Pro Bono & Community Service - McDermott Will & Emery

Pro Bono & Community Service


Our McDermott family feels a personal and professional responsibility to our communities around the world. Through pro bono legal services, volunteer service or charitable giving, our lawyers and professional staff are committed to giving back. We strive each year to expand our efforts to support those in need.

We offer a comprehensive pro bono and community service program managed and led by our Firm-wide Pro Bono and Community Service Partner and the chair of our Pro Bono & Community Service Committee, which seeks to ensure that the same Firm standards of quality, service and care that are given to our paying clients are also afforded to those we serve on a pro bono basis.

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Pro Bono

It is estimated that at least 80 percent of low-income Americans go without desperately needed civil legal assistance and that more than one billion people around the world survive on less than $1 per day.

McDermott’s pro bono program seeks to bridge the gap for low-income individuals by providing critical legal services in the areas of family law, civil rights, housing, benefits, special education, school discipline, adoption and guardianship, elder abuse, criminal defense and asylum and immigration. We provide legal services to nonprofits and entrepreneurs serving disadvantaged communities. We also seek to alleviate poverty, protect human rights and effect legal and social change around the world through our collaborations with international non-governmental organizations and social enterprises.

Community Service

McDermott’s volunteer service and philanthropy programs seek to revitalize the Firm’s local communities. Whether mentoring youth, sponsoring walks or runs, packaging food for the homeless or serving as board members or trustees, our lawyers and staff roll up their sleeves and get involved.

As part of our Kids First Initiative, McDermott lawyers and staff dedicate countless hours to mentoring and tutoring inner-city students, teaching students about their constitutional rights, encouraging students to pursue higher education and careers in the legal profession, and acting as mock trial and debate coaches for schools in some of the poorest communities in the United States.

Through our community service and charitable giving programs, we seek to revitalize our communities by cleaning up parks and other public spaces; painting and updating schools and community centers; landscaping low-income neighborhoods; and donating clothing, equipment, supplies and financial contributions to schools and community-based organizations.