Austin Ozawa, a Short Hills resident, is the Recipient of Lawyers Alliance for New York’s 2019 Cornerstone Award honoring outstanding pro bono legal services to nonprofits, presented on October 30.
Austin Ozawa is a partner in the Tax Department of the New York office of Latham & Watkins LLP. He received his B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2004 and his J.D. from Columbia University in 2007.
Mr. Ozawa first volunteered with Lawyers Alliance in 2008 and is a member of our 10 Year Circle of long-time volunteers. He provided assistance to Girls, Inc. of New York City, the local chapter of the national organization Girls Incorporated, which inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold through research-based informal education programs. Mr. Ozawa helped Girls, Inc. navigate legal issues related to its 403(b) pension plan, including determining its past obligations regarding employer contributions and amending plan documents and previously filed reports. Pamela Maraldo, CEO of Girls Inc. says, “Austin led the team skillfully and we couldn’t have been more pleased. We’ll never tire of thanking Austin and the LW team for the first rate amazing legal work they did.”
Most recently, Mr. Ozawa and colleagues worked with Friends of Riverside SFMA, a nonprofit organization that fundraises for the Riverside School for Makers and Artists. Mr. Ozawa assisted the organization with drafting a form independent contractor agreement that addresses intellectual property rights. Charles Taylor, President of the Friends of Riverside SFMA, particularly appreciated Mr. Ozawa’s down-to-earth approach, saying, “He made it easy to understand, especially for those of us who are not lawyers. He helped us understand not just what we needed, but also helped us gain a better understanding of what the impact would be.”
Mr. Ozawa has also provided legal assistance to Community Voices Heard, a member-led, multi-racial organization that works to build power to secure racial, social, and economic justice for all New Yorkers; Neighborhood SHOPP, a multi-service agency serving Hispanic, African-American, West Indian-Caribbean, and other older residents in the Bronx; and Nonprofit New York, which works to build and inspire a powerful nonprofit community.
Says Mr. Ozawa, “My community has supported me throughout both professional and personal challenges, and I feel honored to be able to give back to that community. Lawyers Alliance has been a great facilitator for that goal and has allowed me to employ my legal expertise for the benefit of those in need. I truly appreciate their help since I commenced working with them many years ago. I look forward to continuing to support Lawyers Alliance to provide meaningful assistance to my fellow New Yorkers.”
The Cornerstone Awards recognize outstanding pro bono legal services to nonprofit groups that are improving the quality of life for low-income New Yorkers. Each year, Lawyers Alliance for New York honors exceptional volunteerism by business and transactional lawyers with both Institutional and Individual Cornerstone Awards.