Heidi Naasko Named Pro Bono Attorney of the Year by United Community Housing Coalition
Dykema’s National Pro Bono and Diversity Counsel Heidi A. Naasko was selected as the 2018 Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award by the United Community Housing Coalition (UCHC). She was recognized at the UCHC annual meeting in November.
The firm said Naasko was selected for the honor in thanks for her support of the UCHC’s 36th District Court Eviction Defense Clinic. Not only did Naasko take cases directly in one of the busiest eviction courts in the nation, but she also encourages other attorneys from large and small firms, as well as corporations, to volunteer and take eviction cases. She also assisted in efforts to increase the right to representation for defendants in eviction proceedings to reduce homelessness in Detroit.
The UCHC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive housing assistance to Detroit’s low-income residents. Since 1973, the organization has worked with tenants, homesteaders, homeowners, the homeless and community organizations, rebuilding neighborhoods and providing affordable housing, religious, civil rights, labor and housing advocacy to improve, preserve and expand affordable housing opportunities for low-income Detroiters.
In addition to her role administering Dykema’s Pro Bono program and mentoring lawyers in various areas of public interest law, Naasko maintains a substantive poverty law practice. Her caseload includes representation of unaccompanied immigrant children who are child victims of human trafficking and have either been victims of crime in their country of origin or in the United States. She also represents domestic violence survivors in divorce, child custody, immigration matters, and personal protection orders.
She also works with Dykema’s business clients to create pro bono partnerships with a focus on identifying relevant, succinct and high-profile opportunities.
Naasko, who earned a J.D., cum laude, from Boston University and a B.A. from the University of Michigan, is also a past recipient of the Washtenaw County Bar Association’s Annual Pro Bono/Public Service Award, as well as the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Pro Bono Service Award.