The Pro Bono Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Business Law awarded Skadden, Arps the 2006 National Public Service Award. The award recognizes significant pro bono legal services that demonstrate a commitment to providing services to the poor in a business context. The recipients of the award will have undertaken a significant public service project(s) that provided free business law representation to the poor or to an organization that predominantly serves the poor, or improves the provision of such services.
Skadden, Arps was nominated for the award by the Lawyers Alliance for New York, The New York Lawyers for the Public Interest and the Legal Aid Society. Hundreds of Skadden attorneys have provided meaningful corporate, tax, real estate, employment and other business law services to groups that are improving the quality of life in low-income and underserved communities," said Elizabeth Guggenheimer, legal director for the Lawyers Alliance.
Some of the pro bono work cited in the nomination included:
- Labor and employment law guidance to the Asian American Federation of New York, the Literacy Assistance Center and the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Greater Los Angeles area.
- Corporate, tax, real estate and other transactional work for such institutions as the Bethex Federal Credit Union, the CHAC Program of the Chicago Housing Authority and the Pratt Area Community Council.
- Governance work to help organizations incorporate as not-for-profit corporations, prepare corporate bylaws and apply for tax-exempt status for such programs as Life on the Outside, Inc. and the Tomkins Avenue Merchants Association.
The nomination also cited Skadden as a charter signatory to the ABA Pro Bono Challenge, which is a pledge to commit attorney time equivalent to at least 3% of the firm's billable hours to work on pro bono matters, and its externships and fellowship programs.