In the News

James Cameron, Heidi Naasko Honored for Firm’s Pro Bono Accomplishments

Recipients of Washtenaw County Bar Association 3rd Annual Pro Bono/Public Service Award

March 3, 2014

James M. Cameron, Jr., Ann Arbor Office Managing Member, and Heidi Naasko, Ann Arbor-based National Pro Bono and Diversity Counsel, were recipients of the Washtenaw County Bar Association’s 3rd Annual Pro Bono/Public Service Award. This award—bestowed annually to a lawyer or organization that has made significant contributions to pro bono and/or public service work—was presented February 27, 2014 at the Association’s 26th Annual Bar Revue and Silent Auction.

Peter M. Kellett, Dykema Chairman and CEO, said, “In honoring our colleagues, Jim and Heidi, with this award, the Washtenaw County Bar Association recognizes the importance Dykema places upon serving those who don’t always have ready access to justice. Providing legal services to the underserved is an important part of being a lawyer at Dykema.”

Cameron, a commercial litigator, has practiced law for more than three-and-a-half decades, all with Dykema. In addition to leading the Firm’s Ann Arbor office, Cameron has served a variety of civic, community and professional organizations. His commitment to education manifests itself in having served on the Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation (former director and chair), the Michigan Teacher Tenure Commission (former member and chair), the Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education (former trustee), as well as currently serving as member of the Board of Trustees of the EMU Foundation (the nonprofit corporation that manages funds on behalf of Eastern Michigan University).

In her capacity as Dykema’s National Pro Bono Counsel, Naasko administers the program that leverages Firm resources in its 13 offices—coast-to-coast—to satisfy the unmet needs of individuals and organizations in local communities. Naasko, often in partnership with Dykema business clients, has created and launched a variety of innovative pro bono initiatives, among them:

  • Crisis Clinic for Detroit-based Nonprofits—aligning nonprofit organizations with law firm attorneys who together address and resolve legal and business issues that in some instances threaten the existence of these organizations
  • Dykema Free Legal Aid Clinic—a program launched in Ferndale, Michigan, in which Dykema lawyers freely provide legal counsel to parents of students attending middle and high school, working on those issues that may impede a student’s success;
  • Immigrant Children Program – this state-wide initiative, launched six years ago, pairs attorneys with previously unrepresented immigrant children who had been either abused and/or neglected by their parents. Under Naasko’s direction, Dykema was the first major law firm to volunteer attorneys, develop and coordinate their training, and implement this effort.