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June 21, 2007


Stephen J. Dannhauser, chairman of one of the largest institutional law firms in the nation, is the 2007 recipient of the Root-Stimson Award for outstanding community service presented by the New York State Bar Association.

Dannhauser is being honored for his prodigious fund-raising community service to The New York Police & Fire Widows' & Children's Benefit Fund, as well as his work as Chairman of the Board of The Boys & Girls Harbor, Inc.

"Mr. Dannhauser's dedication to the profession and to his community provides young lawyers with a wonderful example of leadership through service and that by leading with purpose, passion and integrity, we can all make an enduring difference," said Kathryn Grant Madigan of Binghamton (Levene Gouldin & Thompson LLP), president of the New York State Bar Association.

The award will be presented to Dannhauser June 30 at the Association's meeting of the House of Delegates, its governing body, in Cooperstown.

Community service is expected of every associate at Weil Gotshal, said Dannhauser. He said he regularly preaches to young associates that it is their "obligation to give back to the community and that we expect and encourage everyone in the firm to participate in some form of community service. They are told that, from our perspective, community work counts as much as their billable hours."

"There are a few attorneys who truly understand that a vital component of an attorney's professional obligation is giving back to the community," wrote Brad D. Scott, executive director of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, in his nominating letter. He added that Dannhauser "takes pride in providing outstanding community service to society's most needy."

"This award and the many others earned by Mr. Dannhauser attest to his great compassion for those people of lesser means and opportunity," said Paul Hassett, chair of the Root Stimson Award Subcommittee of the Committee on the Annual Award, which sponsored the competition. "He is an inspiration to leaders of other large law firms who are under intense pressure to focus only on the bottom line, yet find the time to reach out to those in need."

Dannhauser graduated from the State University of New York at Stony Brook with honors and earned his J.D. with honors from Brooklyn Law School, where he was a member and decisions editor of the Brooklyn Law Review.

Dannhauser has received numerous awards for his community service, including the Citizens for NYC's New Yorker for New York Award, the Inner-City Scholarship Fund Award, Legal Momentum's Champion for Diversity Equal Opportunity Award, YWCA of the City of New York Man of the Year Award and the Fire Commissioner's Humanitarian Award.

He was an honoree of the Federal Bar Council Public Service Committee for providing pro bono legal services to the families of uniformed rescuers who gave their lives to save others on 9/11, and received the New York City Police Department Bomb Squad Centennial Award. He also won the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the Chairman's Award of the National Minority Business Council and the Michael Bolton Charities' Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Root-Stimson Award is named in honor of former Association Presidents Elihu Root and Henry L. Stimson, who selflessly gave much of their time and effort to community service activities. The award, created in 1974, is presented to a lawyer admitted to practice in New York State who is actively involved in volunteer community service work.

The 72,000-member New York State Bar Association is the official statewide organization of lawyers in New York and the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation.