Our Pro Bono Commitment
A History of Pro Bono and Public Service: 1970sIllinois State Board of Elections v. Socialist Workers Party
In 1978, Associate Jeffrey D. Colman argued this case in the U.S. Supreme Court. The case arose out of the need for a special mayoral election in Chicago following the death of Mayor Richard J. Daley. At issue was a disparity in signature requirements for independent candidates running for statewide versus local office. The Supreme Court unanimously (albeit in five opinions) adopted our argument that the signature requirement disparity violated equal protection guarantees.
A History of Pro Bono and Public Service: 1970sElrod v. Burns
John C. Tucker, a lawyer and partner at Jenner & Block from 1958 to1985, argued this case in the US Supreme Court. Agreeing with Mr. Tucker’s argument, the Court struck down Chicago’s patronage system. Mr. Tucker helped win $1.2 million in back pay for Republican deputies fired when Democrat Richard Elrod became sheriff in 1970.
Moments in History: Jenner & Block's 100-Year StoryWatch Partner Terri Mascherin Discuss the Release of Firm's Pro Bono Client After Serving 19 Years
A team working with attorneys from Northwestern University Law School’s Bluhm Legal Clinic Center on Wrongful Convictions and Stanford Law School Professor Lawrence Marshall represented Juan Rivera in appealing his third conviction of the 1992 rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl, Holly Staker. Read more...
A History of Pro Bono and Public Service: 1970sKirby v. Illinois
Jerold S. Solovy successfully argued this case that went all the way to the US Supreme Court. It regarded whether an indigent person is entitled to appointed counsel during a pre-indictment lineup.
A History of Pro Bono and Public Service: 1960sWitherspoon v. Illinois Impacts 350 People on Death Row
In this landmark death penalty case, the Jenner & Block team led by Albert E. Jenner, Jr. helped stop a planned state execution of Mr. Witherspoon on constitutional grounds just a few weeks before the sentence was scheduled to be carried out. Mr. Jenner argued that the jury selection process was unconstitutional and impermissible. The US Supreme Court agreed. After this ruling, an estimated 350 people on death row across the United States were re-sentenced.