A pro bono attorney shakes hands with a client.

Bousquet Holstein holds a core belief that our firm has a profound responsibility to contribute to the community and make it a better place for all to live. 

The commitments that the attorneys of Bousquet Holstein collectively and individually make to the Central New York community represent the firm’s philosophy in action.  Pro bono service is a large part of that commitment.

Bousquet Holstein attorneys have the privilege of providing pro bono counsel and comfort to those who cannot afford legal advice in matters that impact the essentials of life. We work with various community organizations, including the Volunteer Lawyers Project of Central New York (VLPCNY), Hiscock Legal Aid Society, Say Yes Legal Clinics, and Upstate Medical University Legal Clinic to provide counsel in Family Court, eviction defense, homeless advocacy and prevention, trust and estate matters, elder law, LGBTQ+ law, immigration matters, reentry, and grass-roots community economic development. 

Additionally, our firm works with community-focused nonprofit organizations to conduct legal education seminars and pro bono services on matters including governance, nonprofit corporation law, and tax-exempt status.

In addition to pro bono services, our firm encourages our attorneys to give back to the causes that inspire them. As a result, our attorneys and staff serve in leadership roles on the boards of more than 150 organizations across Central New York. Bousquet Holstein has a respected history of practicing law in Syracuse for over 50 years and is proud to continue our tradition of philanthropy and providing trusted counsel for all.

Laurence Bousquet accepts the President's Pro Bono Service Award from the New York State Bar Association.

President’s Pro Bono Service Award

In their celebration of Law Day in 2018, the New York State Bar Association honored Bousquet Holstein PLLC with its President’s Pro Bono Service award. The firm was chosen based on the number of clients served, hours contributed, and the impact of the service on clients or pro bono organization.

NYS Bar Association President Sharon Stern Gerstman presented the award to founding partner Laurence Bousquet on behalf of the charitable work from the attorneys at Bousquet Holstein.

“It is fitting that, as part of our celebration, we honor the men and women who donate thousands of hours of legal services to better the lives of clients who are impoverished. Not only have these lawyers exemplified the best of our profession, but their generosity has significantly helped their communities in addition to the individuals that they serve.”

President-elect Michael Miller, co-chair of the President’s Committee on Access to Justice and speaker at the 2018 NYSBA Pro Bono Service Awards

Pro Bono Champions

In 2022, Bousquet Holstein attorney Catherine A. Ray was recognized by the Volunteer Lawyers Project of Central New York as a 2022 Pro Bono Champion.

Cathy volunteers in VLPCNY’s Elder Law Program, where she gives pro bono legal advice and representation to low-income clients. She helps those in need on a wide array of issues, including assisting with petitions for 17-A guardianship for persons with intellectual disabilities, completing powers of attorney, and advising on the estate administration process.

“[Cathy] eases the clients’ minds and offers a warm and welcoming encounter, which undoubtedly makes those we serve feel comfortable and understood,” VLPCNY said in a social media post recognizing Catherine. “Not only is Cathy zealous in the advocacy she provides, but her knowledge on estate administration, basic estate planning, and other legal issues that this population is commonly faced with is demonstrated through the details in her work. The Elder Law Program thrives because of volunteers like her.”

Cathy plans to continue her pro bono work within the VLPCNY Elder Law Program.

“I am thrilled to work at a firm that supports and encourages my personal mission to give back to the community,” Cathy said. “It’s been such a pleasure working with VLP, and I am so thankful that organizations like them exist in our community to easily connect volunteer attorneys with those in need.”

Bousquet Holstein attorneys are often among those honored as Pro Bono Champions every year, some being Anna Putintseva and Erika Hooker in 2021, Rebecca Cohen in 2020, and Michael Tyszko in 2018.

Syracuse trusts and estates attorney Catherine Ray smiles for her studio headshot.
Previous Pro Bono Champions

Erika H. Hooker

President’s Pro Bono Award, New York State Bar Association, 2022

Eviction Defense | Pro Bono Champion, Volunteer’s Lawyer Project, 2021

Syracuse Immigration Attorney Anna Putintseva smiles for her studio headshot.

Anna Putintseva

Immigration Program | Pro Bono Champion, Volunteer’s Lawyer Project, 2021

Rebecca R. Cohen

Immigration Program | Pro Bono Champion, Volunteer’s Lawyer Project, 2020

Michael W. Tyszko

Pro Bono Champion, Volunteer’s Lawyer Project, 2018

Bousquet Holstein Syracuse law firm logo.

Bousquet Holstein PLLC

Collective Firm Contributions | Pro Bono Champion Award, Volunteer’s Lawyer Project, 2018