Lowenstein Sandler partner Catherine Weiss, Chair of the Lowenstein Center for the Public Interest, has been named the recipient of the New Jersey State Bar Association’s (NJSBA) Pillar of Justice award, one of the organization’s 2020 Pro Bono Awards, which recognize lawyers for their significant work to improve access to justice for the underserved in New Jersey.
The Pillar of Justice Award honors Weiss’ pro bono work during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, Weiss, who is also a member of the NJSBA’s Pro Bono Committee, was a leader in statewide efforts to prevent evictions.
Examples of her advocacy in this area include:
- Leading a coalition of 29 housing and racial justice advocates demanding that New Jersey courts take more stringent steps to protect tenants’ rights
- Advocating for legislation to protect thousands of families from being evicted or foreclosed upon after the temporary moratoriums in effect during the COVID-19 emergency are lifted
- Working with Volunteer Lawyers for Justice and Prudential to run a monthly tenancy clinic where volunteers represent low-income tenants facing eviction
- Seeking to get critical information to those who may be unaware of their rights through frequently updated FAQs in English and Spanish to inform homeowners and tenants about the forms of relief available to them
Weiss says, “It is a true honor to be recognized, along with Charles F. Rysavy of K&L Gates LLP, Michael R. Griffinger of Gibbons P.C., and the law firm of Pashman Stein Walder Hayden P.C. I hope this award brings attention to the further work that still needs to be done to ensure that New Jersey residents will not be deprived of their basic rights to safe housing as the pandemic continues to surge in the coming winter months.”
Cathy Keenan, executive director of the Volunteer Lawyers for Justice, says: “In a world where people talk a lot about legal justice, Catherine acts. She is a tremendous asset for low-income people across New Jersey.”
On October 27, NJSBA will host a virtual 2020 Pro Bono Awards ceremony to honor the award recipients. To register for the celebration, visit njsba.com.
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Lowenstein Sandler is a national law firm with over 350 lawyers based in New York, Palo Alto, New Jersey, Utah, and Washington, D.C. The firm represents leaders in virtually every sector of the global economy, with particular emphasis on investment funds, life sciences, and technology. Recognized for its entrepreneurial spirit and high standard of client service, the firm is committed to the interests of its clients, colleagues, and communities.
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