Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck Taps Lauren Schmidt For New Pro Bono Partner Position
|Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck is pleased to announce that Lauren E. Schmidt will assume the newly created role of pro bono partner. Schmidt, a shareholder, will split her time between her litigation practice and further developing and promoting the firm’s pro bono program. |
“Pro bono is embedded in our firm culture, and we’ve recently made great strides in giving back through our legal services,” said Bruce James, managing partner of Brownstein. “With this shift, Lauren, alongside the pro bono committee, is poised to reinforce and grow our commitment to the communities in which we operate throughout the West and in Washington D.C.”
Schmidt will work with current and prospective clients to identify and assist with pro bono matters, as well as promote an increase in attorney participation in the pro bono program and help align individual attorneys’ skill sets and passions with appropriate pro bono opportunities. Since the program’s inception, the number of pro bono hours per attorney has risen to nearly 9,000 total hours firmwide in 2011—a 20 percent increase over 2010. Brownstein has also pledged to the Colorado Supreme Court to contribute an average of 50 pro bono hours per Colorado attorney per year.
Recent accolades for the firm’s pro bono efforts include being recognized as a 2012 Law Firm of the Year finalist by the Colorado Lawyers Committee; the May presentation of the Outstanding Sustained Contribution Award to Lawrence W. Treece for his longstanding support and extensive contributions to the work of the Colorado Lawyers Committee; and receiving consistent honors at the annual Pro Bono Awards Luncheon for the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada’s Pro Bono Project.
Schmidt’s own history of pro bono service includes the ongoing representation of a Texas death row inmate in her state and federal habeas corpus appeals; representation of abused and neglected children as a guardian ad litem; representation and counseling of indigent clients through Metro Volunteer Lawyers; and advice and counseling to numerous non-profits.
Within her practice, Schmidt focuses on commercial litigation and natural resources litigation. She has represented clients at federal and state levels in a variety of commercial matters, including commercial contract disputes, business torts, telecommunications, water and real estate matters. Her natural resources experience includes cases and administrative actions under regulations such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
Among Brownstein’s current pro bono cases is the firm's representation of more than 30 current and former elected officials in their challenge to the constitutionality of Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR). The plaintiffs contend that TABOR violates the Constitutional guarantee to a republican form of government due to its constraints on the legislative process.
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