At its 20th anniversary gala, Pro Bono Partnership—which offers business and transactional legal services to nonprofit organizations working on behalf of underserved populations in the tristate area—recognized Judge Jonathan Lippman with a Lifetime Pro Bono Award. Throughout his long career in public service and private practice, Judge Lippman has evidenced a singular, passionate commitment to pro bono.
Judge Lippman joined Latham as of counsel in the firm’s Litigation & Trial Department in 2015, after retiring as Chief Judge of the State of New York and Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals. On the bench, he championed equal access to justice and helped make New York State the first US state to require pro bono work for admission to the bar. Currently he chairs the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform, formed to determine the fate of the notorious Rikers Island jail facility and to help reform New York City’s criminal justice system.
In a tribute video produced by Pro Bono Partnership, many colleagues and friends were given the opportunity to describe Judge Lippman in one word or phrase. Among their answers were “fearless,” “passionate,” “inspiring.” “a relentless optimist,” “a visionary,” and “a hero.”
The judge was also honored at the New York Women’s Foundation annual Fall Gala and by Exodus Transitional Community, a nonprofit organization that helps those who have been impacted by the justice system, including individuals recently release from prison.