January 20, 2023

The New York State Bar Association has awarded partner Wesley R. Powell and Willkie top honors for excellence in pro bono service at the 2023 Justice for All Awards.

Wes, a partner in the Litigation Department and Co-Chair of Willkie’s Pro Bono Practice Group, received the “Outstanding Pro Bono Volunteer Award.” One of only two individual honorees, Wes was recognized for his deep commitment to social justice and achievements in pro bono advocacy. The NYSBA noted his leadership in civil rights cases on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community, low-income New Yorkers, asylum-seekers and others in need over the course of his almost 30-year career. 

The NYSBA highlighted Wes’ groundbreaking work as a champion of transgender rights with respect to coverage of gender-affirming care, access to restrooms and asylum, among other matters. His recent achievements include leading Willkie’s lawsuit, with the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, that won a landmark decision in Georgia federal court prohibiting employers from denying coverage for gender-affirming care under employee health insurance plans. 

In addition, Willkie was recognized for its exemplary pro bono work overall. The NYSBA named Willkie one of its outstanding law firms based on the total number of pro bono hours completed by attorneys who performed 50+ pro bono hours in 2022. Willkie pro bono counsel Stacey Kushlefsky accepted the award on behalf of the Firm at an award event in New York City on January 19.

Read more about the NYSBA 2023 Justice For All Awards here

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