On October 26, 2021, the City Bar Justice Center commemorated the tremendous support of eleven volunteers, who were awarded with a 2021 Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award, for their remarkable commitment to our clients and for championing our team’s mission to advance access to justice. Congratulations!

Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project: Victor M. Metsch, Of Counsel at Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP

The Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project provides legal assistance to micro-entrepreneurs and aims to promote economic empowerment among entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Victor M. Metsch, Of Counsel in the Litigation, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Appellate Practices of Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP, volunteered for the City Bar Justice Center’s CV-19 Remote Small Business Legal Clinic in April 2020, and in the time since, he has provided advice and guidance to 75 small businesses. Victor has spent numerous hours reviewing commercial leases and explaining the ever changing rules and regulations around commercial leasing in NYC to struggling and overwhelmed business owners.  Victor not only did his best to help the businesses he counseled understand the laws, but he also helped to provide business owners with negotiation tips and plans to try and work out beneficial agreements with their landlords to remain in their spaces and continue to operate their businesses.  Among some of the businesses that Victor advised were yoga studios, personal health care practitioners, clothing shops, restaurants and hardware stores – businesses that are integral to and make up the fabric of our all of our communities.  Throughout it all, Victor remains humble as to his efforts and admits to having developed a deeper appreciation of the impact that pro bono work can have in addressing some of the systemic inequalities experienced by small business owners.

In recognition of his commitment to volunteering with the City Bar Justice Center’s CV-19 Remote Small Business Legal Clinic and providing pro bono legal services to NYC’s struggling small business community, it is our honor to recognize Victor M. Metsch with our 2021 Pro Bono Excellence Award.

Victor also shared his insights about pro bono lessons learned during the pandemic, which can be found here.