November 22, 2021
Taiga Takahashi, an associate in our San Diego office, was honored for his pro bono contributions to National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP). The Lawyers Serving Warriors Excellence Award recognizes “a volunteer attorney who has provided exemplary pro bono services to veterans and service members.” Mr. Takahashi has volunteered with NVLSP since 2014.
In its award citation, NVLSP noted that Mr. Takahashi “personifies excellence in his pro bono work and . . . makes sure no veteran is left behind.” Among the many pro bono matters Mr. Takahashi has taken on with NVLSP are those related to medical retirement and Combat-Related Special Compensation. Mr. Takahashi also helps train Latham lawyers to handle NVLSP matters, and serves as the global leader of Latham’s US Military & Veterans Network. Prior to attending law school, Mr. Takahashi served as a Surface Warfare Officer in the US Navy.
Over the past decade, more than 500 Latham lawyers across 19 offices have taken on close to 300 matters on behalf of veterans. To learn more about the firm’s work on behalf of US veterans, watch this short video.
In addition to Mr. Takahashi’s award, NVLSP singled out Latham counsel Darryl Steensma, whose NVLSP client praised Mr. Steensma’s empathy and compassion. In partnership with NVLSP, Mr. Steensma appealed the Physical Disability Review Board’s rating to deny a veteran’s benefits in federal court — an unprecedented legal move. The Court ordered the board to reconsider our client’s case. In doing so, the Board decided to grant our client a stipend from the military and access the military healthcare system for the rest of his life.