On October 26, partner Richard Mancino and associates Santiago Assalini and Pia Williams Keevil will be honored by the New York City Bar Justice Center as recipients of the Jeremy G. Epstein Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service. The awards recognize extraordinary commitment to expanding pro bono work on behalf of the disadvantaged. Winners are selected based on criteria that include quality of legal work, outcome accomplished for clients, leadership on pro bono, hours devoted and willingness to take on challenging cases.
Richard, Santiago and Pia will be honored for their successful representation of client Mr. M., who fled his native Ecuador in 2008 after having been bullied, sexually assaulted, threatened and blackmailed because he was gay. After almost two years, the New York Asylum Office finally granted asylum to Mr. M.
In a letter to the firm last spring, the City Bar Justice Center wrote that “the Willkie team’s work on this case is emblematic of the firm’s commitment to pro bono asylum representation. Willkie has won asylum for over thirty individuals with the City Bar Justice Center, and for good reason, it is one of the first firms [we] turn to when seeking representation on complex, difficult asylum cases.”