The pro bono all-stars

In honor of the annual National Pro Bono Week, the Pro Bono Institute has issued a Pro Bono Challenge to encourage the world’s top corporate law firms to devote three to five percent of their annual billable hours to pro bono work for disadvantaged people and nonprofit organizations.

AmLaw100 has chosen five all-stars from this year’s challenge that exemplify the spirit of pro bono work. These firms have displayed a commitment to making legal services available to the most disadvantaged and underserved communities and clients, going above and beyond in time, manpower and quality of service.

None of the five firms is a stranger to pro bono work. All five have received numerous awards for their service to equality and fair representation under the law. They have devoted tens of thousands of hours and hundreds of attorneys, usually more than half their total headcount.

The Am Law100 five all-stars are:
Covington & Burling
·     Designated Pro Bono Firm of the Year in 2010 and 2012 by Law360
·     Champion of Justice Award in 2012 from the Chinese American Citizens Alliance for pushing legislation that addressed regret for the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and other oppressive laws restricting the immigration of Chinese people to the U.S.

Jenner & Block
·     No. 1 law firm in the U.S. for pro bono service in 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008 and 1998 by The American Lawyer magazine
·     Law360’s Pro Bono Firm of 2012, 2011 and 2010
·     Helped to overturn the first-degree murder conviction of Juan Rivera in Lake County, Ill. after Mr. Rivera served 19 years in prison

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP (WilmerHale)
·     A Pro Bono Firm of the Year by Law360 for its work on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) with the Massachusetts Attorney General and its work advancing the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection act of 2011
·     2011 Beacon of Justice Award from the National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA)

Debevoise & Plimpton
·     Ranked among the top ten firms on The American Lawyer’s A-List every year since the list’s inception
·     Pro Bono Firm of 2012 by Law360
·     Worked with Sanctuary for Families to reunite a mother and her 2-year-old son after her husband attempted to permanently separate them by taking him to live with family abroad

Arnold & Porter
·     15 percent of the firm’s time is spent on pro bono matters
·     ABA Death Penalty Representation Project Exceptional Service Award winner
·     NLADA Beacon of Justice Award in recognition of innovative public-private partnerships
·     Obtained a unanimous reversal of a Photo ID law adopted in March 2012 by Pennsylvania

To learn more about these firms and their accomplishments that earned all-star status by AmLaw100, see the new infographic created by LLMinfo.