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Outstanding Volunteers in the Legal Community Honored at Volunteer Legal Services Program Reception on March 23

March 24, 2010 – San Francisco -- The Bar Association of San Francisco’s Volunteer Legal Services Program celebrated its most exceptional volunteers at its annual Outstanding Volunteer Appreciation Party on March 23.

More than 180 people were in attendance at the event, which was held at the Green Room of the War Memorial and Performing Arts Center in San Francisco. Chief Justice Ronald George, California Supreme Court; Presiding Judge James McBride, San Francisco Superior Court and Judge Patrick Mahoney, San Francisco Superior Court, Family Court, were on hand to pass out the awards.

More than 50 volunteers were honored as recipients of the Outstanding Volunteer in Public Service certificates. Additionally, VLSP also recognized four volunteers and a law firm with special awards. 

Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP was the recipient of the 2009 Outstanding Law Firm in Public Service Award. Accepting on behalf of the firm was Rollin B. Chippey II, partner. In 2009, the firm devoted significant time to representing pro per litigants in their unlawful detainer settlement conferences through VLSP’s Housing Negotiation Project.  Morgan Lewis has also been incredibly supportive of VLSP’s Community Organization Representation Project (CORP).  Through CORP, the firm has provided a wide range of pro bono business law services to nonprofit organizations serving low-income communities, allowing these organizations to strengthen their infrastructure and organizational capacity. 

Additionally, Morgan Lewis attorneys have been among the most dedicated volunteers for VLSP’s clinics at Project Homeless Connect, a San Francisco-wide event that serves homeless individuals, and its Family Law Project and Low Income Tax Payer Clinic.

The James P. Preovolos Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Services in Family Law was presented to Kathryn Kirkland. Kirkland has been one of VLSP's most dedicated and tireless supporters. With her wealth of experience as an author of family practice guides, and as a certified family law specialist, she has been invaluable in her mentoring of volunteer attorneys and in her participation in family law trainings.

Jerome Schweich was presented with the 2009 Housing Justice Award. This award honors an attorney who has provided outstanding pro bono services through VLSP in landlord/tenant law.  Schweich began volunteering with VLSP in 2008 in both of its Eviction Defense projects - the full scope Landlord-Tenant Project and the Housing Negotiation Project (HNP). He has been especially active in the defense of tenants in foreclosed properties and has become a local expert on the subject.

Each year, VLSP gives a Community Service Award to a non-attorney volunteer who has contributed in a significant way to VLSP, its clients and the community as a whole. This year, the award went to Catherine Gillespie. Gillespie, a third year law student at UC Hastings College of the Law, began volunteering with VLSP as an undergraduate intern in 2003.  Since that time, she has provided support to many of our projects.  Among those projects, she has volunteered with the Homeless Advocacy Project’s Shelter Project, and worked with clients facing evictions through the Housing Negotiation Project.  She has also been instrumental in coordinating LARC, VLSP’s free monthly walk-in clinic providing brief legal advice to low-income clients, and volunteers with this project almost every month. 

VLSP honored Hewlett-Packard Company with the Outstanding Corporation Award. The purpose of this award is to recognize a corporation for its dedication to providing pro bono assistance for low-income and underserved clients. Jonathan DeGooyer accepted the award on behalf of the organization.

HP volunteers regularly at VLSP’s Legal and ID Clinics at San Francisco’s Project Homeless Connect (PHC).  Operated by the City of San Francisco, PHC is a city-wide event that brings together city agencies and nonprofit providers to connect homeless individuals to services in San Francisco.  HP’s volunteer work as intake interviewers with PHC help make it possible for VLSP to provide free legal assistance to hundreds of homeless clients annually.  HP attorneys and staff also volunteer at LARC, VLSP’s free monthly walk-in clinic, providing brief legal advice to low-income clients.  Additionally, HP generously donated three new laptops and three portable printers for use in our legal clinics, allowing us to increase our on-site services to clients.


The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) is a nonprofit voluntary membership organization of over 8,000 attorneys, law students and legal professionals in the Bay Area. Founded in 1872, BASF is one of the largest and most dynamic metropolitan bar associations in the U.S., with a long and distinguished record of community action, public service and service to the legal profession.

Questions about media relations, BASF issues currently in the news, San Francisco Attorney magazine, marketing and communications:

Ann Murphy, Director of Communications & Public Relations
(415) 782-9000 x8792

For general communications inquiries:

Sayre Happich, Assistant Director of Communications & Public Relations
(415) 782-9000 x8104