Faegre Drinker’s Executive Leadership Team is pleased to announce the recipients of the firm’s 2022 Pro Bono Awards and Pro Bono Service Moment of the Year Awards.
In addition to a commemorative award, each individual recipient had the opportunity to direct a $1,000 charitable contribution from the Faegre Drinker Foundation to a partner nonprofit organization. A video of the recipients and further discussion of their pro bono work is available here.
2022 Faegre Drinker Pro Bono Award Recipients
The Faegre Drinker Pro Bono Award recognizes individuals and teams for providing or supporting exceptional pro bono legal services.
Wrongful Eviction Team: Team members Taylor Brook, a labor and employment associate in the Denver office, and Pamela Hollen, a construction and real estate litigation senior paralegal in the Denver office, were honored for their work from 2021-22 representing a wrongfully evicted family. After the family came home to a door with new locks and all their personal belongings gone, they sought legal help. The Colorado Poverty Law Project referred the project to Faegre Drinker and this team stepped up. The landlord resisted all attempts to resolve the matter. The team filed suit and vigorously fought against a defiant landlord, conducting thorough discovery. After months of contentious litigation, the parties favorably settled the case. The actions of the team went far beyond the usual landlord-tenant matter and without the excellent legal representation of this team, the clients would have remained casualties of a terrible injustice. The team designated their charitable contribution from the Faegre Drinker Foundation to The Colorado Poverty Law Project.
Heather Bader, Partner, Benefits & Executive Compensation, Los Angeles: Bader was honored for her personal pro bono service and her positive impact on pro bono at the firm. In addition to leading pro bono efforts in the Los Angeles office, she fosters a supportive atmosphere by welcoming summer and new associates and educating them on the virtues of pro bono work, as well as encouraging others and publicly praising their accomplishments. Bader also has a robust personal pro bono practice, focused particularly on Special Immigrant Juvenile Status matters, seeking lawful immigration classifications for children who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned by one or both parents. She designated her charitable contribution from the Faegre Drinker Foundation to Al Otro Lado.
Elizabeth Casey, Associate, Business Litigation, Philadelphia: Casey was honored for her significant contributions to high-profile pro bono matters and commitment to clients. Her work includes representing individuals who had been racially profiled in a significant class action matter, acting as primary attorney on a prisoner civil rights matter in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and representing low-income clients in criminal matters. In addition, Casey helps oversee Department of Corrections compliance with a class action settlement that addressed solitary confinement. A substantial portion of her work has been focused on appellate practice, where she has worked with Community Legal Services, ACLU of PA, and The Sentencing Project to produce high-level amicus briefs in both the Pennsylvania and United States Supreme Court. Casey designated her charitable contribution from the Faegre Drinker Foundation to ACLU Foundation of Pennsylvania.
Bianca Eddy, Associate, Product Liability & Mass Torts, Indianapolis: Eddy was honored for her dedication to clients, going above and beyond to meet each individual client need. Eddy has been a part of several significant pro bono matters, including representing a survivor of sex trafficking in a case of first impression in Indiana. Bianca also maintains a consistently robust pro bono practice, representing incarcerated individuals in civil rights matters, helping veterans seeking benefits, and volunteering at legal clinics. In addition to her own caseload, Eddy has stepped in to help teams needing assistance. She also mentors junior associates, sharing her experiences at pro bono orientation sessions and encouraging associates to join pro bono matters. Eddy designated her charitable contribution from the Faegre Drinker Foundation to Freedom Network USA.
Abigail Luhn, Associate, Product Liability & Mass Torts, Florham Park: Luhn was honored for her commitment to clients and leadership on pro bono at the firm. She leads the expungement practice in Florham Park, plays an integral role in impact litigation and leads a prisoner civil rights team in a matter before the District Court of New Jersey. Luhn has also participated in multiple expungement clinics, including clinic coordination and assignments through Volunteer Lawyers for Justice, where she serves as an associate board member. Further, Luhn encourages other associates to volunteer and speaks about her experiences at pro bono orientation sessions. She designated her charitable contribution from the Faegre Drinker Foundation to Volunteer Lawyers for Justice.
Kathy Osborn, Partner, Business Litigation, Indianapolis: Osborn was honored for her outstanding pro bono leadership at the firm, where she has been on the firm’s pro bono honor roll every year for the past decade. She has a robust personal pro bono practice, is a tireless pro bono champion and regularly supervises and supports other attorneys in a variety of pro bono matters. Osborn handles guardianship matters (at least one every year since 2007), and has represented clients with disabilities, including in situations where vulnerable adults have been mistreated by family. Her practice has also included assisting holocaust survivors in applying for and obtaining reparations from Germany, securing protective orders for women and their children in abusive domestic situations, representing prisoners in prisoner’s rights lawsuits, and representing a death row inmate in post-conviction relief proceedings. As the Indianapolis office leader, she is a premier pro bono advocate, leading by example and through her presence and encouragement at pro bono clinics and other events. Osborn also guides junior associates on complex guardianship pro bono matters referred from the firm’s Indianapolis Medical Legal Partnership with Eskenazi. Finally, she is committed to strong community leadership, including by serving on Indiana Legal Services’ board of directors since 2017. Osborn designated her charitable contribution from the Faegre Drinker Foundation to Trinity Haven.
Robin Rank, Senior Paralegal, Construction & Real Estate Litigation, Minneapolis: Rank was honored for her leadership and wide range of pro bono work. She played an integral role in the Minnesota Anti-Sex Trafficking Project and has contributed significantly to the Minnesota Collaborative Justice Project, an innovative cross-sector project aimed at reducing recidivism. Rank participated in ten different pro bono projects or matters in 2022, including work for three veterans as well as families seeking asylum though the Afghan Asylum Project. She designated her charitable contribution from the Faegre Drinker Foundation to the National Veterans Legal Services Program.
2022 Pro Bono Service Moment of the Year Recipients
The Pro Bono Service Moment of the Year Award honors acts of kindness, generosity and selfless service that often happen behind the scenes and under the radar but exemplify the firm’s core value of service to others and fuels our pro bono program.
David Belcher, Associate, Business Litigation, Los Angeles: Belcher was honored for his commitment to service, clients and the firm. Belcher is not only actively involved with his own pro bono caseload, which includes adoptions, COVID-19 vaccination policies and foster care benefits appeals, but he also steps up when others need help. He has stepped in when a substitute associate was needed for an immigration merits hearing and also jumped at the opportunity to appear and secure a permanent restraining order for a client. Belcher speaks with new associates, inspiring them with his pro bono work. He designated his charitable contribution from the Faegre Drinker Foundation to The Alliance for Children’s Rights.
Elizabeth Wurm, Associate, Product Liability & Mass Torts, Chicago: Wurm was honored for her leadership and outstanding volunteerism. She played a crucial role in an expungement clinic hosted with a corporate client. When turnout was greater than expected, Wurm graciously allowed new volunteers to participate. When circumstances changed during the clinic, and more help was needed, she stepped in to assist. In addition, Wurm regularly handles difficult individual family law cases, speaks at pro bono orientations and helps to build and maintain the pro bono culture in the Chicago office. She designated her charitable contribution from the Faegre Drinker Foundation to Legal Aid Chicago.