CHICAGO (September 5, 2013) – International law firm McDermott Will & Emery has been named a recipient of the National Legal Aid & Defenders Association (NLADA) 2013 Beacon of Justice Award. The prestigious award recognizes law firms that have provided significant pro bono representation and resources to secure the mandate of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Gideon v. Wainwright.
The award will be presented to the Firm at the 2013 Exemplar Award Dinner on September 19, 2013 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Gideon, which established the constitutional right to counsel for people accused of crimes who cannot afford to hire a lawyer.
McDermott was selected for this award for its successful pro bono representation of indigent criminal defendants and the wrongfully convicted in cases at both the trial and appellate levels. In 2012 alone, McDermott lawyers devoted over 3,700 hours to Gideon-related criminal matters and the representation of individuals in post-conviction proceedings in both state and federal court. McDermott’s work underscores the “obvious truth” set forth in Gideon – that “lawyers in criminal courts are necessities, not luxuries.”
NLADA is America’s oldest and largest nonprofit association devoted to excellence in the delivery of legal services to those who cannot afford counsel. For more than 100 years, NLADA has pioneered access to justice at the national, state and local level through the creation of our public defender system, development of nationally applicable standards for legal representation, groundbreaking legal legislation and the creation of important institutions such as the Legal Services Corporation.
McDermott’s Commitment to Pro Bono Work
McDermott Will & Emery recognizes and appreciates the need to give back to the communities of which it is a part and to assist those who are unable to afford legal services. The Firm offers a comprehensive pro bono and community service program managed and led by its full-time pro bono counsel, our pro bono litigation partner, and the chair of our Pro Bono & Community Service Committee, which seeks to ensure that the same standards of quality, service and care that McDermott gives to its paying clients are also afforded to those it serves on a pro bono basis. The Firm strongly encourages its lawyers and staff to participate in pro bono initiatives, volunteer services and charitable activities, and it recognizes lawyer time dedicated to pro bono and community service as equivalent to billable hours for all purposes. For more about McDermott’s commitment to social responsibility, click here.
About McDermott Will & Emery
McDermott Will & Emery is a premier international law firm with a diversified business practice. Numbering more than 1,000 lawyers, we have offices in Boston, Brussels, Chicago, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Milan, Munich, New York, Orange County, Paris, Rome, Seoul, Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. Extending our reach to Asia, we have a strategic alliance with MWE China Law Offices in Shanghai.