Media Release


PBI Honors Kirkland & Ellis for Outstanding Pro Bono Commitment

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Pro Bono Institute (PBI) announced that it will present Kirkland & Ellis with its John H. Pickering Award at the 2017 PBI Annual Dinner on September 28 in New York. Kirkland & Ellis is receiving the award for its multifaceted pro bono program that demonstrates the firm’s dedication to strengthening access to justice around the world.

Kirkland & Ellis was selected for this prestigious award because their pro bono program and organizational culture demonstrate a continued striving to effect meaningful change. Kirkland & Ellis is committed to providing pro bono legal services to those who cannot afford counsel with the goals of improving clients’ lives, bettering communities and deepening their professional experience.

Kirkland & Ellis, a founding member of PBI’s Law Firm Pro Bono Project and a signatory to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® initiative, has been a long-time leader in pro bono. The firm supports and promotes access to justice through meaningful pro bono projects that span a variety of issues, including civil rights, disability rights, immigration, prisoner rights, death penalty cases and criminal appeals, guardianship, veterans’ benefits, and the representation of nonprofit organizations, among other areas.

“What is so impressive about Kirkland & Ellis’ pro bono commitment is that the firm encourages its attorneys at all levels, from senior partners to summer associates, to include pro bono work as part of their practices,” said PBI President and CEO Eve Runyon. “The firm’s passions are evident in the diversity of issues that benefit from its support.”

Kirkland attorneys dedicated 116,315 hours to pro bono work in 2016. Among the most noteworthy pro bono projects in the past year was the firm’s win in a landmark voting rights case that ensured a restrictive North Carolina statute would not be in effect for the 2016 election. Other significant work in 2016 included involvement in the Clemency Project, an initiative in which Kirkland attorneys directly assisted non-violent federal inmates who sought commutation of their lengthy prison sentences.

“Kirkland effects positive, significant changes in our pro bono clients’ lives and within our communities. We are proud of our attorneys’ dedication to providing legal services to those in need and are honored to be chosen as the recipient of this year’s Pickering Award,” said Marjorie Lindblom, Firmwide Pro Bono Committee Co-chair.

About the John H. Pickering Award
John H. Pickering, a founding partner of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr (now WilmerHale), was a distinguished appellate lawyer and a leader of the legal profession who was well known for his extraordinary commitment to pro bono and public interest law. He served on PBI’s Law Firm Pro Bono Project Advisory Committee from its inception in 1989 until his death in March 2005. This award is given annually to a major law firm that embodies Mr. Pickering’s spirit of service and demonstrates the exceptional culture of pro bono service he worked to imbue in his firm.

About Pro Bono Institute
Founded in 1996, PBI is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization. With an unparalleled depth of knowledge, resources and expertise, PBI is the respected resource for all things pro bono. Through our work with law firms, in-house corporate legal departments, and public interest organizations, PBI is the global thought leader in exploring, identifying, evaluating, catalyzing, and taking to scale new approaches to and resources for the provision of legal services to the poor, disadvantaged, and other individuals or groups unable to secure legal assistance to address critical problems.

About Kirkland & Ellis
Kirkland & Ellis is a 1,900-attorney law firm representing global clients in private equity, M&A and other complex corporate transactions, litigation and dispute resolution/arbitration, restructuring, and intellectual property matters. The Firm has 13 offices around the world: New York, Beijing, Boston, Chicago, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Munich, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Shanghai and Washington, D.C.