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March 14, 2024

Barclay Damon and David Solimeno Recognized as American Bar Association Free Legal Answers 2023 Pro Bono Leaders

The American Bar Association (ABA) Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service has recognized Barclay Damon as an ABA Free Legal Answers Pro Bono Leader for 2023. This year marks the second time Barclay Damon has received this designation. The firm was first recognized as a Pro Bono Leader for 2021. David Solimeno, associate, was also recognized as an individual ABA Free Legal Answers Pro Bono Leader for 2023.

Each year, the committee recognizes individual attorneys, law firms, corporate law departments, law schools, and other legal organizations that have provided extraordinary pro bono services through ABAFreeLegalAnswers.org. In 2023, Barclay Damon attorneys answered 130 civil legal questions, and Solimeno answered 63 civil legal questions. Barclay Damon attorneys and paralegals dedicated approximately 2,500 hours valued at more than $960,000 to pro bono efforts in 2023 through participating in firm-sponsored family court clinics, litigating civil rights violations, drafting wills for veterans, assisting with clemency applications, and providing online legal aid through the Free Legal Answers program.

Jen Leonardi, Barclay Damon’s pro bono partner, said, “Pro bono service is a core component of Barclay Damon’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative. We strive to do as much pro bono work as we can to ensure people in need, regardless of income, have access to critical legal assistance.” She continued, “Participating in the Free Legal Answers program has been a great opportunity for the firm’s attorneys to do pro bono work in a wide variety of practices, including health care, labor and employment, and housing and homelessness, throughout the firm's platform of offices.”

Now in its eighth year, ABA Free Legal Answers has responded to more than 330,000 civil legal questions submitted by users to the 13,500-plus pro bono attorneys from 43 jurisdictions, including a federal portal addressing veterans benefits and immigration questions. 

Solimeno said, “Helping people through the Free Legal Answers program is really rewarding.” He continued, “As soon as you’re linked with a person in need of assistance, you’re immediately able to communicate with them to understand their needs. Volunteering in this capacity allows me to reach people throughout New York in need of legal guidance who I might not otherwise encounter in my area.”

The Free Legal Answers program summary report highlights the impact volunteers had in 2023. To see the full list of honorees, click here.

Barclay Damon attorneys team across offices and practices to provide customized, targeted solutions grounded in industry knowledge and a deep understanding of our clients' businesses. With nearly 300 attorneys, Barclay Damon is a leading regional law firm that operates from a strategic platform of offices in Albany, Boston, Buffalo, New Haven, New York City, Rochester, Syracuse, Washington DC, and Toronto. Our firm serves clients across the country and, for some practices, provides US legal services around the globe. For more information, visit our award-winning website at barclaydamon.com. Learn more about Barclay Damon’s multi-award-winning pro bono program at Pro Bono | Barclay Damon.
 

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We’re excited to announce Barclay Damon’s combination with Washington DC–based Shapiro, Lifschitz & Schram. SLS’s 10 lawyers, three paralegals, and four administrative staff will join Barclay Damon while maintaining their current office in DC’s central business district. Our clients will benefit from SLS’s corporate, real estate, finance, and construction litigation experience and national energy-industry profile, and their clients from our full range of services.

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