On October 26, 2020, the City Bar Justice Center commemorated the tremendous response of ten volunteer attorneys who rose to meet the challenges of 2020, awarding each of them with a 2020 Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award. Our honorees demonstrated an unwavering commitment to supporting disadvantaged New Yorkers, particularly in times of crisis. Congratulations!

Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project: Jacqueline Haberfeld, Pro Bono Counsel at Kirkland & Ellis LLP

The Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project (NELP) provides legal assistance to low-income micro-entrepreneurs with matters such as incorporation, contracts, and intellectual property rights to ensure their businesses start off on sound legal footing.

Shortly after the coronavirus forced New York City into lockdown, Jacqueline Haberfeld, Pro Bono Counsel at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, reached out to the City Bar Justice Center to discuss forming a large scale remote legal clinic for struggling small businesses. Within a few short, but intense, weeks, a partnership was formed between Kirkland & Ellis LLP, the national non-profit Lawyers for Good Government and the City Bar Justice Center, and the Covid-19 Remote Small Business Legal Clinic was up and running.

The Remote Clinic utilized an online intake system modeled after NELP’s legal clinics to provide small businesses with the opportunity to request legal assistance and be matched with a pro bono attorney, quickly. Ms. Haberfeld worked tirelessly to bring in the support of other firms and to get the word out on the launch of our Remote Clinic. Within the first few days of the clinic going live, more than 100 small businesses had reached out for assistance. We built out the project during the spring, and by summertime, over 900 attorneys had registered to provide pro bono consultations to help businesses navigate the new federal aid available under the CARES Act as well as other COVID-related issues.

Ms. Haberfeld’s dedication to pro bono has been unwavering even in the midst of a crisis that affected all of us personally and professionally, resulting in well over 1,000 NYC small businesses having received legal assistance through the clinic. We are honored to present Ms. Haberfeld with a 2020 Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award.