Paul Weiss finds next pro bono chief in New York’s City Hall

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  • Steven Banks heads the town’s Department of Social Services
  • Earlier he was attorney-in-chief of the New York Legal Aid Society

(Reuters) – New York City’s high homelessness official is leaving his publish on the finish of the yr to supervise the pro bono apply at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, the regulation agency stated Monday.

Steven Banks was appointed commissioner of the New York City Department of Social Services in 2014 by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who’s leaving workplace in January. As commissioner, Banks heads the town’s Department of Homeless Services and its Human Resources Administration.

From 2004 to 2014, Banks was the attorney-in-chief of the Legal Aid Society in New York, the nation’s largest non-profit authorized assist group.

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The New York City Department of Social Services has an annual finances of $12 billion and 16,000 workers serving greater than 3 million metropolis residents. Under Banks, the division launched the nation’s first right-to-counsel program for low-income tenants. Since 2017, tenants dealing with eviction who meet sure revenue necessities qualify without cost authorized illustration in housing court docket.

The company has additionally confronted criticism throughout Banks’ tenure. Some advocates say the town hasn’t accomplished sufficient to scale back its homeless inhabitants, and its shelter system has come below fireplace amid allegations of conflicts, mismanagement and abuse by nonprofit shelter operators.

A spokesman for the Department of Homeless Services on Monday stated that the company has made progress in each metric it tracks since 2014, citing declines in the town shelter inhabitants and enhancements to these amenities.

De Blasio praised Banks’ work as commissioner in a press release supplied by Paul Weiss, citing his “unwavering commitment to serving the most disadvantaged and building a fairer city.”

Banks, who’s resigning as commissioner Dec. 31, will be a part of Paul Weiss on Feb. 1 as particular counsel, the agency stated. He will lead the technique for its pro bono workforce, which has lately taken on issues starting from voting rights to COVID-19 help.

Read extra:

Pro Bono Heroes: Paul, Weiss duo defends voting rights in North Carolina

Pro bono work elevated throughout COVID as distant volunteering unfold

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Signage is seen outside of the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in Washington, D.C., U.S., August 30, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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