The Commitment to Justice Award was established by Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida (CCLA) in 2011. The award honors members of the community whose work reflects and embodies the mission of CCLA to improve the lives of low income persons in our community through advocacy, education, representation and empowerment. This year’s recipient, Joshua R. Levenson, is a partner at Holland & Knight in Fort Lauderdale and manages the pro bono and charitable services of the office, donating an estimated 600 hours to pro bono matters since 2009.
“The Commitment to Justice award is extremely meaningful to me because of what it represents – that we as lawyers have an everlasting duty to help improve the lives of those in need through advocacy, education, representation and empowerment,” he said. “I am extremely humbled to join the list of recipients of this prestigious award.”
Josh was introduced to CCLA in 2013. He was then overseeing the implementation of Holland & Knight’s Mickey Rooney Financial Elder Abuse Pro Bono Project in Fort Lauderdale, which, in collaboration with CCLA, benefits and assists seniors who are victims of financial exploitation by family, friends or caregivers. Through his participation, Josh took the lead role in providing pro bono representation to an elderly client who came to CCLA for assistance.
He enthusiastically took the lead with care and compassion, ensuring that she understood the process and putting her at ease during a stressful time. Josh dedicated countless hours drafting pleadings, conducting depositions, drafting discovery and attending hearings. Although this was a pro bono case, Josh put in time and effort as though the client was paying his firm’s corporate rate.
“We are so pleased to honor Josh Levenson with the Commitment to Justice Award this year. Josh’s pro bono efforts with the Mickey Rooney Financial Elder Abuse Pro Bono Project clearly show his compassion for vulnerable seniors in our community,” said Barbara Prager, Executive Director of CCLA.
Josh’s other pro bono projects have included cases on child abduction, financial elder exploitation, representation of children with autism, and representation of military veterans. At Holland & Knight, he concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial litigation, trusts and estates litigation, medical malpractice defense, and commercial landlord-tenant litigation. He handles cases in both state and federal court, from pre-suit through trial.
Josh currently serves as the Public and Charitable Service Chair of the firm’s Fort Lauderdale office, meaning that he recruits lawyers for pro bono work and organizes the office’s overall participation in community service projects. He leads by example, juggling a busy litigation practice with multiple community commitments.
He is recognized as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers and was named as an “On the Rise” honoree by the Daily Business Review in 2017.
“I am active in pro bono work because I truly believe that one way to change the world is by improving the lives of those around us,” Josh said. “Lawyers have the tools to effectuate this change on a local level through pro bono work.”