FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 19, 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Pro Bono Institute announced today that Morrison & Foerster LLP has been selected to receive this year’s John H. Pickering Award for its unwavering commitment to pro bono service. The award will be presented at PBI’s Annual Dinner in New York on November 3.
In 2010, Morrison & Foerster’s 1,000 attorneys logged more than 95,000 hours of pro bono legal services and they are ahead of that pace this year. Their recent pro bono victories have included a ruling from the Supreme Court of the United States protecting juveniles from life sentences without parole in non-homicide offenses as well as securing the release of a man wrongly imprisoned for 20 years.
Attorneys at Morrison & Foerster provide counsel to hundreds of nonprofit organizations both in the U.S. and abroad each year. Their recent projects range from facilitating the establishment of the first public library in Rwanda to enlarging a Hudson River land trust.
“Morrison & Foerster’s efforts to serve those in need through pro bono are truly remarkable,” PBI President and CEO Esther F. Lardent said. “The exceptional amount and breadth of the firm’s pro bono service and its willingness to address meaningful issues such as juvenile justice and wrongful imprisonment embody the spirit of this award.”
Pro bono service has been a tradition at the firm since 1916 when founder Alexander Morrison helped create the Legal Aid Society of San Francisco. In 1991, former Chair of the firm, Bob Raven, organized the first American Bar Association meeting of law firm leaders on pro bono work. This led to the creation of PBI’s Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®. Morrison & Foerster had a key role in the Challenge’s development and is a charter Signatory firm.
“At Morrison & Foerster, we believe it is our responsibility as lawyers to contribute to and support the communities in which we live and work,” Morrison & Foerster Chair Keith Wetmore said. “We thank the Pro Bono Institute for recognizing our dedication to pro bono work and to serving those in need.”
Given annually by PBI and the firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, the award honors the memory of John H. Pickering, a WilmerHale founding partner and distinguished appellate lawyer known for his extraordinary commitment to pro bono and public interest law.
About Morrison & Foerster
Morrison & Foerster is a global firm with approximately 1,000 lawyers in key technology and financial centers in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Our attorneys share high standards and a commitment to excellence, and our dedication to serving clients has resulted in enduring relationships and a record of high achievement.
About the Pro Bono Institute
Established in 1996, PBI is a global nonprofit organization with a mandate to explore and identify new approaches to the poor and disadvantaged unable to secure legal assistance to address critical problems. PBI identifies and develops innovative programs and undertakes rigorous evaluations to ensure that these new approaches are workable and effective.