News Brief, February 2017 Issue.
The American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law selected Jeff Brodin and Brodin HR Law to receive the 2016 Frances Perkins Public Service Award.
The award “recognizes the leadership and representation Brodin and his firm have provided in the arena of civil-rights advocacy,” according to a December press release.
In accepting the award in November, Brodin credited his immigrant grandparents for their example.
“Their story is about instilling in their children and grandchildren two key principles,” Brodin noted. “First, be the best you can be at whatever it is you choose to do; and secondly, give of your knowledge, talents and skills to help those in need.”
As a young attorney, Brodin worked to help those affected by HIV and AIDS-related illnesses. Seeking to expand the number of HIV/AIDS-affected individuals who could receive much-needed legal assistance, Brodin partnered with fellow Phoenix lawyer Barb Dawson to co-found the HIV/AIDS Law Project (HALP).
“At the same time HALP clients were struggling to stay alive, they were also consumed with stress over legal issues,” Brodin said. “We were able to help them with pro bono services for things like creditor’s-rights issues, the drafting of wills and health-care powers of attorney so they could focus on their health.”
Through regular clinics set up at AIDS service organizations in the Phoenix area, HALP was able to provide services to more than 2,000 clients annually, allowing those affected by HIV and AIDS to concentrate on fighting the disease rather than being crushed by legal issues.
Brodin wrote a grant proposal for HALP that garnered funding from the Ryan White Care Act. Funds were used to hire a paralegal, who has run the program for more than 20 years. Today, more than 60 volunteer lawyers provide legal services to more than 600 clients each year. Since 1992, the organization has served more than 15,000 clients.
Brodin also served on the board of directors for Phoenix Body Positive, then a fledgling non-profit AIDS service organization. He and other leaders of the organization at the time helped establish Body Positive’s own clinical drug trials.
“We wrote the contracts, submitted proposals and raised money to make those drug trials happen so we could help save the lives of our friends and neighbors,” Brodin said.
The Phoenix Body Positive program quickly grew into one of the largest in the country. It has been one of the sites responsible for FDA approval of almost all of the effective HIV and AIDS treatment drugs being used today. Now called the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS, it is the largest AIDS service organization in the Southwest, with an annual budget of more than $3 million.
Brodin has more than 25 years of extensive labor and employment law experience with Winston & Strawn and its successor Phoenix firms, as in-house Senior Attorney and HR Director at Arizona Public Service and, for the past three years, with his own firm. He has been active in Arizona State Bar Association and the Maricopa Bar Association and is a past board member of Arizona Bar Foundation.
Brodin was also recognized as a Fellow by the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers at its induction ceremony during the American Bar Association meeting in Chicago, an acknowledgment of outstanding professional performance, integrity, dedication and excellence and the highest recognition by one’s professional colleagues. Only 14 other labor and employment lawyers in Arizona have achieved this distinction.
Brodin currently serves on the board of the Local First Arizona Foundation and is a member of the City of Phoenix Human Relations Commission.
– Courtesy of Janet Traylor.