Heating Up with Pro Bono

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 11 Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® signatories and/or Law Firm Pro Bono project member firms for their inspiring pro bono initiatives: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld*† (settling a claim on behalf of a hearing disabled inmate); Jenner & Block*† (successfully arguing six cases before the U.S. Supreme Court); Latham & Watkins*† ( procuring citizenship for immigrant veterans); Mayer Brown* (supporting a task force that is working to restore relationships between Chicago police and communities of color); McDermott Will & Emery*†  (representing a group of Sikh soldiers against the United States Army, which resulted in a policy change); Morrison & Foerster*† (winning a U.S. Supreme Court case regarding the best interests of a woman’s health in Texas and the “undue burden” standard); Munger, Tolles & Olson*† (directing legal elements of a panel investigating police reform in San Francisco); Robins Kaplan*† (suing the government on behalf of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe to maintain the emergency room on their Reservation); Ropes & Gray*† (working with the Innocence Project to gain release for a wrongfully convicted client); Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom*† (handling 200 Clemency Project cases and earning 25 clemency grants); and Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr*†  (obtaining a U.S. Supreme Court ruling invalidating Florida’s capital sentencing scheme as a violation of the Sixth Amendment).

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 effect meaningful change. It is especially notable and encouraging to see law firms making significant commitments of time and resources to undertake major pro bono matters.

* denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® Signatory
† denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Project® Member