Out on the Town

Check out the latest photo galleries and recaps from local legal events across the country. From association award ceremonies and galleries to networking events and law firm opening houses. Contact the local publisher or [email protected] for information about event coverage.

Legal Services of Greater Miami Hosts Annual Pro Bono Celebration

October 26, 2023

MIAMI, FL—Legal Services of Greater Miami participated in National Pro Bono Week by hosting its Annual Pro Bono Celebration on October 26, 2023. Ocean Bank, a loyal supporter of Legal Services, exclusively sponsored the awards recognition and reception at its main office for the second time.

Over 100 members of the business and legal community gathered to commend about 300 treasured pro bono volunteers for their outstanding contributions to equal justice over the past year. Upon arrival, guests enjoyed a grand charcuterie spread while networking and sipping wine.

After introductory remarks by Legal Services Board President D. Porpoise Evans the awards presentation got underway. Presenting the awards were Pro Bono Director Carolina de Diego and Arya Attari Li, Legal Services board secretary and chair of the board committee responsible for pro bono engagement and oversight. De Diego said, “It is a great honor to work with such a wonderful group of professionals who go above and beyond, giving their time and expertise, and we cannot thank them enough.”

Also addressing the honorees was a devoted public servant with an impressive background, the Honorable Cecilia M. Altonaga, who serves as chief judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.  Chief Judge Altonaga eloquently praised the honorees for their valuable pro bono service and noted “their actions are guided by empathy.”  She further expressed how the impact of pro bono attorneys “goes beyond the confines of the courtroom and touches the lives of families.”

The 2023 Equal Justice Pro Bono Awards were given for exceptional contributions to equal justice in the following categories:

  • Large Firm Award: McDermott Will & Emery LLP
  • Special Project of the Year Award: White & Case LLP
  • Corporate Partner Award: Santander Bank
  • Impact Award: Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
  • Rising Star Award: Vanessa Offutt, Esq.
  • Tax Clinic Award: Anita Friedlander, Esq., Steven Klitzner, Esq., Michael Lampert, Esq., Karen Lapekas, Esq. and Joseph Barry Schimmel, Esq.
  • Champions for Justice Award: Holland & Knight LLP
  • Solo/Small Firm Award: Tomas A. Gonzalez, Jr., Esq.
  • Clinic Volunteer Award: Elisabeth Magloire, Esq.

Wrapping up the presentation was Legal Services CEO Monica Vigues-Pitan who expressed heartfelt appreciation for the hundreds of pro bono partners who significantly advance Legal Services’ mission. Vigues-Pitan also took the opportunity to announce the generous gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. The recent gift of $1.8 million will directly impact the Miami community by furthering access to legal counsel for those who need it most. 

Legal Services of Greater Miami Cocktails Under the Stars

October 20, 2023

MIAMI, FL—Legal Services of Greater Miami (Legal Services), the largest provider of broad-based civil legal services for low-income residents in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties, hosted a cocktail reception for the second year in a row that brought attention to the importance of having access to a lawyer, as well as raised $25,000 to benefit its mission.

The fundraising initiative, Cocktails Under the Stars, was developed in partnership with Evensky & Katz/Foldes Wealth Management to generate support for the organization. It kicked off last fall and may become one of the organization’s key events as it continues to grow.

The celebration was held at La Terrazza da Fiola. Over 150 movers and shakers in the corporate and legal industries gathered to support Legal Services. The evening featured fire performers that captivated the attendees and included raffles and a silent auction.

UC Law SF Hosts Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on New Building

October 12, 2023

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—UC Law SF celebrated the completion of its newest building with a ribbon cutting ceremony. This event marks a major step forward in the law school’s transformation into a multi-institutional learning and living community.

The new state-of-the-art building at 198 McAllister St. adds 656 units of much-needed housing for graduate students and professionals from UC Law SF and other institutions, including UCSF, UC Berkeley, University of the Pacific Dugoni School, and University of San Francisco. It also includes two mock courtrooms, a seventh-floor social commons, fitness center, dog run, and new spaces for the law school’s scholarly publications and innovative LexLab program, among other features.

The building is part of a four-phase campus transformation plan known as the Academic Village. It envisions an urban campus community where students from different disciplines – including business, law, and medicine — can collaborate and work together to tackle some of the world’s greatest challenges.

“With this building, we are well on our way to meeting our objective of creating an Academic Village in the heart of San Francisco,” said UC Law SF Chancellor & Dean David Faigman. “We aim to be one of the great urban campuses in the country.”

Hundreds packed into the building’s lower-level auditorium as Faigman sliced the ceremonial ribbon with a giant pair of scissors to mark the momentous occasion.

Construction of the new building, which includes nearly 8,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, started in September 2020 and was funded by $364 million in tax-exempt bonds. The 350,000-square-foot building replaces the previous structure, Snodgrass Hall, which served as the law school’s main academic building from 1953 to 2020.

The final two phases of the Academic Village plan include a full renovation of the 28-story neo-Gothic tower at 100 McAllister St., scheduled to start in 2024, and development of a new structure at 201-247 Golden Gate Ave. in partnership with the union Unite Here Local 2.

Eighth Annual Law Rocks Washington DC Raises Over $120K for Local Nonprofits

September 28, 2023

WASHINGTON, DC—The Law Rocks World Tour hit DC with seven bands of legal professionals at the 9:30 Club. Law Rocks is the nonprofit organization that produces a global tour of fundraising concerts starring legal professionals. The event kicked off the fall leg of the 2023 tour, which will round out a year of record-breaking shows across the US.

Each of the seven bands featured musically talented members of the DMV legal community, with the lineup including four veteran bands (including two former champions) as well as three bands brand new to Law Rocks. With 17 legal firms represented, the evening brought the DC legal community together at the acclaimed 9:30 Club for a battle of the bands that was as fun as it was competitive. The friendly rivalry between firms drove bands to raise a total of $123,838.

The winning band, Noise in the Basement of Venable; Gordon Rees; and Steptoe, was determined by three factors – total raised in donations; sponsorships and ticket sales; and Rock Panel of Judges score. Noise in the Basement brought in $36,907 in total fundraising and also received special recognition as the band with the highest marks from the Rock Panel of Judges.

The Rock Panel included Daniel Gomez, an accomplished singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, and founder and director of Distrito Music Fest; Gregory Grainger, an accomplished professional musician and Original Founding Board Member of The MusicianShip; and Stacy Puente, a musician, singer/songwriter, and front person for several DC area rock bands, including three-year Law Rocks veteran G.O.A.T. Rodeo. The event was hosted by Lisa Berigan, a trusted voice in Washington, D.C. for years, whose passion for music and the DMV region are evident during every show on BIG 100, Washington’s Classic Rock.

Each participating band fundraised for a local nonprofit of their choosing, with selected organizations including Gifts for the Homeless, Guitars 4 Vets, Horton’s Kids, The I.M.P.Family Fund, Miriam’s Kitchen, and Together We Bake. The Terrifying Words, a band featuring legal talent from the Office of the Attorney General of Washington DC won the night’s Hustle and Heart Award, which recognizes the band with the most individual donations for their charity of choice. The Terrifying Words selected Horton’s Kids, which will receive an additional $3,000 grant from Law Rocks as a result of the win. Law Rocks also awarded the first Washington DC recipient of the new Music Matters grant as part of their 2023 initiative to increase giving in support of music education, particularly for underserved youth. The first Washington DC recipient of the $5,000 Music Matters grant is The MusicianShip – a youth development organization that offers a wide range of free music education programs geared towards enriching the lives of students, their communities, and emerging musicians in the Washington metropolitan region.

The September 28 concert featured legal professionals from The Authors Guild; Crowell & Moring; Department of Justice; Federal Communications Commission; Gordon Rees; Interactive Brokers; McGuire Woods; Meta; Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia; Somos; Steptoe; USTelecom; Venable; Verizon; Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley, & Walsh; Willkie Farr & Gallagher; and Wireless Infrastructure Association.

All photography by Derek Baker.

Previous Events