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The American Lawyer recently included Jenner & Block on the “Leaderboard” of top law firms for pro bono work. The Firm was ranked third on the magazine’s annual report on the pro bono efforts among the country’s top law firms. The American Lawyer also noted that the Firm has placed among the top 10 pro bono law firms every year since 1990.
“This honor reflects the culture of public service at the Firm,” noted Partner Barry Levenstam, Co-Chair of the Firm’s Pro Bono Committee. “The American Lawyer’s pro bono ranking reflects a continuing effort by everyone at the Firm to be involved in these cases,” added Partner David W. DeBruin, Co-Chair of the committee.
The closely-watched report was based on an overall pro bono “score” for legal services provided during 2006, which was calculated by weighing the Firm’s average pro bono hours per attorney with the percentage of lawyers with more than 20 hours of pro bono work last year.
Jenner & Block attorneys averaged 127.5 hours of pro bono work each in 2006, with more than 80% of the Firm’s attorneys devoting at least 20 hours to pro bono work.
Among the Firm’s many pro bono efforts, The American Lawyer highlighted Jenner & Block’s representation of 17 detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba who are challenging the legality of their detention, and the Firm’s advocacy on behalf of the detainees by writing media commentaries, submitting amicus briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court, and testifying before Congress about the provision in the Military Commissions Act of 2006 that stripped prisoners of habeas corpus rights. The report also highlighted the Firm’s over 5,000 hours of pro bono work for death penalty clients in California and Missouri in cases that challenge those states’ lethal injection procedures as a violation of the constitutional prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment.
In 2006, Jenner & Block also handled pro bono cases helping residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina and helped numerous people seeking safety in the U.S. by obtaining asylum or withholding of removal.