The National Law Journal recently released its annual Pro Bono Hot List, which showcases significant and noteworthy pro bono efforts at major law firms.
This year’s issue recognized 10 Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® Signatories and/or Law Firm Pro Bono Project Member Firms for “raising the bar” through their inspiring and exceptional pro bono initiatives: Chadbourne & Parke*† (advising a Virginia task force on the creation of a human trafficking prevention foundation); Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton* (winning a unanimous jury verdict in New Jersey against a firm promising “conversion therapy” for LGBTQ youth); DLA Piper*† (working with Texas Appleseed to decriminalize truancy in the state); Hogan Lovells*† (securing a U.S. Supreme Court victory on behalf of a former federal air marshal and whistleblower); Jenner & Block*† (fighting to upgrade discharges for Vietnam veterans now known to have been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder); Kirkland & Ellis*† (litigating on behalf of low-income tenants in California and against a North Carolina law imposing restrictive voting requirements); Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe*† (working to exonerate a California man on death row); Paul Hastings*† (creating an online guide to help journalists understand their rights to free speech and freedom of information under international law); Robins Kaplan*† (winning a court battle to extend the Affordable Care Act’s civil rights protections to transgender individuals seeking medical care); and Weil, Gotshal & Manges*† (leading a class action case resulting in the termination of long-term solitary confinement in California prisons).
Whether by protecting human rights and civil liberties or by fighting to reform the criminal justice system and election laws, these large-scale pro bono efforts are deserving of attention and praise for making an impact, being strategic, and tackling underlying legal issues to mitigate systemic problems and effectuate meaningful change. It is especially encouraging to see law firms making significant commitments of time and resources to undertake major pro bono matters. We will be highlighting similar pro bono initiatives at the 2016 PBI Annual Conference, which will be held March 23-25 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. Please join us at the Conference to continue the celebration and dialogue about cutting-edge pro bono endeavors and celebrate the achievements of the pro bono community.
* denotes a Signatory to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®
† denotes a Member of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project
Hat tip to PBI intern Maria Vlasie for her help with this post.