The New York Law Journal has named Foley Partner Todd C. Norbitz to its distinguished list of “Lawyers Who Lead by Example.” The 2012 honorees were selected by the editors of the New York Law Journal based on their continued efforts to assist the disadvantaged, alter public policy and better their communities through pro bono projects.
As a member of Foley’s National Pro Bono Committee and chair of the Pro Bono Committee in the firm’s New York office, Norbitz leads an office-wide pro bono effort that has volunteered legal assistance to nearly 20 advocacy and community help groups both city-wide and nationally. Since becoming chair of the New York office Pro Bono Committee in 2005, Norbitz has initiated a dramatic expansion in regional pro bono activity that has resulted in nearly 12,000 hours of pro bono contributions from approximately 50 New York office attorneys. Norbitz himself has contributed nearly 1,200 pro bono hours from 2005 to 2011, and has generated close to 90 percent of Foley’s working relationships with various local recipient groups including the Refugee Assistance Program of the New York City Bar Association and the Advocates for Children of New York.
Norbitz has effectively integrated pro bono involvement into his role as a member of Foley’s firm-wide litigation training committee, and the volunteer culture he promotes has resulted in 100 percent of the New York office’s associates, of counsel and senior counsel becoming involved in pro bono assignments. In addition, Norbitz regularly encourages young attorneys to pursue volunteer causes that appeal most to them. This mentoring approach led to Foley attorneys becoming counsel for New York City’s Animal Care & Control, establishing the firm as a leading pro bono provider in this aspect of animal rights law.