Human Resources, Law, and Nonprofits

Attorney wins pro bono award from state bar

June 27, 2016
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Leo Goddeyne
Leo Goddeyne. Courtesy Miller Canfield

The State Bar of Michigan has named an attorney in the region the recipient of this year’s John W. Cummiskey Award, which is given in acknowledgement of an attorney’s contribution in the area of pro bono work.

Leo Goddeyne, an attorney in Miller Canfield’s Kalamazoo office, will be recognized with the award on Sept. 21 during the State Bar of Michigan Annual Meeting.

Leader and inspiration

Michael McGee, CEO of Miller Canfield, said Goddeyne, who is a member of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee, has been a leader in the firm’s pro bono efforts.

“He has undertaken at least 75 separate pro bono matters and recorded at least 2,000 hours of pro bono service in the past 15 years,” McGee said.

He added that Goddeyne handles pro bono matters, both large and small, with passion and professionalism, reflecting his profound commitment to the service of those persons and institutions that cannot adequately afford legal services.

“I can think of no one more deserving than Leo, whose tireless commitment to pro bono work for his nearly 40 years in the profession has inspired us all to give of ourselves,” McGee said.

Pro bono work

Goddeyne is also known outside the firm as a leader in pro bono work.

He has worked with the Kalamazoo Bar Association and Legal Aid of Western Michigan in organizing pro bono outreach and facilitating the efficient delivery of services and involvement by private attorneys.

Goddeyne has focused on organizations that serve low-income communities in West Michigan and statewide: Barrier Free Housing for Independent Living; The Community Teen Center; Friends of the Kalamazoo River; Black Arts and Cultural Center; Kalamazoo Center for Youth and Community Service; Cancer Families United; Art Serve; Home Repair Services of Kent County; Northeast Michigan Affordable Housing; Fresh Fire African Methodist Episcopal Church; and many others.

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