August 24, 2020
These are extraordinary times, as we experience a deadly pandemic, a severe economic crisis, and soul-searching over racial injustice. Weil has long been there for those who face injustice or legal peril but who lack the means to defend themselves.
Helping those in need and the organizations that serve them upholds the Firm’s greatest values.
In the past few months, we have found a greatly expanded need for assistance, encompassing both existing pro bono clients, who continue to rely on us as before, and new ones experiencing distress as a result of the current crises. In 2019, we aided clients across the spectrum of need, including refugees and asylum seekers, a number of them members of the LGBTQ+ community; victims of human trafficking and domestic violence; low-income entrepreneurs and tenants; women fighting for their reproductive rights; investigative journalists in defense of press freedoms; and children and the elderly in communities around the world.
In a landmark pro bono initiative that began in 2015, Weil helped the Innocence Project, which seeks to exonerate the wrongfully convicted through exculpatory DNA evidence, eliminate the backlog of more than 5,000 requests for assistance it has received from incarcerated individuals. We dedicated more than 30,000 hours to the review project, involving more than 500 Weil attorneys and staff, including more than 50 partners, from across our global offices.
We greatly value the close relationships we have with our many longstanding pro bono partners, such as the International Refugee Assistance Project, the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice, the American Civil Liberties Union and The Legal Aid Society. We prize the dedication and skill of Weil attorneys, who contributed 67,000 hours of pro bono service last year. Weil’s policy is for all lawyers to do 50 hours or more each year, underscoring the importance we attach to pro bono work.
We trust that in sampling the pages of this report, you will fully appreciate why we call the pro bono work we do “Our Finest Hours.” View the 2020 Pro Bono Annual Review.
Barry M. Wolf
Pro Bono Committee
Pro Bono Committee