Virginia Pro Bono Award Goes to Sands Anderson Attorney Phyllis Katz for Founding the Legal Information Network for Cancer

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The Virginia State Bar today presents the 2008 Lewis F. Powell, Jr., Pro Bono Award to Phyllis Katz, an employment attorney with Sands Anderson, for her pro bono work, including co-founding the Legal Information Network for Cancer (LINC).

Phyllis has a long history of service to citizens of the Commonwealth, both professionally and personally. She is a guiding light for pro bono work, inspiring other attorneys to join non-profit organizations as pro bono counsel and dispensing expert legal advice without charge

The Virginia State Bar today presents the 2008 Lewis F. Powell, Jr., Pro Bono Award to Phyllis Katz, an employment attorney with Sands Anderson, for her pro bono work, including co-founding the Legal Information Network for Cancer (LINC). Presented at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, the award recognizes an attorney's dedication to volunteer legal services to benefit poor and underserved persons in Virginia.

Over a decade ago, Katz faced a cancer diagnosis, which was followed by a second, and much more serious diagnosis. For the first time in her life, Katz experienced the weakness caused by aggressive treatments and the accompanying financial costs. The financial and legal complexities of diagnosis, treatment and survival are daunting.

"Lack of knowledge of community resources, illness and confusion often leaves cancer patients without the means to meet life's basic necessities," Katz explained.

Katz and Ann C. Hodges, a University of Richmond law professor and another cancer survivor, called upon their attorney friends to begin offering pro bono legal services to cancer patients that they encountered. As the numbers grew, they founded LINC to provide free legal services to low income cancer patients. Now LINC has over 100 attorneys who have given their time and expertise to more than 3,300 low-income cancer patients in Virginia. Trying to reach cancer patients before legal issues arise, LINC often speaks to professional organizations, public meetings and patient support groups. For details, visit http://www.cancerlinc.org.

"Finding time to engage in pro bono services is difficult, but it is important to me personally and professionally. I am fortunate that Sands Anderson encourages its attorneys to give back to the community," Katz said. "The opportunity to use our unique talents in this way is a privilege - it puts meaning into my life and rewards me in a hundred different ways."

Katz has always been active in the community. Since coming to Virginia in 1978, her many other civic commitments include serving on boards for Housing Opportunities Made Equal, the Institute on Philanthropy at the UR School of Continuing Studies, Commonwealth Catholic Charities, the Massey Cancer Center at Virginia Commonwealth University, the YWCA of Richmond, and the American Cancer Society. She loves sharing her knowledge with others and is a frequent faculty member of Virginia Tech teaching courses in human resources management, at the University of Richmond School of law teaching a course in non-profit organizations, and at VCU's Especially for Nonprofit Organizations program. In 2005, Katz was honored to be asked to be the graduation speaker at the University of Richmond's School of Law. Her address to the graduating students was on making a commitment to pro bono services.

"Phyllis has a long history of service to citizens of the Commonwealth, both professionally and personally. She is a guiding light for pro bono work, inspiring other attorneys to join non-profit organizations as pro bono counsel and dispensing expert legal advice without charge," said C. Thomas Ebel, then-president of Sands Anderson who nominated Phyllis for the award. "Sands Anderson embraces its pro bono responsibility and we are very proud of Phyllis' commitment and success."

Note: Phyllis Katz is a fascinating speaker and is available for interviews.
Photos are available.

About the Firm:
Founded more than 150 years ago, Sands Anderson has over 75 lawyers practicing among its offices in Richmond, Blacksburg, Fredericksburg and McLean, Virginia, and the Research Triangle of North Carolina. In 2008, it was ranked 9th in size in the Virginia Lawyers Weekly annual listing of the largest Virginia law firms. Sands Anderson provides a full range of legal services to corporations and businesses, business owners and executives, healthcare providers, financial institutions, state and local governments, the insurance industry and individuals.

For more information regarding this topic please contact Russell Lawson.
Russell Lawson, Director of Marketing
Sands Anderson Marks & Miller
P: (804) 783-6799
E: (RLawson @ SandsAnderson.com)
http://www.sandsanderson.com

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