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PBCSI service awards reception and Pro Bono Alumni Award recipient

PBCSI Director Cheryl Price (right) with service awards winners.
The Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative (PBCSI) held its annual service awards reception on April 23, 2015, in the DePaul Club. This year 117 law students earned a service award for reporting at least 50 hours of legal or nonlegal volunteer work while at DePaul. Students also earned service awards for reporting 100 and 200 hours of service. 

The College of Law recognized 40 students with the Benjamin Hooks Distinguished Public Service Award, which is given to graduating third- and fourth-year students who report 200 or more service hours. Law students reported over 18,000 hours of service in academic year 2014-2015. 

In addition to law student service awards, PBCSI presented the 2015 Pro Bono Alumni Award to alumnus Dan Sylvester (JD '13). He is currently an associate at the Chicago office of Holland & Knight and a member of the firm’s financial services team. 

Dan Sylvester, recipient of the 2015 Pro Bono Alumni Award.
Sylvester is the national chair of Holland & Knight’s Veterans Affinity Group, which is dedicated to raising awareness of the issues facing military veterans and increasing pro bono activity focused on military veterans. In this role, he has coordinated the training of over 50 attorneys in 16 cities across the country to be trained in the ABA Veterans Claims Assistance Network (VCAN). VCAN provides unrepresented veterans who have pending disability benefits claims with the opportunity to work with lawyers who will help the veterans complete their claims packages for expedited review by the VA—at no cost to the veterans. 

The training that Sylvester coordinated at Holland & Knight is now posted on the ABA’s VCAN website as their approved online training for any VCAN attorney applicant. In light of his impressive pro bono record and dedication to serving veterans, PBCSI was delighted to recognize Sylvester with the Pro Bono Alumni Award. 

At the conclusion of the event, PBCSI Director Cheryl Price encouraged students to continue volunteer work while at DePaul and as they go on to practice law.

“We are proud that our students and alumni embrace DePaul’s Vincentian mission of service and social justice and have put those beliefs into action.”

See the complete list of the 2015 service award recipients.