In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP) of the Brooklyn Bar Association asked its members to assist people affected by the storm with their legal issues. Greenpoint attorney James Maleady answered that call, travelling to the borough’s hardest hit neighborhoods, including Sheepshead Bay, Canarsie and Coney Island, offering pro bono services to storm victims.
In recognition of that service, the New York State Bar Association made Maleady one of the winners of its 2013 President’s Pro Bono Service Award, which was given to 20 attorneys statewide.
“They asked, I went, and we tried to put together people’s lives that were destroyed by the hurricane,” Maleady said, characteristically downplaying his generosity. “We dealt with a myriad of problems that people had, and my understanding is that we made some people’s lives a little more palatable at the time. That was what our goal was.”
State Bar President Seymour W. James, Jr., whose organization’s membership exceeds 76,000, said he was “pleased to recognize the attorneys whose pro bono efforts assisted low-income individuals with consumer debt, foreclosure, divorce, end-of-life decisions, government benefits, storm-related issues and other legal matters.”