removal hearings in immigration court.