Christopher Carlberg, a litigation associate in the San Francisco office of Latham & Watkins, received the Bill Brockett Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award on Wednesday for his outstanding service to Swords to Plowshares.
Carlberg said that he was honored and encouraged his colleagues to get involved. In the past year, Carlberg has staffed four legal clinics, completed over 100 pro bono hours for veterans, and acted as a general resource in veteran-related matters. He serves on Swords to Plowshares’ Pro Bono Advisory Board and Latham’s Pro Bono Committee, and currently represents a Gulf War era veteran with a service-connected claim for PTSD.
“It has been a great experience to work with clients referred by Swords to Plowshares and engage them directly on a personal level,” Carlberg said. “They’ve given me firsthand insight into how important pro bono legal assistance is in helping veterans navigate the labyrinth of forms and regulations involved when applying for veterans benefits.”
Swords to Plowshares executive director Michael Blecker said that delays in the legal system often cause undue suffering to at-risk veterans, and that it’s critical for them to receive legal assistance in the early stages.
“If not for the efforts of attorneys like Chris Carlberg, we’d have a lot more vets in the street,” added Del Seymour, Swords to Plowshares board member and founder of the Tenderloin Walking Tours. “Often county officers can’t give veterans the quality time that our clients need because of their heavy caseloads. But these attorneys here tonight are handling multimillion-dollar cases, yet they still make time to help a veteran in need.”
The award was presented at a legal reception held at the law firm of Keker & Van Nest LLP in San Francisco.