Our Pro Bono Commitment

Our Pro Bono Commitment

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.

CATEGORIES: American Lawyer, Awards, Awards and Recognition

PEOPLE: Debbie L. Berman

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.

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

PEOPLE: Matthew E. Price, 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

 

CATEGORIES: 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, 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

May 19, 2022 Jenner & Block Pro Bono Team Honored by Housing Forward

A team led by Jenner & Block Partner Michelle M. McAtee will receive Housing Forward’s Corporate Partner Award at its 24th Annual Have a Heart Gala for their longstanding pro bono support of the organization. Housing Forward serves the needs of those in a housing crisis in Cook County, Illinois, helping them out of homelessness and into housing stability.

Our lawyers handle Housing Forward’s real estate, tax, corporate and other legal needs as they arise, thereby expanding the range of services offered by Housing Forward.

The gala will take place on May 21. Learn more here.

 

CATEGORIES: Awards and Recognition

PEOPLE: Michelle M. McAtee

July 22, 2019 NAACP Recognizes Firm Team with “Foot Soldier in the Sand Award”

During its annual convention in Detroit, the NAACP presented the firm with its “Foot Soldier in the Sand Award” for our pro bono work fighting for a fair 2020 Census.

In the case, the firm and the Rule of Law Clinic at Yale Law School are representing the NAACP, Prince George’s County, Maryland, the NAACP’s Prince George’s County branch and two county residents.  Filed in the US District Court for the District of Maryland, NAACP v. Census Bureau aims to combat the threat that the 2020 Census will unconstitutionally undercount minority communities, leading to inequalities in political representation and federal funding. 

Census results determine the number of congressional seats each state receives, the redrawing of legislative district lines and the enforcement of voting rights laws.  The federal government also uses Census data to distribute federal funding.  In the 2010 Census, Prince George’s County, which has a majority African American population, suffered a 2.3 percent net undercount—the largest net undercount of any county in Maryland and one of the largest of any county in the nation.  The lawsuit seeks to compel the Bureau of the Census to prepare for and conduct a full and fair 2020 Census, as the Constitution requires.

The federal government sought to dismiss the suit, but in January 2019, US District Court Judge Paul Grimm denied the Census Bureau’s motion to dismiss.  The case is pending.

The team includes Partners Susan J. Kohlmann, Jeremy M. Creelan and Michael W. Ross; Associates Jacob D. Alderdice, Alex S. Trepp, Logan Gowdey, Amy Egerton-Wiley, Olivia Hoffman, Zachary Blau and Matthew  J. Phillips; Law Clerks Alexa Kissinger and Andrew Whinery; and Project Assistant Esmeralda Bako.


 

CATEGORIES: Awards and Recognition, Census, NAACP, Prince Georges County

PEOPLE: Susan J. Kohlmann, Michael W. Ross, Jeremy M. Creelan, Alex S. Trepp, Matthew J. Phillips, Jacob D. Alderdice

July 18, 2019 Jenner & Block Honors Lawyers and Staff with 2019 Pro Bono Awards

On July 18, Jenner & Block hosted its annual Pro Bono Awards reception to honor lawyers and staff who uphold the firm’s dedication to pro bono work.  This year’s Albert E. Jenner Award honorees are Partners Todd C. Toral and Keisha N. Stanford and Associates Alice S. Kim and Eric H. Lamm.  Their team, led by Mr. Toral, obtained a significant victory for two civilian Department of Defense lawyers who fought to resign from representing the alleged mastermind behind the USS Cole bombing in 2000 after learning the US government serially invaded the attorney-client privilege by eavesdropping on their confidential communications with their client.  The firm also recognized Senior Paralegal Cheryl L. Olson with the Excellence in Pro Bono or Public Service award. Ms. Olson’s dedication and commitment to the Appellate and Supreme Court Practice has led to major wins for the firm’s pro bono clients. 


 

CATEGORIES: Awards and Recognition

PEOPLE: Keisha N. Stanford, Todd C. Toral, Alice S. Kim

June 26, 2019 Firm Ranks No. 1 in Pro Bono for 10th Year in The American Lawyer’s Annual Survey

Once again, The American Lawyer has recognized Jenner & Block as the No. 1 law firm in the United States for pro bono service.  This marks the 10th time the firm has achieved the top spot in the annual survey of pro bono commitment among AmLaw 200 firms.  The American Lawyer’s annual survey ranking is based on 2018 hours, which totaled more than 83,000.  Our lawyers contributed, on average, nearly 170 hours of pro bono work during the year, and 100 percent of US-based lawyers performed more than 20 hours.  In international pro bono work, the firm climbed four rankings to secure third place.

Partner Andrew W. Vail, co-chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee, comments in the profile that the firm doesn’t think of pro bono work in terms of politics, but instead in terms of serving those without access to legal representation.  “Our commitment to pro bono has continued over decades in various administrations.  We were one of the first law firms to join the fight against the detention of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay under previous administrations.  We’ve been doing asylum work for many years and continue to do that today,” he says.  The publication also highlights our work to secure justice for hundreds of former students of the now-defunct ITT Technical Institute.

Jenner & Block was also named No. 1 in 2018, 2017, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008 and 1999.   The firm has placed among the leading 10 pro bono programs nationwide every year since the survey began in 1990.

CATEGORIES: Awards, Awards and Recognition

PEOPLE: Andrew W. Vail

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