O’Melveny Worldwide

Lawyers Alliance for New York Honors O’Melveny with 2018 Cornerstone Award

November 15, 2018

Firm Recognized for Providing Exceptional Pro Bono Services that Strengthen Community Organizations


NEW YORK, NY—November 15, 2018—O’Melveny has received Lawyers Alliance for New York’s 2018 Cornerstone Award honoring organizations and individuals who have provided outstanding pro bono legal services to nonprofits working to improve the quality of life for low-income New Yorkers.

O’Melveny has collaborated with Lawyers Alliance for more than 25 years; within the past five years, the firm has assisted more than 25 clients on upwards of 30 legal matters. 

“Lawyers Alliance is recognizing O’Melveny with its highest award because of the firm’s longstanding pro bono commitment, the significant complexity and volume of its transactional pro bono work, and the positive impact of this work on nonprofits improving the lives of New Yorkers,” the organization said. “O’Melveny is a standout in the legal sector because of its dedication to excellence, innovation, and civic responsibility. Its drive to lead is consistently evident in its pro bono program.”

Lawyers Alliance highlighted the firm’s efforts to help nonprofits establish constructive partnerships—including mergers and strategic alliances—to preserve and/or expand their services.

A team led by partner Junaid Chida, who accepted the award on the firm’s behalf, assisted the Staten Island Mental Health Society with a multi-faceted merger with a hospital system. The merger will enable the client, which has provided children’s services in Staten Island for over 100 years, to continue providing its indispensable mental health services to the Staten Island community. “I can’t say enough about how wonderful the entire team has been in supporting us through this lengthy, complicated, and detailed process,” said the President of SIMHS.

O’Melveny attorneys also handled the formation of Latinas on the Verge of Excellence (LOVE), an education organization that enhances academic performance and high school graduation rates among young Latinas. LOVE later received corporate and contract help for its partnership with Student Success Network (SSN), a community of education practitioners sharing best practices. Through this partnership, SSN provides impact measurement tools for the social and emotional health of the students in LOVE’s programs and thereby enhances the services provided to young Latinas. O’Melveny volunteers also counseled on maintaining LOVE’s data privacy. LOVE’s staff remarked, “The work with O’Melveny & Myers is always impeccable.”

The firm has also provided advice to area nonprofits on corporate governance, real estate, human resources, and other legal issues essential for their operations.

When Chalkbeat, the nonprofit news organization covering the effort to improve schools for all children, was on a month-to-month lease with one month to move out of its current space, an O’Melveny real estate attorney successfully negotiated a sublease within a week. Chalkbeat remarked, “[The attorney] was friendly, efficient, and knowledgeable throughout the transaction.” Four months later, the same attorney helped Chalkbeat negotiate a direct lease with the landlord of its current premises, enabling Chalkbeat to have stable space and focus on using journalism to improve outcomes for children in low-income neighborhoods.

The Reading Team, a Harlem-based organization dedicated to enabling young children who are at high risk of reading failure to become strong and enthusiastic readers, writers, listeners, and speakers, obtained help with its employee handbook. “After years of figuring things out as we went along in connection with human resources, we couldn’t be happier to have a definitive handbook that lays out clearly what our policies and practices are,” the client said.

Firm lawyers who have contributed to these matters include: Billy Abbott, Sloane Ackerman, Charles Baker, Andrew Banks, Jacob Beiswenger, Irene Blumberg, Jennifer Cardelus, Matthew Carter, Alexander Chester, Junaid Chida, Matthew Close, Hannah Corning, Rebecca Cottrell, John Dickson, Kelly Donahue, Ross Galin, Nidhi Geevarghese, Scott Gleason,  Mia Gonzalez, Jaroslaw Hawrylewicz, Arthur Hazlitt, Wayne Jacobsen, Tobias Knapp, Jeffrey Kohn, Doron Lipshitz, Heather Meeker, Samantha Miller, Catherine Nagle, Mark Racanelli, Irwin Raij, John Renneisen, Marina Richter, Mark Robertson, Eric Rothenberg, Amalia Sax-Bolder, David Schultz, Joseph Spina, Elaine Sun, Suzanne Uhland, and Steve Warren.

About Lawyers Alliance for New York

Lawyers Alliance for New York is the leading provider of business and transactional legal services for nonprofit organizations and social enterprises that are improving the quality of life in New York City neighborhoods. Its network of pro bono lawyers from law firms and corporations and staff of experienced attorneys collaborate to deliver expert corporate, tax, real estate, employment, intellectual property, and other legal services to community organizations. By connecting lawyers, nonprofits, and communities, Lawyers Alliance for New York helps organizations to develop and provide housing, stimulate economic opportunity, improve urban health and education, promote community arts, and operate and advocate for vital programs that benefit low-income New Yorkers of all ages.

About O’Melveny

It’s more than what you do: it’s how you do it. Across sectors and borders, in board rooms and courtrooms, we measure our success by yours. And in our interactions, we commit to making your O’Melveny experience as satisfying as the outcomes we help you achieve. Our greatest accomplishment is ensuring that you never have to choose between premier lawyering and exceptional service. So, tell us. What do you want to achieve? Visit us at omm.com.


Christopher Rieck
O’Melveny & Myers LLP
+1 212 326 2218