Federal Prosecutor Ronnie Abrams Joins Davis Polk

NEW YORK–([1])–Davis Polk & Wardwell today announced that Ronnie Abrams has joined the
firm as Special Counsel for Pro Bono. In this new position, Ms. Abrams
will lead and expand the firms extensive pro
bono program. She joins Davis Polk from the US Attorneys
Office for the Southern District of New York, where she was most
recently the Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division. During her tenure in
that office, she gained wide-ranging trial experience, oversaw
investigations, and supervised attorneys in hundreds of criminal cases
and trials. She received several awards for her work, including from the
US Justice Department. Previously, she was an associate at Davis Polk
from 1994 to 1998.

We are very pleased to welcome Ronnie Abrams
back to Davis Polk in this important new position to augment and guide
our pro bono program, said John R. Ettinger,
Managing Partner of the firm. Davis Polk
views pro bono work as a central responsibility of the firm and our
lawyers. Working with our Pro Bono Committee, I believe Ronnie will
effectively increase our already substantial outreach and allow us to
serve even greater numbers of those in need.

Davis Polk provides pro bono legal services to those who cannot
otherwise obtain legal representation, averaging tens of thousands of
hours annually devoted to work in many different areas of law.

In addition to overseeing the firms broad
array of current pro bono cases and initiatives, and the many
relationships that Davis Polk maintains with various legal services
organizations, Ms. Abrams will guide the firms
strategy to enhance several key aspects of its pro bono program. Initial
areas of focus will include expanding the firms
involvement in large and complex pro bono matters, such as Disability
Advocates, Inc. v. New York State Office of Mental Health, et al.
, a
landmark five-year case that Davis Polk successfully concluded in 2007
and which won major improvements in treatment for New York State
prisoners with mental illness. Davis Polk also is seeking to identify
and expand upon the opportunities for corporate pro bono work and
further develop core strengths in the areas of asylum and domestic

We created this position to reflect and
enhance the firms strong commitment to pro
bono services, said Sharon Katz, co-head of
Davis Polks Pro Bono Committee. The
need for free legal services is growing in size and complexity. This new
position allows Davis Polk to build upon our robust and highly
successful pro bono practice. The firms
Pro Bono Committee includes nine partners and two senior counsel.

In April 2008, the City Bar Justice Center, the pro bono affiliate of
the New York City Bar Association, honored Davis Polk with the City Bar
Justice Center Award for leadership in increasing access to justice. In
2007, Davis Polk was the recipient of The Legal Aid Societys
Pro Bono Publico and Public Service Law Firm Award for extraordinary
commitmentthe top law firm service award
presented by the Society. The firm has been recognized for its pro bono
work by many organizations, including Advocates for Children, the Center
for Gender and Refugee Studies, Citizens
Advice Bureau, Gay Mens Health Crisis, Human
Rights First, inMotion and Sanctuary for Families
Center for Battered Womens Legal Services.

Im very happy to
return to Davis Polk, said Ms. Abrams. The
firm has done outstanding work on behalf of individuals and
organizations who cannot afford legal counsel. From immigration and
asylum, to domestic violence, prison reform and ensuring fair elections,
Im eager to help continue the firms
important work for those in need. As an
associate at the firm, Ms. Abrams was engaged in various pro bono cases,
including obtaining a reversal of a homicide conviction and serving as
counsel at the retrial.

Ms. Abrams will work closely with Amy Rossabi, Davis Polks
longtime Pro Bono Coordinator, to expand the firms
pro bono portfolio, enhance training and supervision for associates in
trial work and other matters, as well as ensure the firm maintains a
leadership position in the pro bono community.

As Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division at the US Attorneys
Office, Ms. Abrams supervised more than 160 federal prosecutors in the
Southern District of New York. She formulated office policy and served
as coordinator and liaison to the Department of Justice in Washington,
DC and the New York City Police Department on various initiatives. As
Chief of the General Crimes Unit, she supervised hundreds of
investigations and prosecutions from intake to charging decisions and
disposition in a variety of cases, including ones involving financial
fraud, firearms, immigration, child exploitation and identity theft. She
was responsible for supervision and training of all new federal
prosecutors in all aspects of criminal prosecution, including conducting
investigations, grand jury proceedings, trial advocacy, brief writing,
discovery practices, plea negotiations, sentencing and pretrial and
post-conviction litigation.

Ms. Abrams received the Department of Justice Directors
Award for Superior Performance as a Federal Prosecutor for two casesthe
first involved the convictions of members of a Colombian gang wanted for
murder and approximately 100 armed robberies in six states and the
second case was for the convictions of the leadership of the United
Blood Nation, commonly known as the Bloods. She also received the
Federal Law Enforcement Officers Associations
Group Achievement Award. This fall, Ms. Abrams will be a Lecturer-in-Law
at Columbia Law School, where she will teach students about
investigating and prosecuting federal criminal cases in US District
Court. She holds a JD from Yale Law School and a BA from Cornell
University (cum laude).

About Davis Polk & Wardwell. Davis Polk & Wardwell is a
global law firm based in New York City. For nearly 160 years, its
lawyers have advised industry-leading companies and global financial
institutions on their most challenging legal and business matters. Davis
Polk ranks among the worlds preeminent law
firms across the entire range of its practice, which spans such areas as
capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, credit, litigation, private
equity, tax, investment management, insolvency and restructuring,
executive compensation, intellectual property and real estate. The firm
has approximately 700 lawyers in offices in New York, Menlo Park, CA,
Washington, DC, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Madrid, Hong Kong, Beijing and
Tokyo. Through the firms extensive pro bono
program, Davis Polk provides pro bono legal services to those who cannot
otherwise obtain legal representation and to organizations that serve
underprivileged communities, with the same dedication and commitment to
excellence with which it represents its paying clients. For more
information, please go to: http://www.davispolk.com/careers/probono.htm[2].


  1. ^ (www.businesswire.com)
  2. ^ http://www.davispolk.com/careers/probono.htm (www.davispolk.com)

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