Pierce Atwood encourages pro bono and community service as part of our firm culture. One way we do so is by recognizing those in our firm who have made outstanding pro bono and community service contributions. At our Second Annual Pro Bono & Community Service Awards Ceremony, we recognized the efforts of our attorneys and staff in 2015 by presenting five firm awards:
McKusick Community Impact Award: Named after Vincent Lee McKusick, former Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court and Pierce Atwood friend and lawyer for more than 50 years, the McKusick Community Impact Award recognizes one attorney and one staff member annually who have made significant, positive impacts in their communities through pro bono and/or community service. Award recipients select a charitable organization to receive a monetary donation made on their behalf by Pierce Atwood. The winners are:
- Jana K. Magnuson, associate in the Trusts & Estates group in the Portland office, for providing pro bono estate planning work to hospice patients of limited means. Putting one’s affairs in order is particularly challenging for any person who is terminally ill, but even more so for those who are unable to afford the services of an attorney. Jana recognized a need and initiated this project. She also provides an annual in-service program for the social workers of Hospice of Southern Maine to help educate them regarding the probate process and basic estate planning issues.
- Lori D. Hawe, legal assistant in the Litigation group in the Boston office, for her efforts leading and organizing the Boston office’s holiday gift giving to benefit Frosty’s Friends and the New England Center for Homeless Veterans. As a result of Lori’s efforts, several children in emergency shelters, community centers, low-income housing and day care centers, along with a number of homeless or at-risk veterans, received gifts for the holiday season.
Scribner Firm Impact Award: Named after longtime former partner Fred Scribner, whose legacy endures through the firm’s commitment to the community, its employees, and the law, this award is given annually to one attorney and one staff member who work to keep pro bono and community service top of mind throughout the firm. The 2015 winners are Julia Weller, partner in the Energy group in the Washington, DC office and Sandy Stenquist, Real Estate paralegal in the Portland office, who collaborated to organize and lead a months-long, firmwide fundraising effort for victims of the April 2015 Nepal earthquake. Under their leadership, we raised funds to benefit the Gorkhaly Foundation, which is rebuilding the micro-hydroelectric plant in Barpak, the quake’s epicenter, and the American Nepal Medical Foundation, one of the first organizations to respond when the earthquake hit, providing much-needed medical services.
Pro Bono Attorney of the Year: Recognizing the attorney who has contributed the highest number of pro bono hours in a year, this award was presented to Lawrence M. Edelman, litigation partner in the Portsmouth, NH office. In 2015, Larry completed 286.5 hours of pro bono service, the majority of which was devoted to his work for New Hampshire Legal Assistance as well as the Pro Bono Referral System of the New Hampshire Bar Association. Larry is a longtime advocate for these organizations, and has helped underserved clients for many years.