Harter Secrest & Emery LLP, a full-service business law firm with offices throughout New York, was recently honored by the Erie County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP) with the organization’s Law Firm Commitment Award. The award was presented during VLP’s 2018 Pro Bono Awards reception.

The Law Firm Commitment Award honors the many ways in which a law firm assists VLP and the organization’s low-income clients. In presenting this year’s award to Harter Secrest & Emery, VLP recognized HSE and its attorneys for being active supporters of the organization for nearly 30 years. Throughout decades of service to VLP, attorneys from Harter Secrest & Emery have been active volunteers in the Pro Se Assistance Program (PSAP), have provided significant pro bono leadership and counsel to VLP clients, and have served on the VLP board of directors.

VLP officials made particular note of Harter Secrest & Emery’s pro bono policy that not only urges attorneys to perform at least 50 hours of pro bono service annually, but treats authorized pro bono service as billable time.

“The work that VLP does on behalf of the most vulnerable members of our community exemplifies service and a commitment to justice,” said John G. Horn, partner in charge of Harter Secrest & Emery’s Buffalo office, and an active VLP volunteer. “Our firm, and the individual attorneys who practice at Harter Secrest & Emery, value the tremendous good that VLP does on a daily basis. We are honored to work with and support VLP, and we are humbled by this recognition.”

Lauren R. Mendolera, a senior associate in Harter Secrest & Emery’s Litigation practice, currently serves on the VLP board of directors. Other Harter Secrest & Emery attorneys identified by VLP for their contributions to the organization include partners Anthony D. Mancinelli and Amy L. Hemenway, and associates Chloe J. Macdonald, Anna S.M. McCarthy, and Greg Scholand, among others.

The staff and volunteers at VLP provide free legal services to low income households and small not-for-profit groups in Western New York. A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, VLP provides services by utilizing both its staff and a network of volunteers to represent clients. VLP offers a number of limited scope legal service opportunities for clients, helping them overcome obstacles so they can return their focus to supporting their families and keeping them safe. Created in 1983, VLP recruits, trains, and assists attorneys who volunteer to represent the organization’s clients on a pro bono basis.

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