News & Insights

Dykema Attorneys James Cameron and Heidi Naasko Honored for Firm's Pro Bono Accomplishments

Recipients of Washtenaw County Bar Association 3rd Annual Pro Bono/Public Service Award; Recognizes Long-Standing Service to Community and to Those in Need of Legal Assistance

March 3, 2014

Dykema, a leading national law firm, announces that two of its Ann Arbor-based attorneys—James M. Cameron, Jr., Office Managing Member, and Heidi Naasko, National Pro Bono and Diversity Counsel—have been named recipients of the Washtenaw County Bar Association’s 3rd Annual Pro Bono/Public Service Award. The award was presented February 27, 2014 at the Association’s 26th Annual Bar Revue and Silent Auction.

The Pro Bono/Public Service Award is bestowed annually to a lawyer or organization that has made significant contributions to pro bono and/or public service work. Cameron and Naasko were recognized as having demonstrated exemplary and long-standing commitment to provide legal representation and counsel to those who otherwise would be denied access to justice, and for extraordinary service to the community.

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 tried numerous product liability and medical malpractice cases on behalf of manufacturers and hospitals, is experienced in a broad array of commercial matters, has handled numerous commercial and constitutional cases for public school districts and public universities, and works closely with corporate clients on business plans, contract negotiation and litigation prevention counseling.

Cameron has served a variety of civic, community and professional organizations over the years. His lifelong 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).

Cameron has also served on the Board of Trustees, Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals for Scio Township. He currently serves as Chairperson and Board Member, State of Michigan Attorney Discipline Board, and is a member of the Washtenaw County Circuit Court Mediation Panel.

As National Pro Bono Counsel, Naasko administers Dykema’s program that leverages the firm’s resources—in its 13 offices, coast-to-coast—to satisfy the unmet legal needs of individuals and organizations in local communities. Naasko, often in partnership with Dykema’s business clients, has created and launched a variety of innovative pro bono initiatives. Among them: a 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; the 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; and a state-wide program—initiated in 2008—that pairs attorneys with previously unrepresented abused or neglected immigrant children. Dykema, under Naasko’s direction, was the first major law firm to volunteer attorneys, develop and coordinate their training, and implement this effort.   

In addition to her leadership of the firm’s Pro Bono efforts, Naasko maintains a substantive poverty law practice and specializes in representing unaccompanied immigrant children who are victims of human trafficking. She also represents domestic violence survivors in divorce, child custody, immigration and personal protection matters.