Award-winning pro bono program encompasses projects for transactional attorneys and litigators in many areas
Implemented a new Pro Bono Policy in 2005 that includes the goal that every lawyer perform 50 hours of pro bono work each year; the expectation that every partner work on a pro bono matter every year; and the requirement that every new attorney—from first-year associate to lateral partner—take on a pro bono matter within his or her first two years at the firm.
We believe that a great law firm cannot become a great institution unless a pro bono ethic is part of the firm’s culture. It is in this spirit that we refer to time spent on pro bono work as “our finest hours.”
We are committed to bettering our communities by helping those in need, but we aspire to do even more. We look for and develop innovative ways to deliver our pro bono services – including partnerships with legal services providers and in-house corporate legal staffs – to maximize their effectiveness and to provide models that other firms can emulate.
The cornerstone of our pro bono practice is the firm’s ground-breaking pro bono policy. The policy includes the goal that every lawyer perform 50 hours of pro bono work each year; the expectation that every partner work on a pro bono matter every year; and the requirement that every new attorney – from first-year associate to lateral partner – take on a pro bono matter within his or her first two years at the firm.
The policy is working. Firmwide, we performed over 87,000 hours of pro bono work in 2006 – the equivalent of almost 50 full-time lawyers. In the US, we averaged almost 85 pro bono hours per lawyer, and in excess of 90% of our partners did pro bono work.
These extensive efforts spanned a broad array of matters, including civil, human and voting rights; political asylum; and community and economic development. They involved clients around the globe, from micro-entrepreneurs in Harlem to weavers in Varanasi, India. Our pro bono work is the source of great satisfaction and pride, both to the individual lawyers who do it and to the firm as a whole.