Jenner & Block

The Heart of the Matter Blog

July 15, 2016 Partner Paul Smith Discusses Firm’s Pro Bono Support of LGBT Community

Paul Smith headshot used for pro bono blogPartner Paul M. Smith notes the firm’s strong history of pro bono work in an article about law firms that are teaming up with advocacy groups to support the LGBT community.  Titled “The BigLaw Firms Fighting for Transgender Rights,” the article in Law360 explains that the American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund have tapped Jenner & Block to challenge North Carolina’s controversial HB 2, which requires transgender people to use the bathroom that matches their birth certificate in public facilities.  The article notes that, in 2003, Mr. Smith won the landmark Lawrence v. Texas case, in which the US Supreme Court declared that sodomy bans were illegal.  “The firm culture is very, very pro bono-oriented, civil rights and civil liberties-oriented, but any kind of pro bono,” Mr. Smith says. “This is just one piece of that. It became a big part of our pro bono practice after Lawrence. There were just a lot of people who wanted to work on these issues. One thing leads to another and once you've got a connection with the organization, you know them and they trust you, you get more and more opportunities to do interesting things.”

CATEGORIES: LGBT, P Smith