Volunteer Justin From Wins Sidley Austin's Highest Pro Bono Honor

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

At its recent Pro Bono Awards Recognition ceremony, Sidley Austin recognized CVLS volunteer and Junior Board member Justin From with its highest pro bono honor, the Thomas H. Morsch Award for Pro Bono Achievement!

Another friend of CVLS, former Board of Directors member Kevin Fee, presented Justin with the award, earned for his work on a case with our Sidley Austin Salvation Army Legal Clinic. Justin's work on a complicated social security disability benefits matter for his quadriplegic client resulted in a “fully favorable” decision.

Two years after taking on her current position and informing Social Security that her salary would be increasing, Justin's client was told that she had to repay all  the disability benefits she had received since the position began. Thanks to Justin, the SSA Hearing Officer reversed that decision and she did not have to repay any disability benefits she had previously received. Additionally, she received her back benefits and had her all benefits reinstated going forward.  To date, these benefits total more than $140,000. Read the entire story here!

Thrilled with her case's outcome, his client wrote a moving note about her experience working with Justin: 

"There are many things that I could write in terms of the professionalism, empathy, incredible competency, and diligent efforts that Justin put forth on my behalf. However, suffice to say that he was able to win the Social Security overpayment dispute with simply writing a brief that was so complete, eloquent, and persuasive that the overpayment issue was overturned by a judge without the necessity of a hearing!

“I am so grateful to him and to Sidley Austin for their generous opportunity that they provide by offering outstanding employees as individuals to work on pro bono cases! You are to be applauded and Justin should get a promotion!”

We echo her enthusiasm. Thank you, Justin, for your dedication - and congratulations on this incredibly well-deserved recognition for your hard work!