Helping the Holocaust Museum Protect History
On April 29, 2013, thousands gathered to mark the 20th anniversary of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, including 800 survivors, more than 100 American World War II veterans, and Arent Fox partner Gerard Leval, who for the last 27 years has provided pro bono legal counsel to the Museum’s governing body. Mr. Leval began working for the Museum’s board when it was a federally-backed concept that needed adequate funding to become a bricks and mortar reality. Over the course of nearly three decades, the pro bono work Arent Fox has done for the Museum has grown to include more than 100 attorneys, ranging from partners to associates.
Together with Benjamin Lee and Keisha Garrick, Mr. Leval is currently focused on helping the Museum develop an archival facility, ensuring that important records and documents are not lost. Recently, while reflecting on lessons imparted from his time with the Museum, Mr. Leval told a group of summer associates that “if there is any one lesson that I would urge each of you to take away from your visit to this place of memory, it is the understanding that there will, of necessity, be a moral component to every action that you will take as a lawyer. The most mundane contract, the simplest pleading, a regulatory filing, each may advance the moral standing of our society or it may serve to undermine it.”