Each year, the Public Service Office honors the graduating class for its dedication to pro bono work at the Public Service Awards. This year, the event in March featured Evan Wolfson, the founder of the same-sex marriage organization Freedom to Marry and a major figure in making same-sex marriage legal across the country. He addressed students, faculty, and alumni and then took part in a Q&A with Professor Cynthia Godsoe.
“We are lucky to live in a society where, despite its many imperfections, its many failures to live up to its promise, we have a Constitution,” Wolfson said. “We have a set of national ideals, we have a system of rules of law, however imperfect, and ‘we the people’ can engage and make that promise of the Constitution real.”
During the awards program, Professor Stacy Caplow recognized members of the class of 2016, who over the course of their law school careers collectively devoted nearly 70,000 hours to individuals charged with crimes, immigrants, survivors of domestic violence, people seeking healthcare benefits, low-income taxpayers, children, veterans, and others.
Susan Jacobs ’82 and Russell Neufeld ’82 received the Alumni Award for Excellence for their work with the Center for Family Representation (CFR), a nonprofit that provides free legal and social work services to 2,000 low-income parents each year, and the Legal Aid Society, respectively. Professor Susan Herman presented the award.
“These students and graduates are a testament to the long and proud tradition Brooklyn Law School has in supporting pro bono work and students seeking public service careers,” said Danielle Sorken, director of the Public Service Office.
Professor Liz Schneider, director of the Edward V. Sparer Public Interest Law Fellowship Program, was presented with the Award for Excellence in Public Service. She was introduced by Claudia Connor ’88, who was a student of Schneider’s in 1985.