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Pro Bono Publico – Giving a Helping Hand Up, Not Just a Hand Out

“Lawyers have a license to practice law, a monopoly on certain services. But for that privilege and status, lawyers have an obligation to provide legal services to those without the wherewithal to pay, to respond to needs outside themselves, to help repair tears in their communities.”
– U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (March 2014)

As a lawyer, I – we – have an obligation to make the world a better place. We must do our part make sure that all have equal access to the law or otherwise do what we can to help repair tears in the social fabric of our community.

Some of the pro bono work I’ve done is on a very local level, including representation of the volunteer first responder squad near my house. As a corporate and tax attorney, I am also mindful of my obligations to the community in a broader, more far-flung sense. In that broader sense, I am most proud of the work done I’ve done with a charity with its roots here in New York, and its good works extending half way around the globe to Hoi An, Vietnam.

The charity is called Streets International. You can learn more about them by clicking here.

Streets International is an innovative social enterprise initiative dedicated to the mission of developing and operating sustainable programs for street kids and disadvantaged youth in Southeast Asia and throughout the world.

In developing economies around the world, tourism is often one of the first and largest sectors to experience growth and expansion. The Streets initiative is designed to match the resource demands of the growing hospitality sectors with the needs of disadvantaged youth. It provides them with the highest levels of training to prepare them for careers in culinary arts and hospitality service.

The program incorporates many components, including classroom instruction, hands-on work experience, housing and all the necessary social and community support. This is the first real chance for many disadvantaged young adults to transition from poverty and life on the streets to the dignity of self-sufficiency that comes with a successful career in hospitality.

All trainees spend part of each week at the restaurant, applying what they have learned in their classes. It is an essential part of the overall Streets program, providing a training platform for hands-on learning, observation and practice.

Critical to this innovative social enterprise is that all the restaurant revenue goes towards supporting the comprehensive program.

Streets is having its annual event.

Join New York City’s most prestigious chefs for an evening of culinary adventure to support Streets International. Click here for more information about the event.

I hope to see you there.  Bienvenue!




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