It is with great sadness that The Legal Aid Society says good bye to friend and supporter Stuart Finkelstein, co-leader of the global tax practice at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP who died tragically on July 7th in a biking accident on Nantucket where he was vacationing with his family.
Stu shared his incredible talent as a member of the Advisory Board of The Legal Aid Society’s Low Income Taxpayers Clinic (LITC). Recognized as one of the top tax lawyers in the United States by his peers as well as numerous professional associations and periodicals, Stu’s dedication and commitment during his 30+ years at Skadden was an inspiration to clients and colleagues alike. A tireless supporter of pro bono, Stu was instrumental in getting many of his colleagues—partners, associates, summer associates, counsel—to devote thousands of hours to representing low income residents of New York City resolve tax disputes with both the IRS and the NYS Department of Taxation. Under his leadership, Skadden attorneys eliminated well over one million dollars in liabilities for the clients of the LITC. But Stu didn’t simply lead the projects. He got into the weeds and worked the cases alongside his associates. His passion, enthusiasm and sense of humor endeared him to all of us at Legal Aid who worked with him. The impact of his work was literally life changing for the economically vulnerable members of the community that The Legal Aid Society serves.
Stu is a four time recipient of the Society’s Pro Bono Publico Award, recognizing extraordinary pro bono service, and in 2015 he and his colleagues at Skadden were recognized with the Innovative Pro Bono Programming Award for the firm’s collaboration with Legal Aid on the Offer In Compromise Project.
We extend our deepest sympathies to Stu’s family, friends and colleagues.