O’Connell to Receive Missouri Bar Pro Bono Publico Award 2020
St. Louis Associate Timothy O’Connell has been selected as one of the Missouri Bar’s Pro Bono Publico Award honorees for 2020. This award recognizes individuals for their contributions to the legal profession and the administration of justice. Each year, it is presented to four attorneys who have demonstrated exemplary service to low-income individuals in need of legal assistance.
O’Connell directs and coordinates Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s (BCLP) pro bono work with Legal Services of Eastern Missouri as part of its Neighborhood Vacancy Initiative. That initiative helps local residents and community-based organizations reduce the problem of vacant, abandoned and blighted housing in the city of St. Louis. The program is helping to stabilize neighborhoods and create more affordable quality housing.
The firm has partnered with the West End neighborhood through this program to help low-income residents fix title issues, to help older homeowners transfer homes through beneficiary deeds, and to intervene in cases in which land owners have allowed properties to become run-down. More than 20 of the firm’s St. Louis lawyers have volunteered in the program, thanks to O’Connell’s efforts to enlist and recruit volunteers.
O’Connell has a long history of doing pro bono work in tandem with Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, and also has handled a number of pro bono matters with the support of the firm, including helping with a firm team that secured the release of an innocent man who served more than 30 years for a murder he did not commit.
Prior to joining BCLP’s Financial Services and Real Estate Groups, O’Connell served the public sector as chief of staff to Mayor Lyda Krewson of the City of St. Louis and, before that, as the legal counsel to the St. Louis Board of Aldermen. Before serving in the public sector, he worked as a litigator at BCLP, focusing on complex cases as part of the firm’s Class Actions Group.
Traditionally, the Missouri Bar’s Pro Bono Publico Awards have been presented at the Missouri Bar Foundation & Public Service Awards Luncheon during the Missouri Bar’s Annual Meeting; this year the meeting will be held virtually.
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