Social Justice and Equality

Our pro bono teams have argued a range of important civil rights, civil liberties and human rights cases, and continue to take on challenging cases in novel areas of the law that have the ability to effectuate real change. These have included cases related to asylum and immigration; criminal justice; housing; the rights of disabled individuals; protections against domestic violence and trafficking; freedom of religion; and death penalty litigation, including before the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

Our many successes include:

  • A significant appellate victory on behalf of a transgender client whose name-change petition had been denied by a lower court. We worked with Lambda Legal, an LGBT civil rights organization, to argue the case before the Georgia Court of Appeals.
  • The reversal of a conviction for capital murder and a death sentence in Virginia on grounds of ineffective assistance of counsel and actual innocence.
  • Numerous asylum victories that have allowed refugees from multiple countries around the world to flee persecution and torture and build a better life in the U.S.

 

A Supported Practice

We provide practical, public support for our firm’s pro bono work. In-house training and continuing education seminars related to pro bono cases are available. Billable hours can be allocated for pro bono work, including by associates. A committee made up of partners and associates oversees the pro bono work in each office, with public recognition for individuals giving more than 50 hours of service per year.

 

International Contributions

We advise on international instruments such as treaties related to human rights, the environment, foreign investment and other matters. We also assist international courts and commissions. Examples include our appointment as independent counsel to the Special Court for Sierra Leone, following allegations of war crimes against the country’s former president, and our litigation and research assistance for the prosecutor’s office in the U.N.-assisted Khmer Rouge Tribunal.