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October 9, 2006 » 11:10 am

Nick Baran Wins Pro Bono Service Award

Congratulations to Nick Baran for winning the State Bar’s 2006 President’s Pro Bono Distinguished Service Award. Nick was the editor-in-chief of NT Systems Magazine back when I was an editor at Dr. Dobb’s Journal. We used to go out for dim sum a lot and talk about the state of the world and how we could improve it. Then I’d kick his butt in a game of chess, and we’d go on our merry way.    (LBA)

In 2001, after a long and illustrious career as an engineer, an editor, and an author, Nick decided he was done just talking about the world and decided it was time to do something about it. So he went back to school, got his law degree, and has been practicing pro bono work ever since.    (LBB)

Here’s what the press release had to say about Nick:    (LBC)

Baran worked mostly on family law cases for the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Volunteer Legal Services Program, and on domestic violence cases for the Center for Relationship Abuse Awareness. He helped the center obtain nonprofit status and also worked with low-income clients on divorce and custody matters, restraining orders, wills, conservatorships and transactional work.    (LBD)

“He has taken on many clients that others would not and has demonstrated patience and true concern for the overall well-being of his pro bono clients,” wrote BASF officials in a nominating letter. “Mr. Baran has particular compassion for women and children who have suffered from domestic violence, helping many domestic violence survivors secure their safety and self-sufficiency.”    (LBE)

Many of his clients were non-English-speaking immigrants, including a Cantonese woman whose American husband told her that because she hadn’t produced a child, their marriage was over. He told her she would get no spousal support and none of his assets, and he dropped her off at a cheap hotel with a small amount of money.    (LBF)

Baran was able temporary spousal support and a share of community property as he continued to work on her divorce and immigration concerns. He has helped other women in abusive relationships get the hearings and representation to which they are entitled.    (LBG)

Congratulations, Nick! Well deserved.    (LBH)

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