Although this year's Sonenshine Pro Bono Reception had to be canceled due to COVID-19, JAMS neutral Sheila Prell Sonenshine, partner Sean M. Sherlock with Snell & Wilmer LLP and the event's executive committee still found a way to help Orange County's non-profit community by enlisting firms to donate their time and services to 12 organizations in place of the annual reception.
Each firm was partnered with a non-profit to donate time and legal services on a project basis to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the reception, which is held every November.
"I started it when I was still on the bench and I was struck by how many wonderful attorneys we had in the county and given my background at Neighborhood Legal Services before I was even in law school, I realized the need for pro bono activity," Sonenshine, a former appellate justice, said in an interview Friday. "So I conceived this . . . with the idea of connecting young lawyers in the county with pro bono opportunities."
Participating law firms were: Bremer Whyte Brown & O'Meara LLP; Crowell & Moring LLP; Irell & Manella LLP; Knobbe, Martens, Olson & Bear LLP; Latham & Watkins LLP; O'Melveny & Myers LLP; Rutan & Tucker LLP; Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP; Snell & Wilmer; Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth PC and Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP.
This year's sponsors were: JAMS; Bremer Whyte Brown & O'Meara; Manatt, Crowell & Moring; O'Melveny; Gibson Dunn, Paul Hastings LLP; Irell, Rutan & Tucker; Sheppard Mullin; Jones Day; Snell & Wilmer; Knobbe Martens; Stradling, Latham & Watkins and Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders.
This year's participating nonprofits were: the Anti-Defamation League, Breast Cancer Solutions, Community Legal Aid SoCal, Elder Law & Disability Rights Center, Families Forward, Human Options, Laura's House, Orangewood Children's Foundation and Make-A-Wish OC/IE, Veterans Legal Institute, WISE Place and Women Helping Women.
-- Kamila Knaudt