O’Melveny’s Arena To Receive Cornerstone Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Work

November 04, 2015



Emily Lattal
O’Melveny & Myers LLP

NEW YORK — November 4, 2015 — O’Melveny & Myers LLP associate Todd Arena has been selected by the Lawyers Alliance for New York to receive a 2015 Cornerstone Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution of pro bono legal services to nonprofit organizations.  The award acknowledges Arena as a “consistent champion for economic development” for his work on behalf of nonprofits devoted to improving the quality of life for low-income New Yorkers.  The award will be presented at a November 4, 2015, ceremony in New York City.

Arena is a member of O’Melveny’s Project Development and Real Estate Practice and resides in the Firm’s New York office.

About O’Melveny & Myers LLP
With approximately 700 lawyers in 15 offices worldwide, O’Melveny & Myers LLP helps industry leaders across a broad array of sectors manage the complex challenges of succeeding in the global economy.  We are a values-driven law firm, guided by the principles of excellence, leadership, and citizenship.  Our commitment to these values is reflected in our dedication to improving access to justice through pro bono work and championing initiatives that increase the diversity of the legal profession.  For more information, please visit www.omm.com.

The following release was issued by Lawyers Alliance for New York:

Todd C. Arena of O’Melveny & Myers LLP
Consistent Champion for Economic Development

Accomplishment: Recipient of Lawyers Alliance for New York’s 2015 Cornerstone Award honoring outstanding pro bono legal services to nonprofits, to be presented on November 4.

Highlights: Todd C. Arena is an associate at O’Melveny & Myers LLP specializing in finance, project development, and real estate.  He received a B.A. from the University of Arizona in 2005 and his J.D. from Columbia Law School in 2009.

Mr. Arena provided counsel to the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (the Federation) in resolving several governance complexities raised by its operation in multiple jurisdictions. He also assisted the Federation in updating its bylaws, meeting a tight and expedited deadline with great success. The Federation’s Fiscal Officer/Director of Operations Irene Prince says, “Todd has an excellent understanding of the community development arena and our work in particular. He was willing to go the extra mile for us; he came to our Board meeting and made a presentation on the governance issues and worked closely with Lawyers Alliance to answer all our nuanced questions about how to comply with the laws of the different states in which we are active. Todd not only ‘gets’ our mission but it is one that he clearly shares and is passionate enough about to offer his all when any issue or challenge arises.”

Mr. Arena also worked with Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union (LESPFCU) in drafting an agreement with a partner organization to provide mobile banking services in underbanked communities. LESPFCU’s Chief Executive Officer Linda Levy comments that, “Todd initially helped us with an agreement with one of our partners. A few years later the program needed to be reworked and we had to make changes to the documents. I contacted Todd and, without any hesitation, he agreed to make amendments to the document.”

Mr. Arena is currently assisting the Washington Avenue – Prospect Heights Association (WAPHA) in reviewing its bylaws and applying for federal tax exemp¬tion. WAPHA aims to engage in a variety of community-building activities, such as attracting new businesses, providing supplementary sanitation and street-cleaning services, marketing area businesses and community activities, and providing support services to area businesses.

He has also worked with Union Settlement Association and, in early 2013, volunteered at two Lawyers Alliance Hurricane Sandy legal clinics, offering legal assistance to nonprofits severely affected by the storm.

Says Mr. Arena of his pro bono experiences, “Lawyers Alliance is an invaluable resource for New York-based nonprofits, including many community development financial institutions providing critical services to New York’s diverse communities. They are also an invaluable resource for pro bono attorneys seeking to support the work of these great community-focused organizations.”

About the Cornerstone Awards: The Cornerstone Awards recognize outstanding pro bono legal services to nonprofit groups that are improving the quality of life for low-income New Yorkers. Each year, Lawyers Alliance for New York honors exceptional volunteerism by business and transactional lawyers with both Institutional and Individual Cornerstone Awards.

About Lawyers Alliance for New York: Lawyers Alliance for New York is the leading provider of business and transactional legal services for nonprofit organizations that are improving the quality of life in New York City neighborhoods. Our 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, we help nonprofits to develop affordable housing, stimulate economic development, promote community arts, strengthen urban health, and operate and advocate for vital programs for children and young people, the elderly, and other low-income New Yorkers. During the past year, 13 staff attorneys and 1,650 volunteer attorneys served more than 700 nonprofit clients on more than 1,200 different legal matters.

Inquiries: Marketing and Communications Manager Emily Crossan at 212-219-1800 ext. 233, ecrossan@lawyersalliance.org