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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

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.

Erin J. Law is an Executive Director and Pro Bono Lead Counsel at Morgan Stanley, where she also serves as the Managing Attorney for the Global Litigation Group. As Pro Bono Lead Counsel, she has responsibility for Morgan Stanley’s legal pro bono program, which provides free legal services to veterans, immigrants, non-profits and small businesses, children in need of special education services, and victims of trafficking and domestic abuse. Erin is a member of the Executive Committee for the Board of Directors for New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, and she is an appointed member of the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono & Public Service. She also serves on the Advisory Board for the Ali Forney Center, which provides a full range of services to homeless LGBTQ youth in New York City, including housing. In 2020, Erin was appointed to New York’s COVID-19 Pro Bono Recovery Task Force. 

Erin is a graduate of Bard College and Tulane Law School. After college, she taught special education in a rural public elementary school in southern Louisiana as a member of Teach For America. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Erin was a litigator at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, following a federal district court clerkship. She is a recipient of the ABA’s Pro Bono Publico award. 

Linton Mann III is a Partner in the Firm’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 the Firm’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.” He was named a Rising Star by the New York Law Journal and Law360, and is also a repeat honoree on Benchmark Litigation’s “40 & Under Hot List,” which honors the achievements of the nation’s most accomplished law firm partners under the age of 40.

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 on 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 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. 

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.   

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.