HOUSTON (Dec. 5, 2013)—Susman Godfrey partners Stephen Susman and Lee Godfrey were recently honored for their pro bono legal work and commitment to justice when the nonprofit Texas Appleseed presented them with its annual “J. Chrys Dougherty Good Apple Award.”
The long-time law partners were honored November 21 at the public interest law organization’s annual Good Apple Dinner held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin.
“(Steve and Lee) have been involved in large pro bono cases, and it’s made a big difference in our state in making sure that underrepresented people get the kind of legal representation they deserve,” said University of Texas-Austin President Bill Powers in a video tribute presented at the awards ceremony.
Carrin F. Patman, a partner at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP, agreed. “They toil in the vineyards for the things they believe in,” she said, noting that Susman served on Texas Appleseed’s original founding board and that a Susman Godfrey attorney has served on the organization’s board ever since.
Harry M. Reasoner, a partner with Vinson & Elkins LLP, noted, “It’s lawyers like Steve and Lee who really enable Appleseed to have broad results and successes.”
In addition to volunteering its services to help free wrongly convicted prisoners, Susman Godfrey LLP has taken on a number of high-profile pro bono cases involving the environment. Its successful representation of 37 Texas cities opposed to granting permits for the construction of coal-fired electric-generating plants earned the firm the National Law Journal’s 2008 Pro Bono Award.
The firm has also made significant contributions to the University of Texas Law School and has raised more than $650,000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Stephen Susman founded the firm in 1980; Lee Godfrey joined Susman in 1982 and has remained co-managing partner since that time. The firm now includes 100 attorneys in five offices across the nation, and has been named the nation’s number one litigation boutique firm for the past four consecutive years in Vault’s annual Practice Area Rankings.