DC Area Attorneys/Winston & Strawn Law Firm to be Honored for Volunteer Service

September 30, 2009

Three local attorneys and the Winston & Strawn law firm will receive this year’s Pro Bono Legal Service Awards for outstanding volunteer legal service to low-income individuals from the Washington region. The awards will be made on Sunday, October 4 at a brunch following the annual Red Mass for justices, lawyers and government officials.

The honorees are volunteers with the Archdiocesan Legal Network, a program of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington. Last year alone, free legal services were provided to 5,145 people in need through the generosity of more than 510 volunteer attorneys and 55 law firms. The Legal Network offers in-person intake for individuals, 85 percent of whom are below poverty lines, at several locations in the District of Columbia and suburban Maryland, and by telephone.

The Pro Bono Legal Service Awards are given each year by the John Carroll Society, a spiritual, charitable and social organization for Washington-area Catholic professionals. This year’s winners are:

Matthew N. Bathon, Esq., associate at Arnold & Porter in Washington, DC, who has conducted pro bono telephone intake for individuals on a weekly basis since 2003. A 2001 graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School, he specializes in patent litigation at the trial and appellate levels.

Barbara Betsock, Esq., an attorney in private practice in Washington, DC and former deputy chief counsel for the United States Department of Transportation, who generously has accepted one pro bono case from the Legal Network each month this year. She has represented clients on topics that include Supplemental Social Security, guardianship, and wills and probate.

James F. McKeown, Esq., a senior partner at Crowell & Moring, LLP, in Washington, DC, who has conducted in-person client intake for the Legal Network every Tuesday morning for two years. He also has served as a mentor for attorneys volunteering for in-person intake and for law students, and has been helpful to the Legal Network’s staff attorneys in evaluating cases involving employment law and consumer issues and resolving complex jurisdictional issues. He is a past president of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia.

Winston & Strawn LLP, Washington, DC, which for five years, has provided the Legal Network with volunteer attorneys, both associates and partners, to conduct in-person client intake on a bi-weekly basis. The firm also has accepted a number of pro bono civil law cases, including consumer cases, on behalf of Legal Network clients.

In addition to its pro bono legal services, the Legal Network offers free law-related education seminars for the community (over 635 people attended 16 seminars in 2008-09) and training for attorneys on topics such as family law, immigration, wills and probate matters, and social security benefits.

Susan Gibbs
Director of Communications
[email protected]