Public Interest Partnerships and Collaboration

O&G has taken on cases referred by – and has co-counseled with - the finest public interest law groups in the country, including the ACLU and its Women’s Rights Project, the NYCLU and its Reproductive Rights Project, the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, the NYU Immigrant Rights Clinic, the National Employment Lawyers Project, the Legal Aid Society of New York, Mobilization for Justice, Inc., the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center, South Brooklyn Legal Services, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the MinKwon Center for Community Action, the Legal Aid Justice Center’s Immigrant Advocacy Program, Legal Aid At Work, Youth Represent, Make the Road New York, the National Women’s Law Center, and HIV Law Project - and many others.

In addition to co-counseling with such partners, the firm provides a wide array of services, training, technical assistance, and other support to attorneys and advocates at many non-profit organizations. For example, O&G attorneys:

  • Provide training for volunteer attorneys for the Eastern District of New York's Pro Bono Mediation Advocacy Program;
  • Co-author amicus briefs with non-profit advocacy groups;
  • Provide support and advice to advocates from the Legal Aid Society and Legal Services New York City on cases involving severance and settlement negotiations, complaints of discrimination and retaliation, and wage-and-hour issues;
  • Provide on-going support to a consortium of advocates dedicated to reducing barriers to employment for individuals with criminal records;
  • Represented hundreds of members of the Restaurant Opportunities Center;
  • Participate in Lambda Legal’s Cooperating Attorney Network;
  • Consult with the member-based group Domestic Workers United on litigation strategies; and
  • Presented on workplace rights for the Grace Institute and the Low Wage Workers Task Force, among other activities.

O&G attorneys sit on the boards of many non-profit organizations, including Workplace Fairness, Human Rights Watch, A Better Balance, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the National Women’s Law Center, and Queers for Economic Justice. In addition, the firm’s attorneys have ongoing partnerships with the Vance Center for International Justice of the New York City Bar, New York Communities for Change, Mobilization for Justice, Inc., the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and First Shift.

Outten & Golden has been widely recognized for its public service work, having been recognized by: the HIV Law Project, Make the Road New York, MFY Legal Services, and Legal Services New York City (2010); the American Bar Association’s Labor & Employment Section with the Frances Perkins Award for Public Service (2011); Brandworkers for its work on behalf of low-income workers (2016); the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law with the Robert F. Mullen Pro Bono Award (2017); and the Fortune Society (2018) for helping those with criminal histories obtain employment.  Our attorneys have also been awarded numerous other awards from our various non-profit organizations for their pro bono services.

Make the Road New York – The EmPIRE Act

O&G has been working with Make the Road New York (MRNY) to pass the “Empowering People in Rights Enforcement (EmPIRE) Worker Protection Act,” which was introduced in the New York State Senate to allow private individuals and representative organizations to bring public enforcement actions on behalf of the state for violations of the New York labor law. The other nonprofits involved include the Center for Popular Democracy, the New York Communities for Change, Citizens Action New York, the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health, and ALIGN New York.

A Better Balance - Families @Work Legal Clinic

In 2009, O&G and A Better Balance started the Families @Work Legal Clinic to provide advice and counseling to low-income workers juggling their work and family responsibilities. Attorneys from O&G’s Family Responsibilities and Disabilities Discrimination Practice Group and A Better Balance offer free consultations to clients about their rights under federal, state, and city laws regarding discrimination based on their family responsibilities and/or pregnancy. Clients can seek advice by calling the Families @Work Legal Clinic hotline at (212) 430-5982 to meet with an attorney in person or by phone.

Mobilization for Justice, Inc. - Workplace Justice Legal Clinic

Outten & Golden attorneys regularly volunteer at the MFJ’s Workplace Justice Project legal bi-weekly clinic at MFJ’s downtown office, providing free counseling to low-income New Yorkers.