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Brad Karp, Mike Gertzman, Bob Atkins and Jean McLoughlin Featured in Three Podcasts on Coronavirus (COVID-19) Relief Center

April 27, 2020

Firm chairman Brad Karp, litigation co-chairs Mike Gertzman and Bob Atkins, and employee benefits partner Jean McLoughlin were interviewed about the firm’s work on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Relief Center in three new and soon-to-be-broadcast podcasts. In each, they describe the importance of pro bono service in times of crisis; the extreme need for a resource such as the Relief Center; the unique skills that lawyers can provide in helping people understand and access emergency assistance; the importance of partnerships, and new targeted pro bono projects tied to the Relief Center resources.
Individuals most in need of assistance—including tens of millions of hourly and wage workers—are often “the people who are least equipped to navigate the maze of relief programs,” Brad tells David Miranda, host of the New York State Bar Association podcast series, “Miranda Warnings.” The firm created a repository “where we could gather all the programs that are being created … and make them accessible to the individuals who really, desperately need to access” them.

“Many thousands of lawyer hours over the past several weeks have been deployed to get this [resource] up and running,” Mike says in the same podcast. “These programs are changing day by day; many of them are highly technical; they have overlapping subject matters; complicated eligibility requirements; sometimes the programs themselves are overwhelmed with too many people calling in or websites crashing.

In the upcoming “Pursuing Justice: The Pro Bono Files” podcast by The Practising Law Institute, Jean McLoughlin notes that the most acute needs are coming from those whose income has suddenly stopped, and businesses whose revenues have ceased due to shutdowns. She adds that the research and organizational work setting up the relief center, and more recent efforts creating Q&As and training manuals for hotlines, have provided numerous opportunities for transactional-focused lawyers to contribute to the effort, because their skills are well-matched to these tasks. Jean says that she has been impressed by the way in which all members of the Paul, Weiss community, including litigators, corporate lawyers and staff members, have come together in this massive organizational accomplishment.

“We have built on [our] outreach and the availability of the Relief Center to take on more targeted pro bono projects arising from the pandemic, with many of the same nonprofit partners” who we worked with to disseminate the online resource, Bob says in the Pro Bono Institute’s “Pro Bono Happy Hour” podcast. Bob describes some of the recent partnerships, including with the New York City Bar Justice Center on a hotline, a hotline program with Volunteers of Legal Services (VOLS), and several others.

PLI spoke with Brad, Jean and Bob; the NYSBA and PBI spoke with Brad, Mike and Bob.

» listen to the Pro Bono Institute podcast
» listen to the NYSBA podcast

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