ABA Honors Godesky with Pro Bono Publico Award

May 26, 2020


NEW YORK—May 26, 2020—The American Bar Association has recognized O’Melveny partner Leah Godesky with its prestigious Pro Bono Publico Award for “demonstrating outstanding commitment to volunteer legal services for the poor and disadvantaged.”

The Pro Bono Publico Awards are the top honors given by the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, which spotlights the pro bono efforts of individual lawyers and small and large law firms, government attorney offices, corporate law departments and other institutions in the legal profession. The awards will be presented at the upcoming ABA Annual Meeting, which will be held online later this summer.

In announcing the 2020 recipients, the ABA hailed Godesky for leading the firm’s pro bono efforts for women’s reproductive rights, including “landmark victories” against several states seeking to severely restrict access to abortion. These include working with the ACLU to persuade a Kentucky district court to strike down a state law banning a medical procedure used in virtually all second-trimester abortions. The decision was a critical win for Kentucky’s last remaining abortion provider, which is also a destination for women from five other states.

“I am incredibly honored to receive the ABA’s Pro Bono Publico Award,” Godesky said. “There is no higher calling for a lawyer than to make a difference in people’s lives. It is gratifying to work at a firm that encourages these important efforts and where I have the support of so many likeminded colleagues.”

O’Melveny’s commitment to exceptional client service extends to the underrepresented members of society through the firm's vibrant and award-winning pro bono practice. The firm’s pro bono program tackles the critical issues of the day, including immigration, housing, women’s rights, foster care, education, veterans affairs, jail reform, and community building. Our clients—from military veterans to couples seeking marriage equality to nonprofits stitching together a social safety net—are as diverse as the communities we serve.

With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.

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