As part of this year’s GiveNOLA Day citywide fundraising event, we introduced the Opening Doors Challenge. The challenge was simple: the firm making the highest total donation, and the individual lawyer within that firm making the single largest donation, as well as the individual making the largest single donation overall will be profiled on our website and in our e-news In Brief. The individuals will also receive two additional tickets each to the 2015 Justice For All Ball.
This month, we honor Sessions, Fishman, Nathan & Israel, LLC and Board Chair Carole Cukell Neff as the firm and individual firm lawyer, respectively, for stepping up to the plate in the Opening Doors Challenge with the largest donations from a firm.
For individual giving, the single largest donor overall is Board member Michelle Egan, Managing Director of Talent Development for O’Melveny & Myers in San Francisco; she will be featured in our August In Brief and on the website.
Congratulations to all and thanks for your commitment to open more doors in 2015 for our clients!
Sessions, Fishman, Nathan & Israel: Committed To Pro Bono
Our law firm has always thought of pro bono as an obligation that we have. This stems from caring about the legal profession and the work we do and caring about the people for whom we do the work.
There is great satisfaction and a personal, emotional reward from helping people who cannot afford quality legal services, which is a satisfaction that you cannot get any other way.
While our lawyers do pro bono legal work, they are not only sharpening their skills, but they are becoming more sensitive to the needs of others, and as a result, they become better lawyers. - Max Nathan, Jr., Senior Partner
In one comment, Max Nathan, Jr. has summed up the commitment of Sessions Fishman to pro bono work. But, his partner and The Project’s current Board Chair Carole Cukell Neff takes it one step further.
“There is a lot of pro bono that has gone on over the years and much of it has been generated by Max who’s at the heart of the pro bono community within Sessions Fishman,” says Carole.
This culture toward pro bono is steeped in the hearts and minds of all the attorneys at Sessions Fishman. Whether it’s The Pro Bono Project, The Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, the New Orleans Public Library, the SPCA or dozens of other community non-profits, it is second nature for the lawyers of Sessions Fishman to bring their legal services to bear on a pro bono basis to resolve someone’s legal quandary. In doing so, they not only lift the individual or the organization, they help lift the community.
“The commitment to pro bono service runs wide and deep across the firm – since I started here, it has always been part of the culture. Serving on boards and providing legal services where needed within those non-profits and being active within the community is the norm here. Everyone wins when lawyers are willing to donate their services to work with those in need within this community,” explains Carole.
Senior lawyers mentor younger lawyers within the firm to make sure that the commitment to and culture of pro bono is passed from generation to generation. There is no one organization that the firm supports exclusively with pro bono services. Instead, lawyers are encouraged to find the organizations that interest them, and which have a need for pro bono civil legal services. The bottom line is to be active and working for the good of the community.
Founded in 1958 by Ralph Fishman and Cicero Sessions, the firm, as it is now known Sessions, Fishman, Nathan & Israel, L.L.C., concentrates on real estate, business law and litigation. The founding partners were dynamos in their respective areas of the law: Ralph Fishman was recognized as one of the most astute real-estate lawyers in the South, and Cicero Sessions was among New Orleans' most able trial lawyers. Together they laid the foundation for a firm that today continues to be known for its high quality, cost-effective, and innovative legal services.
The firm's practice broadened steadily since its founding. In addition to real estate, business law, and all types of litigation, Sessions Fishman’s major practice areas today include estate planning and administration, elder law and special needs planning, banking, bankruptcy and credit relations, consumer law (defense), insurance law and tort defense, health care, labor and employment, products liability and tax.
The firm is headquartered in New Orleans, with offices in Atlanta, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Colorado, Dallas, Metairie, New Jersey, San Diego and Tampa and serves clients throughout the nation.
For more information on the firm, please contact Managing Partner Jack Alltmont.