CHICAGO (June 22, 2012) – International law firm McDermott Will & Emery has been honored with Center on Halsted’s 2012 “Outstanding Volunteer Attorney” Award for its support in staffing the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) community center’s legal clinic. The ceremony took place last night at the Center’s annual volunteer celebration in Chicago.
This is the first time McDermott has been selected for the “Outstanding Volunteer Attorney” Award, and also the first time the Center has given this award to a law firm. In the past, the Center bestowed the award on individual attorneys. This year, based on McDermott’s commitment, the Firm as a whole has been recognized.
Located in the heart of Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, Center on Halsted opened in 2007 and is the Midwest’s most comprehensive LGBTQ community center. More than 1,000 community members walk through its doors every day, taking advantage of the Center’s wide-ranging programs and services for the area's LGBTQ community. Although the current Center on Halsted opened in 2007, the organization’s roots go back to the 1970s, when it was known as Gay Horizons and served as a volunteer-run information clearinghouse and meeting place for the LGBTQ community.
McDermott has been staffing the Center’s Legal Referral Program since 2007. This legal clinic provides LGBTQ people with the free and confidential opportunity to speak with an attorney about specific legal issues and receive appropriate referrals. McDermott attorneys provide general advice on a wide range of topics including minor criminal offenses, estate planning, adoption and LGBTQ discrimination. In some cases, the Firm has decided to represent individuals in their specific cases. Those cases have included child support and landlord-tenant and estate planning. Our volunteer attorneys are from a wide variety of Business Units and Practice Groups including Trial, Employee Benefits, Private Client and IP.
“We are able to do more thanks to the tremendous support from McDermott Will & Emery,” said Modesto Tico Valle, the Center’s CEO. “Their attorneys have gone out of their way to offer legal information and free consultations to those in need. Together, we are advancing the health and well-being of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer community.”
“On behalf of the Firm, we are honored to receive this award, which symbolizes our commitment to the broader LGBT community and the efforts McDermott has made to advance equality and inclusion throughout our Firm,” said Lisa A. Linsky, who chairs McDermott’s Firm-wide LGBT Diversity Committee and serves on the Firm’s Pro Bono and Community Service Committee.
Members of the McDermott team who received recognition from Center on Halsted this year include partners Jared Cloud, Stephen Erf, Lydia Kelley and Todd Solomon, associates Katrina Crafton, Ned Fluet, Megan Mardy, Randall Ortman, Brian Tiemann, Michael Weaver and Brad Wilson, and staff attorney David Rhee.
McDermott Will & Emery’s commitment to diversity is founded on the belief that diversity is necessary to achieve excellence in all aspects of client service. The Firm is committed to a culture that values and nurtures diversity and appreciates its importance in attracting and retaining exceptional talent. To meet this commitment, McDermott has established diversity programs and practices which have helped the Firm to encourage a breadth of ideas, experiences, perspectives and insights that are necessary to meet the challenges of today's global economy.
About McDermott Will & Emery
McDermott Will & Emery is a premier international law firm with a diversified business practice. Numbering more than 1,000 lawyers, we have offices in Boston, Brussels, Chicago, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Milan, Munich, New York, Orange County, Paris, Rome, Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. Extending our reach to Asia, we have a strategic alliance with MWE China Law Offices in Shanghai.