Greater Miami Legal Services Celebrates Pro Bono Champions

Jayme Cassidy (left) and Monica Vigues-Pitan (right) stand with Michael Bruno, who accepted the Collaborative Partnership Award on behalf of McDermott Will & Emery, (center left) and Vicente Tome, who accepted on behalf of Restaurant Brands International.

Greater Miami Legal Services (Legal Services) recently recognized the pro bono services of more than 325 attorneys and professional partners at its 2021 Annual Pro Bono Celebration.

This year’s event, broadcast live on October 28 and generously sponsored by Jacqueline Simkin LLB, LLM, was a huge success, attracting hundreds of people from the legal community.

“Pro bono attorneys provide access to justice that resonates in the community by empowering individuals, families and neighborhoods impacted by COVID,” said Jayme Cassidy, director of Legal Services Pro Bono Advocacy. “With the help of our pro bono champions, we have provided housing stability for families during the eviction crisis, created neighborhood stabilization by helping small businesses and nonprofits, opened up equal access to education for children with special needs and obtained public benefits to provide financial stability for families.”

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Equal Justice Awards 2021 to the following individuals in recognition of their extraordinary commitment to equal justice:
• Individual Small Business Award: Ryan C. Tyler, Esq. ;
• Collaborative Partnership Award: Restaurant Brands International US Services LLC and McDermott Will & Emery LLP;
• Impact Award: Steven Kellough, Esq.;
• Professional Partner Award: Gerson, Preston, Klein, Lips, Eisenberg & Gelber, PA;
• Clinical Partner Award: Rob Collins, Esq., and
• Partners for Equal Justice Award: Alvaro A. Acevedo Jr., Esq., CPA, LLM.

Neki Mohan co-hosted the event with Legal Services Board Treasurer and Pro Bono Committee Chair Karen Lapekas. Legal Services hosted the evening’s special guest speaker, the Hon. Laurel Myerson Isicoff, Chief Judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court, who encouraged pro bono service and addressed the pro bono recipients, commending them for their dedication and time helping low-income members of the community, especially as COVID continued.

“The need for legal services in our community cannot be met without pro bono volunteers,” said Monica Vigues-Pitan, General Manager of Legal Services. “Our impact over the past 55 years has only been possible because of the continued support of so many dedicated volunteer professionals, and we were delighted to shine a light on their achievements and service.”

To view the Pro Bono celebration on demand, visit

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