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Jenner & Block’s pro bono program was ranked second in the nation in The American Lawyer’s September issue.
The closely-watched annual pro bono report was based on an overall pro bono “score” for 2004, 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 dedicated more than 55,000, or 6.28%, of its billable hours to pro bono work in 2004, and averaged 133.3 pro bono hours each, with nearly 80% of the Firm’s attorneys devoting at least 20 hours to pro bono work.
“This year’s pro bono effort again reflects the culture of public service, a core value, at Jenner & Block,” noted Barry Levenstam, Co-Chair of the Firm’s Pro Bono Committee. "This recognition by The American Lawyer reflects the depth of involvement in pro bono work by virtually every lawyer in the firm, which is matched by the commitments of our professional and support staff in these vitally important cases," added committee Co-Chair David W. DeBruin.
Jenner & Block has placed among The American Lawyer’s top 10 pro bono law firms in every year since 1990.
According to The American Lawyer, Jenner & Block was this year’s clear pro bono leader in its hometown of Chicago. The Firm’s overall pro bono score more than doubled that of Chicago’s runner-up, and more than tripled the city’s average score.
While the Firm’s pro bono practice was once called “legendary” by The American Lawyer for representing the poor and disenfranchised in numerous landmark civil rights cases, Jenner & Block’s record performance in 2004 was mostly fueled by work on a large number of cases and transactions, most of which never made media headlines but significantly improved the lives of those served.
Scores of Jenner & Block attorneys worked on several Supreme Court briefs involving prisoners’ rights, free speech issues, and the War on Terror. There were also many victories in — and attorney hours devoted to — criminal, environmental protection and public housing cases in courtrooms across the country.