PRO BONO HONOREES
The City Bar Justice Center salutes the following individuals who were honored at our annual Epstein Awards event in October 2019. The awards ceremony is named for Jeremy G. Epstein (1946-2009), a Shearman & Sterling LLP partner and board member at the City Bar Justice Center, The Legal Aid Society, and the Fund for Modern Courts. Mr. Epstein logged over 5,000 hours of pro bono and public service over 20 years.
Legal Clinic for the Homeless: Uzoamaka (Uzo) Okoye, Troutman Sanders
Uzo Okoye began volunteering with the Justice Center’s Legal Clinic for the Homeless just last October, 2018, taking on the case of a Tunisian-born, traumatized, mentally ill, homeless, gay Muslim man with a multitude of legal and other challenges. Rather than focus on just one issue, she jumped in and began tackling them all, starting with obtaining a USCIS fee waiver that enabled her client to obtain a new naturalization certificate to replace one that had been destroyed when he was attacked in a homeless shelter. Uzo also helped her client apply for SSI, and researched filing an action in connection with a Fire Department decision to terminate her client from his job. Beyond that, Uzo has made a point to listen to her client as he speaks about his trauma and difficulties living with mental illness, and used her position as board chair of the African Services Committee to connect her client to multiservice programs assisting immigrants, refugees, and asylees from across the African Diaspora.