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Baker Donelson Recognized for Pro Bono Work by Legal Aid of East Tennessee

(Johnson City, TN/October 31, 2008) Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, has been named the Pro Bono Program Firm of the Year for the Northern Region by Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET). The Firm was recognized on October 24, 2008, at LAET's annual Pro Bono Awards Banquet.

"Baker Donelson is very excited about our pro bono initiative," said Brent B. Young, Pro Bono Coordinator for the Firm's Tri-Cities, Tennessee/Virginia office. "It is a great pleasure to work with the dedicated professionals in our Firm who not only understand their pro bono obligations, but fulfill them."

The Firm was recognized for its commitment to providing pro bono representation to the Tri-Cities community. Through referrals from LAET, attorneys in Baker Donelson's Tri-Cities office have logged in excess of 200 hours in pro bono efforts in the recent past, and continue to be heavily engaged in such efforts throughout the community. The Firm's pro bono work has included the representation of various community non-profit organizations, and providing counsel on a case in which the state sought to terminate the parental rights of an indigent mother whose two sons had been in custody of the Tennessee Department of Children's Services for three years.

"We're very proud of this recognition by Legal Aid of East Tennessee," said Ronald S. Range, Jr., managing shareholder of Baker Donelson's Tri-Cities office. "It is the result of the Firm's strong commitment to giving back to our communities and giving voice to those who would not otherwise be heard."

LAET, which serves 26 counties in East Tennessee, provides civil legal representation to indigent clients in East Tennessee. Volunteer attorneys work with LAET staff to help achieve the group's mission of ensuring equal justice for elderly, abused and low-income people by providing a broad scope of legal assistance and advocacy.

Through its commitment to pro bono representation, Baker Donelson provides legal services to groups and individuals who are likely to be marginalized in the legal system due to economic barriers. Over the years, the Firm's attorneys have provided a variety of counsel to many populations, including immigrants, refugees, the elderly and the impoverished. Baker Donelson's efforts include work on a wide range of matters, including death penalty litigation, representing victims of Hurricane Katrina and providing corporate legal services to minority business start-ups.

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Johanna Burkett
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