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Pro Bono Basics 2019: Best Practices and Ethics

Author(s): Karen Fisher Gutheil, Adam Heintz
Practice Area: Litigation, Pro Bono
Published: Apr 2019
PLI Item #: 251556
CHB Spine #: 141

Karen Fisher Gutheil, Esq., is the Supervising Attorney in the Pro Bono Practice of The Legal Aid Society. The Legal Aid Society is the nation’s oldest and largest provider of free legal services to the poor. The Pro Bono Practice partners with attorneys from the private bar to assist the Society's staff in handling matters for thousands of clients in their Civil, Criminal Defense and Juvenile Rights practices. 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 moved to the Special Litigation and Law Reform Unit of the Juvenile Rights Practice for nine years, where she focused on affirmative litigation and legislative advocacy.  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, served as a City Bar delegate to the New York State Bar Association’s House of Delegates from 2009-2013 and is currently a member of the City Bar’s Pro Bono and Legal Services Committee.  She also serves as a member from the 1st Judicial District on the New York State Bar Association’s Nominating Committee.  Ms. Gutheil chaired the New York State Bar Association’s Children and the Law Committee from 2012-2014 and currently serves on the State Bar Association’s Committee on Legal Aid.  She has also been on the faculty of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.  In 2006, Ms. Gutheil received the Charles Schinitsky Award for outstanding service on behalf of children represented by the Juvenile Rights Practice and in 2010 was given the Servant of Justice Award by the Episcopal Diocese of New York.  Ms. Gutheil holds a B.F.A. from Drake University and a J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

Adam Heintz is the Director of Pro Bono Services for Legal Services NYC. Mr. Heintz works with staff and pro bono partners to create and manage pro bono projects, place cases, access in-kind resources, and match individual volunteers with appropriate LSNYC offices. Mr. Heintz also manages communications related to pro bono, builds and maintains relationships with private partners, and ensures that pro bono partners are adequately trained and supervised. Mr. Heintz has overseen a dramatic expansion of LSNYC’s pro bono program, with most measures more than doubling year over year. 

Prior to joining LSNYC, Mr. Heintz 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. Mr. Heintz has served on the Pro Bono Advisory Council for New York Lawyers for the Public Interest. He 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, and as Director of Education at the Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project. Mr. Heintz received his B.A. from Oberlin College, and J.D. from NYU Law School.