Adams and Reese attorney Mark Surprenant, who serves as the Liaison Partner of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee, received the William Reece Smith, Jr. Special Services Pro Bono Award, given by the National Association of Pro Bono Professionals, recognizing the efforts of those who bring about innovations, generate support for, provide assistance to or have positive influence on the systems or networks providing pro bono service on state, regional and national levels. Surprenant received the award on May 10th at the ABA Equal Justice Conference at the Hyatt Regency in St. Louis, Missouri.
Surprenant was nominated for the award by The Pro Bono Project, an organization which Surprenant served as former Chair and a nonprofit that has provided pro bono civil legal services to low income individuals and families in New Orleans since 1986.
Surprenant was also recently named the recipient of The Times-Picayune Loving Cup award for 2013. The Loving Cup is awarded annually to one New Orleans citizen who has worked unselfishly for the community without expectation of public acclaim or material reward.
Since the beginning of his legal career, Surprenant has been dedicated to community service. In 1988, he created HUGS — the firm’s corporate philanthropy program — and in 2000 he established CA&RE — 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 6,000 volunteers. It reaches out to assist those in the legal community who have experienced some significant, potentially life-changing event in their lives.
Surprenant is also a recipient of several other pro bono and community service awards, including the 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 joined Adams and Reese in 1977 as an Associate and is now the Partner with the longest tenure at the firm. He serves as Practice Team Leader of the Agricultural Chemicals team and as Liaison Partner of the Pro Bono Services Committee.
Adams and Reese is a multidisciplinary law firm with offices strategically located throughout the southern United States and Washington, DC. American Lawyer includes Adams and Reese on its distinguished list of the nation's top law firms – “The Am Law 200.” The National Law Journal also includes the firm on the "NLJ 250" list of the nation's largest law firms.