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.

Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project: Valerie Farkas and Donald Gammon, Bloomberg

Valerie Farkas founded and is now Emeritus Chair of the Bloomberg Legal Department’s pro bono program, and began working with the Justice Center’s Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project, or “NELP,” in May 2016.  Through Valerie’s recruiting efforts, leadership, and dedicated service, Bloomberg teams have staffed a dozen NELP small business legal clinics; visited every one of the project’s clinic sites in Harlem, Queens, Brooklyn and lower Manhattan; and even started an annual tradition of staffing NELP clinics on “Giving Tuesday.” Thanks to Valerie’s vision, nearly 160 entrepreneurs have received pro bono legal advice and guidance. In addition, one of Valerie’s own NELP clients has successfully grown a small business recently featured in the City Bar Justice Center’s gala video.

Donald Gammon, who has succeeded Valerie as point person for Bloomberg’s work with NELP.  Beyond volunteering at a number of NELP clinics, Don has given multiple community-based “Intellectual Property Basics for Entrepreneurs” presentations, reaching more than 50 entrepreneurs. Don has also helped provide direct representation on two NELP case matters, and provided independent contractor agreements, staff manuals, draft online policies and disclaimers, service agreements, and non-disclosure and non-compete agreements.