Pro Bono

Our Pro Bono Commitment

Our Pro Bono Commitment

July 26, 2022 Cross-Office Teams Help Cameroonian Client Secure Asylum

Jenner & Block won asylum in the United States for a client who was arrested, detained, and tortured in Cameroon.

The client sought our help after being detained by immigration authorities. Working pro bono, a Jenner & Block team in Los Angeles secured his release on bond. Another team took over the case after the client moved to the Washington, DC, area and won his asylum on July 20, 2022.

Jenner & Block Associates Claire M. Lally and Urja R. Mittal represented the client, led by Partner Matthew E. Price. Paralegal Adam H. Weidman assisted.

TAGS: Asylum, Immigration, Pro Bono

PEOPLE: Matthew E. Price, Claire M. Lally, Urja R. Mittal

July 20, 2022 Jenner & Block Named a Pro Bono Leader on The American Lawyer's Scorecard

July 18, 2022 - The American Lawyer ranked Jenner & Block number one for international pro bono work on its 2022 Pro Bono Scorecard. The firm ranked third for pro bono work performed by US-based lawyers. Jenner & Block has placed among the leading 10 pro bono programs nationwide every year since the ranking’s inception in 1990, a testament to the firm’s longstanding and deep commitment to pro bono work.

The annual scorecard ranks the AmLaw 200 law firms by the average number of pro bono hours and the percentage of lawyers who performed more than 20 hours of pro bono work. Lawyers in Jenner & Block’s London office averaged 132.3 pro bono hours in 2021 and 109.5% of the office worked 20 hours or more on pro bono matters.

US-based lawyers completed 152.4 pro bono hours on average in 2021, with 107.5% of lawyers completing more than 20 pro bono hours. Jenner & Block’s commitment to exceeding the 20-hours per-lawyer market standard earned it the number-two spot on the publication’s Breadth of Pro Bono Commitment list.

“Even if we were busy, the suffering doesn’t go away. The needs don’t go away,” said Partner Debbie L. Berman, a co-chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee, when discussing the firm’s pro bono commitment with The American Lawyer. “Between COVID and racial injustice and what’s going on in Afghanistan and other places, people just don’t think it’s the right thing to do to cut back on pro bono.”

In January 2021, Jenner & Block launched its five-year pro bono commitment (2021-2025) to provide $250 million in free legal services to those in need of access to justice.

TAGS: American Lawyer, Awards, Awards and Recognition

PEOPLE: Debbie L. Berman

June 22, 2022 Jenner & Block Lawyers Win Asylum for Indigenous Guatemalan

A Jenner & Block team recently won a grant of asylum for pro bono client, Amasias Paau Choc, and his son, Pablo. Mr. Choc faced death threats in Guatemala because of his role in his village’s autonomous governing body.

The team was before Judge Everett in Los Angeles Immigration Court, and the case was heard over the course of several hearings, spanning more than two years. On June 10, the team went back to court to present the testimony of a country conditions expert, when opposing counsel announced that he would not oppose a grant of asylum and Judge Everett entered the order, granting asylum on the spot.

The team began working on the case in late 2019 with their first merits hearing on March 12, 2020—just before stay-at-home orders as a result of the pandemic. The team then had several virtual continued merit hearings before the court in late 2020 and in 2021, and two in-person hearings in 2022.

Partners Kate T. Spelman and Carissa Coze led the team with key support from Associates Kristen Green and Elizabeth Avunjian, and Paralegal Alonso Ponce.

 

PEOPLE: Kate T. Spelman, Carissa Coze, Kristen Green, Elizabeth Avunjian

June 16, 2022 Jenner & Block Announces Winners of Annual Pro Bono Awards

Jenner & Block awarded its annual Albert E. Jenner Pro Bono Award to Partners David Jimenez -Ekman and Zachary C. Schauf and Associate Illyana Green for their tireless work on behalf of clients in need of access to justice. The firm gave the annual Jenner & Block Award for Excellence in Pro Bono or Public Service to Operations Administrator Marc Patterson.

Mr. Jimenez -Ekman was honored for representing Ken Smith, who was wrongfully imprisoned for a murder and robbery he did not commit. Thanks to Mr. Jimenez-Ekman’s relentless advocacy over many years, Mr. Smith was released from prison last May.

Mr. Schauf was honored for his success in defeating Oklahoma’s efforts to overturn the US Supreme Court’s landmark decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma, which found that much of Oklahoma remains Native American lands.

Ms. Green was honored for securing asylum for a Kosovan man after arguing his case at the Seventh Circuit; she was also honored for representing the American Medical Association and other medical associations as amici in transgender rights cases across the US. 

Mr. Patterson was honored for his vigorous support of the firm’s award-winning pro bono program including screening incoming requests for pro bono legal support and for helping to set up a series of DACA renewal clinics that took place in partnership with the firm’s billable clients.

Jenner & Block has been recognized by The American Lawyer as the top pro bono firm in the United States 10 of the past 14 years. We partner with dedicated legal aid organizations, law school clinics, in-house legal departments, and others committed to providing access to justice and serving the public good. As advocates for equity, we embrace our responsibility to serve those in need, better our communities, and protect our future.

PEOPLE: David Jimenez-Ekman, Zachary C. Schauf, Illyana A. Green

June 15, 2022 Jenner & Block Partner Tassity Johnson Named Rising Star by National Immigrant Justice Center

The National Immigrant Justice Center recognized Partner Tassity S. Johnson among its 2022 Rising Stars. The annual award honors lawyers who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to ensuring access to justice for immigrants. She is one of nine lawyers recognized this year.

Ms. Johnson has represented asylum seekers pro bono through the NIJC for nearly five years, litigating several complex cases before the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit during that time.

In a case before the Tenth Circuit, Ms. Johnson and Partner Matthew Price represented a political activist, who fled from the Democratic Republic of Congo to escape persecution by state security forces, in seeking asylum in the US. After Ms. Johnson and Mr. Price filed a brief in the Tenth Circuit on the Board of Immigration Appeals’ erroneous conclusion that their client had firmly resettled in Angola, among other errors, the government voluntarily moved to remand. When the Board denied their client’s asylum application for a second time, Ms. Johnson and Mr. Price again represented their client in the Tenth Circuit and obtained another remand, this time from the Court. 

Ms. Johnson, along with Mr. Price and Associate Urja R. Mittal, represented another asylum seeker, who fled Mexico after being kidnapped and violently assaulted for being a transgender woman, before the Board of Immigration Appeals and the Tenth Circuit.  Ms. Johnson, Mr. Price, and Ms. Mittal filed a brief in the Tenth Circuit explaining that the Board, in denying their client asylum, had, among other errors, applied a wrongly heightened standard for whether the Mexican government could protect their client from further assault.  The government again voluntarily moved to remand. Ms. Johnson is currently representing their client before the Board, where their client’s claim is still pending.

Learn more about this recognition here.

TAGS: Asylum, Awards, Awards and Recognition, Immigration, Pro Bono

PEOPLE: Matthew E. Price, Tassity Johnson, Urja R. Mittal

June 10, 2022 2021 Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll Recognizes 70 Jenner & Block Lawyers

The District of Columbia Courts, in partnership with the DC Access to Justice Commission and the DC Bar Pro Bono Center, announced their 2021 Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll honorees. Thirty-nine Jenner & Block lawyers were recognized in this year’s class for contributing 50 hours or more of pro bono service to those who cannot afford legal counsel. Thirty-one lawyers achieved the High Honor distinction for providing 100 hours or more.

“We know that your service is based not only from a commitment to your ethical obligations but also on your principled belief in equal access to justice,” said Chief Judges Anna Blackburne-Rigsby and Anita Josey-Herring in an open letter to all honorees. “We are proud to recognize your dedication by including your name on this year’s Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll.”

Jenner & Block will also be honored by the District of Columbia Circuit Judicial Conference Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services at the 40 at 50 Judicial Pro Bono Recognition Breakfast. The June 22nd event recognizes Washington area law firms that had at least 40% of their lawyers contributing 50 hours or more of pro bono services in 2021.

Below is a complete list of the Jenner & Block lawyers included on the 2021 Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll.

2021 High Honor Roll Honorees

Rachel K. Alpert

Jessica R. Amunson

Ashwini Bharatkumar

Gregory R. Capobianco

Andrew B. Cherry

David W. DeBruin

Rebecca R. Fate

John Flynn

Ian Heath Gershengorn

Rebekah P. Goodheart

Illyana A. Green

Victoria J. Hall-Palerm

Lindsay C. Harrison

Lauren J. Hartz

Tassity S. Johnson

Suedeen G. Kelly

Krystalyn Kinsel

Deanna Krokos

Urja R. Mittal

Coral A. Negron

Ronald J. Pabis

Leonard R. Powell

Zachary C. Schauf

Raymond B. Simmons

Carter Fielden Smith

Allison M. Tjemsland

Kyle N. Tramonte

Adam G. Unikowsky

William R. Weaver

Scott E. Whitman

Kathryn L. Wynbrandt

2021 Honor Roll Honorees

Camillie Landrón

Marc Van Allen

Paul N. Alp

Ishan K. Bhabha

David Bitkower

Noah B. Bleicher

Kali N. Bracey

Moshe Broder

Aaron R. Cooper

Mark Davis

Steven R. Englund

Samuel L. Feder

Madeleine V. Findley

Charles W. Galbraith

Alexander J. Hadjis

Amb. Keith M. Harper

Matthew L. Haws

Matthew S. Hellman

Sam Hirsch

Katherine B. Johnson

Kevin J. Kennedy

Claire M. Lally

Jonathan Alexander Langlinais

Mary E. Marshall

Douglass A. Mitchell

Thomas C. Newkirk

Michelle Onibokun

Luke C. Platzer

Matthew E. Price

Colleen Marie Reddan

David B. Robbins

Brian S. Scarbrough

Roger C. Sherman

Corinne M. Smith

Howard J. Symons

Alex S. Trepp

Lee K. Van Voorhis

Marc L. Warren

Carla J. Weiss

 

TAGS: Awards, Awards and Recognition

PEOPLE: Jessica Ring Amunson, Steven R. Englund, Marc A. Van Allen, David W. DeBruin, Samuel L. Feder (Sam), Lindsay C. Harrison, Matthew S. Hellman, Thomas C. Newkirk, Brian S. Scarbrough, Luke C. Platzer, Matthew E. Price, Adam G. Unikowsky, John Flynn, Coral A. Negron, Ishan K. Bhabha, Colleen Marie Reddan, Zachary C. Schauf, Alex S. Trepp, Jonathan A. Langlinais (Alex), Matthew L. Haws, Carla J. Weiss, Rebekah P. Goodheart, Lee K. Van Voorhis, Tassity Johnson, Kali Bracey, Marc L. Warren, David Bitkower, Paul Alp, Howard J. Symons, Suedeen G. Kelly, Katie B. Johnson, Sam Hirsch, Roger C. Sherman, Ian Heath Gershengorn, Lauren J. Hartz, Kathryn L. Wynbrandt, Andrew B. Cherry, Noah B. Bleicher, Allison M. Tjemsland, Claire M. Lally, Gregory R. Capobianco, Douglass A. Mitchell, Camillie Landrón, Charles W. Galbraith, Amb. Keith M. Harper, Krystalyn Kinsel, William R. Weaver (Will), Aaron R. Cooper, Kyle N. Tramonte, Victoria Hall-Palerm, Illyana A. Green, Urja R. Mittal, Rachel K. Alpert, Alexander J. Hadjis, Madeleine V. Findley, Mark Davis, Moshe Broder, Ashwini Bharatkumar, Scott E. Whitman, Michelle Onibokun, Kevin J. Kennedy, Mary E. Marshall, Carter Fielden Smith, Raymond B. Simmons, Deanna Krokos

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