Bilzin Sumberg Announces Winners of Second Annual Matters of the Heart Pro Bono Awards

Press Release
October 21, 2021
Miami, FL – Bilzin Sumberg continued its tradition as the firm hosted its second annual Matters of the Heart Pro Bono Awards, presented in a virtual ceremony on October 14, 2021, as part of the firm's longstanding commitment to serving the community.

The Awards recognized pro bono services provided during 2020 in two categories. The One-to-One Category highlights pro bono work that directly touches the lives of individual pro bono clients and their families. The One-to-Many Category acknowledges pro bono work aimed at assisting organizations that have an impact on entire segments of the community.

The One-to-One Category recognized litigator Ilana Drescher for her work representing an inmate through the federal court pro bono program.

The One-to-Many Category recognition went to Public-Private Partnership and Government Contracting Attorney Eric Singer, Real Estate, Corporate, Land Development & Government Relations Attorney Sara Barli Herald and Paralegal Vivian Rivero for their work on behalf of Catalyst Miami, Inc., in connection with the “Future Bound Miami” Children’s Savings Accounts program. Catalyst Miami is an economic justice nonprofit organization founded in 1995 by Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. Catalyst Miami’s mission is to identify and collectively solve issues adversely affecting low-wealth communities throughout Miami-Dade County. The team’s representation for Catalyst included negotiating contracts with the Miami-Dade County School Board, VistaShare, and the South Florida Educational Federal Credit Union for the provision of Children’s Savings Accounts to students in the Miami Dade County School Board school system. Information on the Future Bound Miami program is available at

The firm gave an Honorable Mention to Land Development & Government Relations Attorneys Jennifer Fine, Javier Aviñó, Stanley Price, Real Estate, Corporate, Land Development & Government Relations Attorney Sara Barli Herald, Public-Private Partnership and Government Contracting Attorney Eric Singer and Real Estate attorneys Daniel Bumm and Franco Piccinini for their work on behalf of Casa Valentina. The team was engaged to serve as counsel to Casa Valentina in connection with obtaining the necessary entitlements for the expansion of their campus to provide additional units and educational facilities for homeless youth, which included negotiating the sale and purchase of neighboring properties, meeting with City of Miami and Miami-Dade County elected officials and staff, preparing and submitting the required applications, and attending public hearings on Casa Valentina’s behalf.

“Serving the community is a core value of Bilzin Sumberg and really sets our firm apart from others” said Raquel M. Fernandez, Litigation Partner and Head of Matters of the Heart Pro Bono Program. “In 2020 alone, members of Bilzin Sumberg worked on 33 Pro Bono matters. There really isn’t a limit on what we can do for our community”

As part of Bilzin Sumberg's culture of community service, all attorneys are encouraged to participate in Pro Bono work. All those recognized by the Matters of the Heart Pro Bono Awards exemplify the firm's commitment to the community and the indelible impact of Pro Bono work.

"At Bilzin Sumberg, our pro bono work is a central pillar of our engagement with the community” said Albert E. Dotson, Jr., Bilzin Sumberg Managing Partner. "We strongly encourage our attorneys to get involved, and today’s ceremony showed us the force for positive change that we can all be as attorneys.”

About Bilzin Sumberg

Bilzin Sumberg counsels clients whose business and legal opportunities and challenges span the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia. The firm’s growth has paralleled that of its Miami home base, a region known for its rich cultural, social, and professional diversity. Bilzin Sumberg stands at the center of virtually every major transaction shaping Florida and is at the forefront of the state’s most pressing economic issues – from infrastructure, transit and mobility, to affordability and the diversification of the state’s economy. Bilzin Sumberg lawyers concentrate on services at the heart of both regional and international commerce, including real estate, land development and government relations, environmental, construction, corporate and securities, finance, joint ventures, domestic and international tax and private wealth planning, antitrust, business litigation, and public-private partnerships. For more information, please visit
Javier F. Aviñó
Practice Group Leader, Land Development & Government Relations
Daniel R. Bumm
Ilana Drescher
Jennifer E. Fine
Eric Singer
Stanley B. Price
Chair, Land Development & Government Relations Practice Group
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