Firm Honored for Its Pro Bono Work

June 16, 2021
National Legal Aid & Defender Association
National Legal Aid & Defender Association’s award recognizes a major voting and educational rights victory.

The National Legal Aid & Defender Association has recognized Latham with a 2021 Beacon of Justice Award. This award was “bestowed on law firms for their work to promote equal justice. This year’s awardees were chosen because of their work to address systemic racial disparities in 2020.” 

Latham was honored for its major victory on behalf of the Spring Valley NAACP, Black and Latinx voters, and public school students in upstate New York. Our team’s lawsuit challenged the East Ramapo Central School District’s at-large method for school board elections under the federal Voting Rights Act. Following a multi-week trial in February and March 2020, the US District Judge issued an opinion in May that adopted all of Latham’s arguments, ruling entirely for the plaintiffs — a truly life-changing win. 

In January 2021, the Latham team again won in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. On February 2, 2021, in compliance with the judge’s order, the East Ramapo Central School District held a special election in which voters from the three newly created majority-minority wards elected representatives of their choice to the school board for the first time. Learn more about this work here