December 9, 2020

Legal Services NYC fights poverty and seeks racial, social and economic justice for low-income New Yorkers.

Willkie litigation associate Sruti Swaminathan was recently selected by Legal Services NYC to serve as co-chair on its Pro Bono Associate Advisory Board in 2021.

Legal Services NYC (LSNYC) is the largest civil legal services provider in the country, helping more than 100,000 low-income New Yorkers fight poverty, racial injustice, and economic inequality annually. LSNYC’s Pro Bono Associate Advisory Board is an integral part of its pro bono work: since its founding in 2015, it has expanded relationships at many top law firms and raised more than $150,000 per year in support of the organization.

Ms. Swaminathan has spent much of her legal career supporting underserved populations, including the LGBT+ community and the undocumented community. She has donated hundreds of hours of her time to multiple pro bono matters. She is also an active member of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee and an associate leader of the firm’s LGBTQ+ Affinity Group, which strives to enhance the recruitment, retention, development, and progression of LGBTQ+ attorneys.

Among the LSNYC pro bono cases on which Ms. Swaminathan has worked is an asylum win in 2019 for a gay client, Mr. P, who fled his home in Moscow, Russia after years of violently homophobic treatment. Ms. Swaminathan prepared Mr. P for his asylum interview and successfully argued that he had suffered past persecution based on his status as a gay man, and that Russian authorities were unable or unwilling to protect him from homophobic attacks. Mr. P now lives happily and safely in the United States with his husband, for whom Ms. Swaminathan and the rest of the Willkie team secured derivative asylum in January 2020.

For more information on LSNYC, please click here.