Media Release


PBI Honors Alston & Bird for Outstanding Pro Bono Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Pro Bono Institute (PBI) announced today that it will present Alston & Bird with the 2013 John H. Pickering Award in recognition of the firm’s unwavering commitment and dedication to pro bono.  The award will be presented at the 2013 PBI Annual Dinner on November 7 in New York.

Alston & Bird’s pioneering pro bono efforts have provided real-time, on-the-ground assistance to countless people and community organizations throughout the world by responding to critical legal needs that would have otherwise gone unmet.  Pro bono is deeply woven into the culture of Alston & Bird: the firm’s leaders provide top-down support of myriad pro bono initiatives suited to the passions of the attorneys and strongly encourage all attorneys and paralegals to become engaged in pro bono.  In addition, the firm provides non-legal staff with countless opportunities to participate in pro bono projects, supporting the efforts of the attorneys and its partner nonprofit legal service providers, as well as community service projects addressing the issues about which they’re most passionate.

Each year, attorneys at Alston & Bird provide counsel to hundreds of individuals in need, both in the U.S. and abroad.  Partners and associates alike have passionately and diligently taken on a wide range of causes from representing parents seeking the return of a wrongfully removed child and victims in dangerous domestic violence situations to managing highly sensitive immigration and asylum requests, criminal record expungement, estate planning, and transactional projects designed to address societal and financial problems.

“Alston & Bird is a shining example of commitment to pro bono work and volunteerism among attorneys and non-attorneys,” PBI President and CEO Esther F. Lardent said.  “Their innovative approaches inspire their peer firms, and it should come as no surprise that their models of pro bono service are being replicated around the globe.”

One such hallmark project is Alston & Bird’s Truancy Intervention Project (TIP).  The TIP program gives both attorney and non-attorney volunteers an opportunity to provide children who are at risk for school failure with early intervention, positive reinforcement, and legal representation in juvenile court, if necessary.  The TIP model has been replicated throughout the country, and in 2009, Alston & Bird launched D.C. TIP in partnership with District of Columbia Public Schools.

“We are extremely honored to receive this award from PBI,” Alston & Bird Managing Partner Richard R. Hays said.  “Our firm’s pro bono program thrives due to the compassion and dedication of our attorneys and staff.  We are grateful to PBI for their steadfast support and expert guidance.”

Given annually by PBI and the firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr (now WilmerHale), the award honors the memory of John H. Pickering, a founding partner of WilmerHale and a distinguished appellate lawyer known for his extraordinary commitment to pro bono and public interest law.

About Alston & Bird
Alston & Bird LLP has grown to become a national AmLaw 50 firm while remaining steeped in a culture with client service and teamwork as cornerstones of all that we do.  The firm develops, assembles, and nurtures the strongest and broadest array of legal talent and expertise necessary to meet our clients’ needs in an ever-changing and fast-paced environment.  Alston & Bird’s unique culture and core values have been nurtured for more than a century, and they define who we are and how we interact with our clients and with each other.  The firm has offices in Atlanta, Brussels, Charlotte, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Research Triangle, Silicon Valley, Ventura County, and Washington, D.C.

About the Pro Bono Institute
Established in 1996, PBI is a 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.  In doing so, PBI identifies and develops innovative programs and undertakes rigorous evaluations to ensure that these new approaches are workable and effective.  PBI administers a number of projects designed to enhance access to justice, including the Law Firm Pro Bono Project®, Corporate Pro BonoSM, Second Acts®, Global Pro Bono and Public Interest Pro Bono.