Davis Polk and several of its lawyers were honored by The Legal Aid Society at the 2017 Pro Bono Publico Awards on October 25, 2017. The annual awards recognize law firms that partnered with the Society in the past year to provide pro bono assistance to vulnerable New Yorkers.
The firm received an award for “Outstanding Advocacy in Defense of the Accused.” Seven years ago The Legal Aid Society filed a class action litigation, Davis v. City of New York, which challenged the unconstitutional and racially discriminatory police practices in NYCHA residences. Together with its companion cases, Floyd v. City of New York and Ligon v. City of New York, settlements reached have helped substantially alter NYPD patrol practices both in public housing and city wide. In October 2016, The Legal Aid Society and Davis Polk issued a White Paper, covering the continuing problems with and potential remedies for policing in New York City. We expect that major reforms proposed in the White Paper will be recommended for inclusion in a report being prepared for the presiding judge.
The firm was also recognized for its participation in the Immigration Hotline, a component of the Legal Aid Society’s early response to changes in immigration policy and enforcement. On February 11, 2017, the Society began staffing the Hotline around the clock in response to concerns about ICE raids in communities around New York City.
In addition, partners Lara Samet Buchwald and Amy Starr, senior counsel Daniel Kolb, associates Kaiya Arroyo, Edith Beerdsen, John Briggs, Kelsey Clark, Peter Davis, Iris Hsiao, Nancy Lee, Bryan McArdle, Jane McCooey, Rachelle Navarro, Sybil Sam, Andrew Walker, Kahlil Williams and Anne Yearwood, and law clerk Zellnor Myrie received individual awards for their invaluable contributions helping the Society serve low-income New Yorkers.
The Legal Aid Society is a private, not-for-profit legal services organization, the oldest and largest in the nation, dedicated since 1876 to providing quality legal representation to low-income New Yorkers.