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NEW ORLEANS – Adams and Reese New Orleans Partner and Pro Bono Paladin Mark C. Surprenant is the 2017 recipient of the President’s Award by the New Orleans Chapter of the Federal Bar Association for his contributions to the legal community.

Surprenant will be formally honored at the organization’s Annual Meeting and Luncheon on Thursday, Aug. 17. The President’s Award was conceived in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and its purpose is to recognize a lawyer for contributions to community leadership outside the practice of law. The award may be conferred upon an individual or a group led by an attorney.

Since the beginning of his career, Surprenant has been dedicated to community service. In 1988, he founded HUGS (Hope, Understanding, Giving, Support) — the firm’s corporate philanthropy program — and in 2000 he established CA&RE (Caring Adams and Reese Employees) — the firm’s official pro bono program. He is also the Co-Founder of SOLACE, Inc. (Support of Lawyers/Legal Personnel All Concern Encouraged). SOLACE is a statewide volunteer organization with more than 20,000 volunteers in Louisiana, plus SOLACE chapters in approximately 20 states. SOLACE primarily reaches out to assist those in the legal community who have experienced some significant, potentially life-changing event in their lives.

Throughout Surprenant’s career, he has always been known for his dedication to volunteerism and also for his numerous contributions to the community. Some of his honors include the "Leadership in Law" award from New Orleans CityBusiness (2015); "Glass Honoree Award," Loyola University New Orleans College of Law (2014); David A. Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award, Louisiana State Bar Association (2014); Loving Cup Award from The Times-Picayune (2013); William Reece Smith, Jr. Special Services Pro Bono Award from the National Association of Pro Bono Professionals (2013); Pro Bono Award from the Legal Services Corporation (2013); the Distinguished Donor Award from The Pro Bono Project (2012); Friend of Pro Bono Award from The Pro Bono Project (2011); Presidents Award from the New Orleans Bar Association (2010); Camille F. Gavel, Jr. Pro Bono Award from the New Orleans Chapter of the Federal Bar Association (2008); the Leah Hipple McKay Memorial Award for Outstanding Volunteerism from the Louisiana State Bar Association (2008); “Role Model of the Year” by the Young Leadership Council of New Orleans and “Great Gentleman for 2007” by the East Jefferson General Hospital Auxiliary.

Surprenant has a distinguished legal career with Adams and Reese as a Partner, Agricultural Chemical Team Leader and Pro Bono Paladin. Outside of his strong litigation practice, Surprenant previously served as President of the New Orleans Bar Association and is presently the President of the Louisiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program and a member of Louisiana Access to Justice Commission.

Surprenant served as Chair of the Board of Directors for The Pro Bono Project in New Orleans in 2008 and also serves on the Board of St. Andrew’s Village, which reaches out to assist adults with developmental disabilities, and on the Board of the Catholic Foundation. Surprenant continues to find time to teach Environmental Toxic Torts as an adjunct professor at the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law.