Bousquet Holstein PLLC is pleased to announce that Emilee Lawson Hatch, Esq. has been selected for the 2015 New York State Bar Association President’s Pro Bono Service Award for the 5th Judicial District. She was nominated by the Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County, Inc. (OnVLP). for the volunteer legal services she provides in the community and most recently for Upstate University Hospital’s social work department. She will be presented with her award on Tuesday, May 5th at a presentation at the offices of the NYS Bar Association in Albany.
Emilee is a Member of Bousquet Holstein, PLLC where she concentrates her practice in the areas of estate planning, trust and estate administration, and estate and gift taxation. She has also worked as adjunct faculty at Cazenovia College and an active member of the New York State Bar Association’s Elder Law and Trusts & Estates Sections, and the Estate Planning Council of Central New York.
Emilee is always first to step forward and volunteer to help a person in need. She shows an outstanding level of compassion and kindness working with clients, and is able to connect and work with clients that others have written off as too difficult. Emilee has volunteered with almost every program organized by the Volunteer Lawyer Project, including their Surrogate’s Court Clinic, Hospital Clinic, Family Court Clinic and Vera House Clinic. She also volunteers with the “Say Yes to Education,” Clinic, providing free advice to parents and students of Syracuse Schools and accepts clients from Hiscock’s Cancer Legal Advocacy and Services Project. In the last year, Emilee donated pro bono service to over 40 clients. Emilee has made a particularly profound impact on OnVLP’s Estate Planning Program and Hospital Clinic Program. Both Programs provide pro bono legal services that require extensive legal knowledge, and often, a great deal of time. At the Hospital Clinic, volunteer attorneys, such as Emilee, provide on-site assistance with Power of Attorneys, Health Care Proxys, Living Wills, and advice regarding several areas of law ranging from consumer law to Medicaid/Medicare issues. Emilee’s willingness to take these often complicated and emotional cases makes her a standout attorney in the eyes of OnVLP and the community as whole.
There has yet to be a challenging case presented by OnVLP that Emilee has not taken, conquered, and succeeded beyond expectations. For example, during a meeting with the social workers from Upstate University Hospital, one client was identified who had refused assistance from all angles and was, as a result, unable to be moved into the nursing care that he needed. Emilee enthusiastically volunteered to work with the client. Through her kind approach, Emilee helped identify all of the client’s concerns and, when it became clear that the client had no one he trusted to act as power of Attorney, she volunteered to become his power of attorney. She helped him sort out his financial affairs and transition to a new nursing home community where his social and physical needs could be met. When she reported back about visiting him in his new home, she said, “The best part was that he was grinning from ear to ear. He couldn’t stop smiling!” Emilee spent over 20 pro bono hours with this client alone.