Bar News - April 6, 2007
Steven Scudder Receives National Pro Bono Award
Steven B. Scudder, Committee Counsel to the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service and a member of the New Hampshire Bar since 1983, has received the Wm. Reece Smith, Jr. Special Services to Pro Bono Award from the National Association of Pro Bono Professionals (NAPBPro). Scudder was one of three nominees.
In his nominating letter, Anthony H. Rarash, director of the ABA Center for Pro Bono, said of Scudder: “Steve has dedicated his career to the delivery of legal services to the poor and to helping, supporting and mentoring thousands of pro bono program managers, bar leaders and volunteer attorneys, paralegals and law students and faculty who comprise the national, state and local pro bono movement in America.”
Scudder said he was “completely surprised” by the award. At the meeting where the award was announced, he suddenly became the center of attention of a “few hundred people…” He said he was “embarrassed and a lot unprepared.” He noted the important role NAPBPro plays in serving the pro bono manager community and reflected on the challenges of those in the audience who work “so hard to ensure that there is a strong and effective legal services delivery system in this country. This is often thankless work and…in my view they are the real heroes.” In remarks made following the event, he said that being recognized “for something I love doing, and get paid for, seems a little awkward.”
Scudder started his career as director of the NHBA Pro Bono Referral program in 1983, shortly after obtaining his law degree from Franklin Pierce Law Center. He headed Pro Bono for 10 years, overseeing the merger of the previously independent Pro Bono program staff with that of the Bar Association, creating the DOVE Project, and numerous recruitment and recognition initiatives including the County Pro Bono and the L. Jonathan Ross award, referral marathons, and the “Quid Pro Bono” golf tournament – the Program’s largest fundraising event.
“In many ways the NH Bar has been at the forefront of the pro bono movement since the late 1970s,” said Scudder. “The leadership lessons I learned there, from some of the finest lawyers around in the bar association and legal services communities, have been at the core of anything I was able to accomplish there or since.”