PALO ALTO, CA (August 31, 2006) — The State Bar of California has announced that McDermott Will & Emery's Silicon Valley office is a recipient of its 2006 President's Pro Bono Service Award in the Medium Law Firm category. In recognition of its pro bono and community service, McDermott is one of only three firms in the entire state singled out for this prestigious honor. The award will be presented at the annual State Bar meeting in October.
"This is indeed an honor for the Firm and a significant recognition for the members of our Silicon Valley office—lawyers and staff alike," commented Harvey W. Freishtat, Firm Chairman. "They have done a wonderful job of improving the lives of those in their community."
In 2005, our Silicon Valley office provided approximately 1,500 pro bono hours on matters for clients referred by the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County, particularly from its Guardianship Legal Services Project. These cases included complex and emergency matters on behalf of children in need and their families. Silicon Valley lawyers and staff also spearheaded a new School Discipline Pro Bono Project with the Legal Aid Society and the Stanford Law School Youth and Education Law Project which provides legal representation for students facing school suspension and expulsion hearings or with other school disciplinary issues. Our Silicon Valley lawyers successfully represented tenants in two separate cases, one with the Stanford Community Law Clinic, charging violation of California's habitability statute by landlords who failed to meet basic requirements to make their units ones in which a family could safely live. In addition, several of our lawyers and staff introduced the legal system to a group of middle school children by devoting their time and talent to the Citizen Schools Project mock trial program.
At McDermott Will & Emery, we recognize and appreciate the need to help the communities of which we are a part, assisting those who are unable to afford legal services. We strongly encourage our lawyers and staff to participate in pro bono activities, volunteer services and charitable activities. Our Pro Bono & Community Services Committee seeks to ensure our tradition of providing 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.