Natalie Smeltzer Named Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year
Each year, the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program (DVAP), a joint project of the Dallas Bar Association and Legal Aid of Northwest Texas, honors the lawyers, judges and other legal professionals who donate pro bono legal services.
At the Annual Pro Bono Awards Reception on October 21, the Dallas office of Andrews Kurth LLP was recognized as Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year for providing more than 1,800 hours of pro bono services—800 of which went to DVAP clients.
Andrews Kurth encourages all lawyers to participate in pro bono work once they are admitted to practice, as a way to give back to the legal community. One of the firm’s pro bono initiatives is “The World’s Children,” through which for the past year and a half, partners in Andrews Kurth in Dallas have assisted Alexis Hefley in the formation of Empower African Children, a nonprofit organization which provides education and support to AIDS orphans in Uganda. Nearly 25 percent of the children of the country are orphans.
Natalie Smeltzer, of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP, was named Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year.
Ms. Smeltzer contributed more than 600 hours of pro bono service through her participation in the DVAP Lend-A-Lawyer Program. The program created by Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP in 2006 gives young lawyers an opportunity to learn about pro bono over a three-month period by serving full-time at the DVAP offices.
An associate at Weil, Ms. Smeltzer practices corporate law, focusing on mergers and acquisitions and private equity transactions.
DVAP congratulates Andrews Kurth LLP and Natalie Smeltzer!