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Pro Bono Basics 2021: Best Practices and Ethics

Speaker(s): Adam Heintz, Erin J. Law, Karen Fisher Gutheil, Linton Mann III, Namita E. Mani
Recorded on: Mar. 11, 2021
PLI Program #: 305871

Erin J. Law is an Executive Director in the Global Litigation Group and Pro Bono Lead Counsel at Morgan Stanley. As Pro Bono Lead Counsel, she has responsibility for Morgan Stanley’s pro bono program, which provides free legal services to a range of clients, including veterans, asylum seekers and immigrants, non-profits and small businesses, children in need of special education services, and survivors of trafficking and domestic abuse. Erin also is a member of the U.S. Litigation group, where she handles a range of litigation and regulatory matters on behalf of the Firm’s institutional securities and investment management businesses. She is a member of the Board of Directors for New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) and is the Chair of NYLPI’s Nominating and Governance Committee, a member of the City Bar Fund (the nonprofit arm of the New York City Bar Association), and a member of the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono & Public Service, where she co-chairs the Programs Working Group. Erin also serves on the Advisory Board for the Ali Forney Center, a New York City based nonprofit, which provides a full range of supportive services to homeless LGBTQ youth, including housing, and she is the immediate past Chair of its Board of Directors. 

Erin is a graduate of Bard College and Tulane Law School. After college, she taught special education in a rural public elementary school in Louisiana for three years as a member of Teach For America. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Erin was a litigation associate at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, where she carried a significant pro bono docket, following a federal district court clerkship. She received the ABA’s Pro Bono Publico award in 2017 and was honored by Volunteers of Legal Service with a Pro Bono Leadership Award in 2021. 

Karen Fisher Gutheil, Esq., is the Supervising Attorney in the Pro Bono Practice of The Legal Aid Society, the nation’s oldest and largest provider of free legal services to the poor. Whether through individual representation of an at-risk client, answering calls on the Access to Benefits Helpline, or bringing groundbreaking civil rights litigation, the Pro Bono Practice provides over two thousand volunteers from major New York City law firms and in-house corporate legal departments with training, supervision and mentorship which allow them to deliver life changing legal assistance to a multitude of Legal Aid clients each year.  

Ms. Gutheil began her career at Legal Aid as a Staff Attorney in the Manhattan trial office of the Juvenile Rights Practice, representing children in Family Court for seven years in child protective and delinquency proceedings. She then spent nine years in the Special Litigation and Law Reform Unit of the Juvenile Rights Practice, engaging in affirmative litigation and legislative advocacy, before joining the Pro Bono Practice in 2014. Prior to joining The Legal Aid Society, Ms. Gutheil worked at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest. Ms. Gutheil was the Chair of the Family Court and Family Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association from 2006-2009 and served as a City Bar delegate to the New York State Bar Association’s House of Delegates from 2009-2013. Additionally, Ms. Gutheil was a member from the 1st Judicial District of the New York State Bar Association’s Nominating Committee and chaired the New York State Bar Association’s Children and the Law Committee from 2012-2014.  

Ms. Gutheil is a current member of the City Bar’s Pro Bono and Legal Services Committee, the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Legal Aid and Pro Bono Coordinators Network. She is also a member of the Public Interest Pro Bono Association (PIPBA). She has also been on the faculties of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy and The Practicing Law Institute. Ms. Gutheil is a recipient of the Charles Schinitsky Award for outstanding service on behalf of children represented by Legal Aid’s Juvenile Rights Practice as well as the Episcopal Diocese of New York’s Servant of Justice Award.

Linton Mann III is a Partner in Simpson Thacher’s Litigation Practice. Linton represents clients in a broad range of high-stakes litigation and investigation matters including securities, shareholder derivative disputes, class actions, antitrust and complex commercial disputes. Linton is Co-Chair of Simpson Thacher’s Knowledge, Innovation and Technology Committee. Linton was recently named a “Next Generation Partner” by The Legal 500, where sources say he “stands out from his peers for his securities work.” Recognized among Crain’s “40 Under 40,” Linton has also been named a Rising Star by the New York Law Journal, Law360, and Euromoney, and is a repeat honoree on Benchmark Litigation’s “40 & Under Hot List.”

Linton is the Chair of the Board of Trustees for Uncommon Charter Schools New York City, which oversees twenty-four public charter schools in Brooklyn, New York. He is also Chair of the Board of Directors of Manhattan Legal Services, a program of Legal Services NYC, the largest provider of pro bono civil legal services in the country. 

Linton also has significant pro bono experience including representing low-income tenants in New York City’s Housing Court and New York’s trial and appellate courts. He also participates in and coordinates Simpson Thacher’s Legal Outreach Internship and matters relating to racial and social justice. Legal Outreach is an organization that prepares urban youth from underserved communities to compete at high levels by using intensive legal and educational programs as tools for fostering vision, developing skills, enhancing confidence and facilitating the pursuit of higher education.

Linton joined Simpson Thacher following his graduation in 2007 from Duke University School of Law, where he served as the Co-Chair of the Moot Court Board. He was selected as the recipient of Duke Law’s 2017 Young Alumni Award, honoring an individual who has graduated within the past 15 years and has made significant leadership and service contributions to Duke Law School and the legal profession. He received B.A. degrees in political science and speech communications from the University of Georgia in 2004.  

Adam Heintz is Legal Services NYC's Director of Pro Bono. Adam creates and manages pro bono projects that focus on the essential civil legal needs of low income New Yorkers, including housing, immigration, education, consumer, and benefits. He works with nearly 100 large law firms and corporations to serve thousands of low income clients each year. Adam is also a founding member of the Public Interest Pro Bono Association (PIPBA), and he speaks frequently at national conferences about pro bono.

Prior to joining LSNYC, Adam spent six years as a litigation associate at Morrison & Foerster, LLP, where he maintained an active pro bono docket. He clerked for the Hon. Cheryl L. Pollak, in the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York. He has served on the Pro Bono Advisory Council for New York Lawyers for the Public Interest. Adam is also a founding member of the Brooklyn Family Defense Project’s Associate Advisory Board. Previously, Mr. Heintz was employed as the HIV-Related Violence Program Coordinator at the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project. Mr. Heintz received his B.A. from Oberlin College, and J.D. from NYU Law School.

Namita Mani is Pro Bono Counsel at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. Based in the firm’s New York office, she supports the administration of Morgan Lewis’s award-winning pro bono program that provides free legal services to over 1,000 low-income individuals and nonprofit organizations each year.  She also develops new initiatives and manages the pro bono practice in several of the firm’s U.S. and Asia offices.

Prior to assuming her current role, Namita was a litigation associate at Morgan Lewis for seven years and maintained an active pro bono practice with matters relating to special education, veterans’ benefits and criminal defense.  She clerked for Judge Timothy J. Savage in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Previously, Namita was an analyst with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.  She currently serves on the Board of the South Asian Bar Association of North America Foundation.  Namita received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. from Boston University School of Law.