Of counsel Robert E. Juceam was named as the recipient of this year's John H. Pickering Award, presented by the Senior Lawyer's Division (SLD) of the American Bar Association (ABA). Mr. Juceam will be recognized at the SLD dinner on Aug. 10 during the ABA Annual Meeting. The award was established in 2007 to honor the life and work of John H. Pickering. It recognizes outstanding lawyers or judges with a record of service dedicated to improving access to justice for all.
Mr. Juceam has been a long-time champion of pro bono legal service and has dedicated much of his career to fighting for vulnerable populations and for greater systematic reform of many areas of law to ensure fairness. In particular, he has devoted his time to representing noncitizens of limited financial means in civil cases requiring them to defend complex deportation proceedings without counsel. Among Mr. Juceam's many pro bono victories is his work in the mid-1980s challenging the US government's efforts to prevent Haitian refugees from entering the country. In collaboration with the ABA, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the Dade County Bar Association, he worked to ensure that the refugees' right to pro bono counsel remain upheld and fought against the imposition of mandatory detention, pending hearings. Mr. Juceam also led the successful effort to provide lawyers to the more than 2,000 Haitian refugees detained by the government, which, at the time, was the largest single pro bono project ever undertaken by the ABA.
Some of Mr. Juceam's more recent pro bono work includes his role as a member of the ABA Working Group on Unaccompanied Minors seeking mentors and promoting training of lawyers across the US to represent over 68,000 minors who sought refuge here from South America. He is also working with US Second Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann to promote the Katzmann Study Group and the founding of the Immigrant Justice Corps, of which Mr. Juceam remains an Advisor. Some of his pro bono undertakings at Fried Frank have included representing putative fathers in termination of parental rights cases; prisoners seeking resentence or petitioning for parole; mental health inmates petitioning for due process; counseling concerning clemency for Pamela Smart, whose case is covered in the HBO documentary “Captivated;” and serving as counsel to numerous nonprofit organizations and as general counsel to the Supreme Court Historical Society. In addition, many generations of associates have benefitted and continue to benefit from Mr. Juceam's mentorship in pro bono and public service.
Mr. Juceam has previously received many awards for his dedication to pro bono legal service. Some of the most notable include the Pro Bono Institute Chesterfield Smith Award for pro bono and public service, the National Immigration Law Center Courageous Luminary Award for Legal Service, The American Lawyer 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award for pro bono, the ABA Pro Bono Publico Award and ABA Presidential Citation, the AILA Pro Bono Award and Edith Lowenstein Award, the Center for Constitutional and Human Legal Rights Lifetime Achievement Award and The City University of New York Now Champion Award.
To learn more about the John H. Pickering Award, please click here.