Media Release


PBI Honors Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom for Outstanding Pro Bono Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Pro Bono Institute (PBI) announced today that it will present Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP with the 2014 John H. Pickering Award in recognition of the firm’s long-standing and remarkable commitment to pro bono. The award will be presented at the 2014 PBI Annual Dinner on November 6 in New York.

Skadden’s commitment to pro bono and public service is underscored by its robust and innovative pro bono program. The firm’s wide-ranging and diverse projects include work in the areas of immigration and asylum, nonprofit incorporation, tax exemption and governance, civil litigation, administrative hearings, life planning, criminal matters, community development, veterans’ issues, and cases involving domestic violence survivors.

“Skadden is to be applauded for being a pioneer in impactful service,” PBI President and CEO Esther F. Lardent said. “As a result of using creative thinking along with a diverse set of skills, the firm has successfully helped many individuals and organizations in dire need of legal assistance.”

One such example is the development of the firm’s Impact Projects across many of its offices that focus on increasing the positive effect of pro bono work on the communities in which the firm’s lawyers live and work. Skadden lawyers also tackle a variety of different social and legal issues, including asylum-related cases, which have been a significant part of Skadden’s pro bono program for more than two decades. The team has successfully represented and obtained asylum for clients in El Salvador, Jamaica, Russia, Sudan, Tibet, and several other countries.

“The importance of pro bono work is part of the firm’s long-standing public service commitment and upholds the late Joe Flom’s belief that pro bono work is part of the essential role of lawyers,” Skadden Executive Partner Eric J. Friedman said. “We thank PBI for this award and for their invaluable support and guidance.”

As a Charter Signatory to PBI’s Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®, the gold standard in the U.S. for pro bono at large law firms, Skadden pledged that in its U.S. offices, hours spent on pro bono matters would be at least 3 percent of total domestic office billable hours. In 2013, the firm dedicated time equaling 5.3 percent of its billable time, and over the past six years, Skadden’s lawyers have dedicated more than 1 million hours to pro bono service.

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 Skadden
With 23 offices, approximately 1,600 attorneys, and more than 40 distinct areas of practice, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and affiliates serves clients in every major international financial center, providing the specific legal advice companies across a spectrum of industries need to compete most effectively in a global business environment. Our clients include approximately 50 percent of the Fortune 250 industrial and service corporations, as well as financial and governmental entities, small, entrepreneurial companies and nonprofits. Skadden’s attorneys and staff share a commitment to providing our clients with the highest-quality and most cost-effective legal services in an atmosphere emphasizing teamwork, creativity, responsiveness, and diversity.

About Pro Bono Institute
Established in 1996, Pro Bono Institute (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 Bono®, Second Acts®, Global Pro Bono and the Public Interest Project.

About PBI’s Law Firm Pro Bono Project
The Law Firm Pro Bono Project is the only global effort designed to support and enhance the pro bono culture and performance of major law firms in the U.S. and around the world. The Project’s goal is to fully integrate pro bono into the practice, philosophy, and culture of firms so that large law firms provide the institutional support, infrastructure, and encouragement essential to fostering a climate supportive of pro bono service and promoting partner and associate participation.