43 Focused on What Matters Additional Pro Bono Highlights from 2012 Millennium Campus Network The Millennium Campus Network is a nonprofit network of university student organizations working to end extreme poverty and achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. The organization’s Student Action Grants program seeks to expand and improve these efforts by awarding grants to the best overseas development projects and domestic advocacy events presented. In 2012, attorney Kate Beattie assisted Millennium Campus Network with employment issues. NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund approached attorneys Jerry Gotkin and Bridget Rohde to write an amicus brief to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana in support of an action brought by Bernette Joshua Johnson, an African American woman who was then an Associate Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court. Justice Johnson sought a declaration from the District Court that she was next in line to be the Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court. Justice Johnson was opposed by all of the other judges of the Supreme Court and by the governor of Louisiana, among others. The Louisiana Constitution provides that the “judge oldest in point of service shall be chief justice.” Justice Johnson’s opponents argued that she was still ineligible to be Chief Justice because she initially had been assigned to the bench pursuant to a Consent Judgment that required the judiciary to provide a seat for an African American on the court, and that she did not actually become an Associate Justice of the court until after some of the other current judges were appointed. Mintz Levin submitted an amicus brief on behalf of the NAACP, arguing that Justice Johnson was the “judge oldest in point of service” and should be appointed Chief Justice. The District Court agreed, holding that “any tenure accrued by Justice Johnson between Nov. 16, 1994 and October 7, 2000, is to be credited to her for all purposes under Louisiana law,” making her the “[associate] judge [then] oldest in point of service.”As a result, Justice Johnson became the Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court. Marie Jezequel, are representing Sylvia in her efforts to obtain legal immigration status through a Violence Against Women Act petition. When approved, Sylvia’s petition will enable her to apply for lawful permanent residence.The Mintz Levin team worked with Sylvia to prepare the appropriate documents and evidence of abuse, and they are currently waiting for a decision from US Citizenship and Immigration Services. In the meantime, the firm has helped Sylvia to obtain employment authorization and maintain her legal status in the country under Haitian Temporary Protected Status requirements. Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty One of New York’s largest human services agencies, the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty provides 100,000 New Yorkers with critical services in their fight against poverty each year. For more than 35 years, the organization has been a defender and advocate for New Yorkers in need, has raised awareness around the growing problem of Jewish poverty, and has offered services ranging from kosher food pantries to domestic violence counseling and career training. Attorneys Jeff Moerdler, Will Hill, Amy Williams, and Mark Nemes and Project Analyst Anthony Arias recently concluded a decades-long effort by the MetCouncil to establish a moderate-income assisted living facility in Staten Island on land which was purchased from the City of New York for $1. Attorneys Peter Chavkin, Bridget Rohde, and Jeff Moerdler, with the assistance of Project Analyst Lelia Ledain, represented the MetCouncil as a witness in a government investigation concerning the alleged bribery of a government official. Attorneys Sarah Lowe and Jeff have worked with the MetCouncil and its affiliated local Jewish Community Councils to formalize their relationship and to arrange for payment of funds due to the MetCouncil. Jeff and attorneys Andy Roth and Nili Yolin assisted the organization in an effort to establish a long-term managed care program with several other nonprofits. Jeff and attorneys Mike Lieberman and Ken Gantz assisted MetCouncil in an effort to purchase a nursing home in Brooklyn and convert it to a moderate-income senior residence.