A group of lawyers that proved instrumental in helping credit unions navigate the details of the U.S. Treasury Department's Community Development Capital Initiative loans has recognized community development credit union leader Clifford Rosenthal for his public service leadership.
According to the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, where Rosenthal is executive director, the Lawyers Alliance for New York recognized Rosenthal at their 2011 Business Law & Leadership Gala at Gotham Hall in Manhattan. The Lawyers Alliance specializes in providing pro bono legal work to nonprofit and development organizations in New York and around the country.
In 2010, the Lawyers Alliance provided key legal help to small CUs that were trying to understand the rules and requirements of participating in the CDCI program.
"I'm humbled to be recognized by the Lawyers Alliance for New York, since I feel it is I who should be thanking them," said Rosenthal. "The fact of the matter is, that thanks to assistance from the Lawyers Alliance and their network of pro bono attorneys, nearly 50 low-income designated, CDFI-certified CDCUs were able to access almost $70 million in long-term, low-interest secondary capital from Treasury," he explained. "That kind of money is simply not out there in the current economy, so for our CDCUs to be able to access these funds to expand their service in low- and moderate-income communities nationwide has been a major victory for our movement."
"Anyone who worked on this project knows just how daunting some of the requirements were for CDCI funds," Rosenthal elaborated. "Many of the program's regulations were designed with trillion-dollar banks in mind under the original TARP authority and carried over to the CDCI program. This made it especially challenging for many drastically smaller credit unions to comply," Rosenthal explained. "I can confidently say that without the assistance provided by the Lawyers Alliance and the pro bono counsel from attorneys nationwide, many of our credit unions would have been forced to drop out of the program. They literally saved our members hundreds of thousands of dollars in lawyer fees, and helped us bring millions in much-needed capital to low-income communities across the nation."
In addition to Rosenthal, the Alliance recognized Louise M. Parent, executive vice president and general counsel, American Express Co.; and Deirdre Stanley, executive vice president and general counsel, Thomson Reuters.
According to Lawyers Alliance Board Chair Thomas H. Kennedy, "No other event in New York City draws together a more extraordinary mix of nonprofit and business leaders and transactional lawyers."