Harlene Katzman is the Pro Bono Counsel and Director at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. Prior to joining the Firm in 2008, Harlene was the Dean of the Center for Public Interest Law at Columbia Law School where she directed the school’s mandatory Pro Bono Program as well as its public interest programming, counseling and fellowships programs.
From 1997–2000, Harlene was a plaintiffs’ civil rights lawyer with Steel Bellman Ritz & Clark, PC, where she litigated employment and housing discrimination cases in federal and state court. After graduating from CUNY Law School in 1995, she spent two years as a Law Clerk in the Staff Attorney’s Office for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Harlene has a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley.
Harlene’s pro bono clients include primarily low-income, immigrant women who have been the victim of domestic violence and trafficking. In 2016, the New York Law Journalhonored Harlene as one of its Lawyers Who Lead By Example and she was profiled in its September 20th issue.
In 2016, Harlene received the Pro Bono Counsel Award from Her Justice as part of its 2016 Commitment to Justice Awards for pro bono work done on behalf of low income women and children. In 2012, Harlene received the Abely Pro Bono Achievement Award from Sanctuary for Families for her work representing victims of gender-based violence.
In 2010, Harlene was given the Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Advocacy, by Sanctuary’s Associates Committee. Harlene is currently the Immediate Past President of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel and the Vice President of the board of directors of the Reproductive Health Access Project.
She sits on the Legal Advisory Council for Sanctuary for Families and the Public Service Committee of the Federal Bar Council. Harlene has also served as the Chair of the American Association of Law Schools’ Section on Pro Bono and Public Service Opportunities and was a long-time member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York’s Pro Bono and Legal Services Committee.
- City University of New York School of Law, 1995 J.D.
- University of California at Berkeley, 1990 B.A.
- President and Board Member, Association of Pro Bono Counsel
- Vice President and Board Member, Reproductive Health Access Project
- Member, Public Service Committee of the Federal Bar Council
- Member, Legal Advisory Council of the Sanctuary for Families
- Former Chair, American Association of Law Schools’ Section on Pro Bono and Public Service Opportunities
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