The Pro Bono Institute (PBI) has selected Fried Frank of counsel Robert E. Juceam as a recipient of the 2013 Chesterfield Smith Award in recognition of his dedication to pro bono and public service. The award will be presented at the PBI Annual Conference Reception on March 15.
Mr. Juceam has been a long-time champion of pro bono and has dedicated much of his career to ensuring that others have access to justice. He has worked tirelessly on behalf of immigrants through the provision of pro bono assistance and advocating for changes in the administrative process.
Among Mr. Juceam's many pro bono victories was his work with the American Bar Association (ABA), the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and the Dade County Bar Association in the mid-1980s challenging the US government's efforts to prevent Haitian refugees from entering the country. He also led the successful effort to recruit and 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.
"Bob Juceam's commitment to pro bono, and more specifically, his passion for a just immigration law and process, is an exemplar of the meaning of the Chesterfield Smith Award," PBI President and CEO Esther F. Lardent said. "His vast experience and unwavering commitment to pro bono have allowed him to make access to justice a reality for some of the most vulnerable members of society."
During Mr. Juceam's 45 years of practice of civil and white-collar criminal law litigation and investigations he has received numerous awards for his dedication to pro bono including the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes Pro Bono Award, The American Lawyer 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award for pro bono, the ABA Pro Bono Award, the American Immigration Lawyers Association Pro Bono Award, and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Center for Constitutional and Human Legal Rights.
"The unmet legal needs in our communities are immeasurable, and that is what has driven my commitment to pro bono. I have focused my pro bono work on immigration and improving the judicial and delivery systems to address those needs. Providing legal services to the immigrant poor has been very rewarding. It is truly a privilege to be honored by the Pro Bono Institute, whose leaders share the same passion and enthusiasm for pro bono as I do and are mentors to all in promoting pro bono legal services," Mr. Juceam said.
In addition to serving on PBI's board, he is a Founder of the American Immigration Council and a member of the boards of the Atlantic Legal Foundation, the American Immigration Council, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and Capital Area Immigrants' Rights Coalition, and is a member of the House of Delegates of the ABA.
PBI's Chesterfield Smith Award, presented in conjunction with Holland & Knight LLP, honors the work of the late Chesterfield Smith, a superb lawyer, respected firm leader, and pro bono advocate who fought for equal justice throughout his career.
About the Pro Bono Institute
Established in 1996, PBI is a nonprofit organization with a mandate to explore and identify new approaches to the poor and disadvantaged unable to secure legal assistance to address critical problems. In doing so, PBI identifies and develops innovative programs and undertakes rigorous evaluations to ensure that these new approaches are workable and effective. PBI administers a number of projects designed to enhance access to justice, including: the Law Firm Pro Bono Project®, Corporate Pro BonoSM, Second Acts®, Global Pro Bono, and Public Interest Pro Bono.