1984 Classmates David Braff and Bob Reeder Honored with 2006-2007 Moritz Community Service Award
|David Braff, Dean Rogers, Bob Reeder|
It is no accident that David Braff and Bob Reeder were honored together with the 2006-2007 Community Service Award. The two have been a team since their days at OSU, and continue to work together to inspire the next generation of lawyers to give back to their communities.
After graduation from OSU, David headed for Sullivan and Cromwell in New York City, where today he is managing attorney of the firm’s 170-attorney litigation department. Bob took a detour—clerking with the late Anthony J. Celebrezze, former Cleveland mayor, Kennedy administration cabinet member, and federal appeals court judge for the 6th Circuit—before joining David at the firm. He now serves as the co-head of the firm’s corporate group.
Both David and Bob are active stewards of Sullivan & Cromwell's pro bono culture, with Bob having served on the firm's Pro Bono Committee for more than 11 years. Bob and his partners meet with new associates each summer to give them a sense of the range of volunteer opportunities that are available and to encourage their participation.
Bob was tapped to coordinate Sullivan & Cromwell’s pro bono response to the terrorist attacks of September 11 in New York. He headed firm initiatives to adopt a firehouse in which only one firefighter survived, help small businesses with leases and other disputes arising from their proximity to the attack site, and staff a legal support desk at the 9/11 intake center for three months. The firm's work on the firehouse charity became a prototype for firehouses citywide and Bob was recognized with the Lawyers Alliance for New York's Cornerstone Award.
Bob is a long-standing director of TEAK, a program that helps economically disadvantaged but intellectually gifted New York City students gain access to and succeed at top public, parochial, and independent high schools. In addition to being an active board member, Bob takes each class of 25 students to a performance of the Nutcracker and to lunch at the Hard Rock Café annually.
An openly gay attorney, David Braff concentrates his pro bono practice on gay rights cases likely to have the broadest impact. Among them was a 1988 case in which gay teachers requested domestic partner benefits from the City of New York. The groundbreaking case was eventually settled when Mayor Dinkins’ administration gave domestic partner benefits to all City employees. David was also a member of the team of attorneys who challenged the U.S. Military's “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
David also serves on the board of directors of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, a nonprofit law firm founded in 1976, which finds unique ways to tackle the problems facing disadvantaged and underrepresented New Yorkers. He is a long-term member of Moritz College of Law Alumni National Council.
Despite their demanding careers, Bob and David maintain their voluntary representation of indigent clients, lobby for social justice through high profile cases, and support the initiatives of community service agencies.
Throughout their careers, David and Bob have been sounding boards for one another and their friendship has deepened. Bob feels he has been given much – “so many great gifts” - and David says his public interest work is exceptionally fulfilling. The college is proud to recognize the commitment to community service shown by these friends and classmates.