“McDermott is truly honored to be one of only twenty law firms named to the list of 'Pro Bono Firms of 2015,'" said McDermott co-chairs Jeffrey E. Stone and Peter J. Sacripanti. “We are so proud that the firm is once again being recognized for having such a profound impact on the lives of countless disadvantaged individuals and organizations around the globe through our dedicated pro bono efforts.”
This is the sixth annual publication of the list, which this year profiles law firms that have displayed great passion for taking on hard cases and scoring victories in pro bono matters from June 1, 2014 to June 1, 2015. During this time frame, McDermott partnered with key legal aid and charitable organizations to provide critical legal services to underrepresented and disadvantaged individuals and communities around the world. Here is just a small sampling of the pro bono accomplishments that earned McDermott a spot on the list of “Pro Bono Firms of 2015”:
- In 2014 McDermott filed a post-conviction petition on behalf of pro bono client, Raymond Tempest, who spent over 23 years in jail after being convicted of murder in 1992. On July 13, 2015, after a ten-week evidentiary hearing, McDermott’s pro bono team secured a victory in the fight for justice when a Rhode Island Superior Court Judge vacated the murder conviction. (Click here for more information about McDermott’s work on this matter.)
- McDermott pro bono immigrant client, Pedro Madrigal-Barcenas, received a favorable United States Supreme Court ruling that allowed him to continue his quest to stay in the United States with his four young children and aging parents. (Click here for more information about McDermott’s work on this matter.)
- After two years of hard-fought litigation in a pregnancy discrimination case against the Department of the Interior, a team of McDermott pro bono attorneys reached a significant settlement that will protect female officers in the United States Park Police from forced disclosure of their pregnancies. (Click here for more information about McDermott’s work on this matter.)
- McDermott obtained a precedent-setting victory in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on behalf of two low-income taxpayers in Rand v. Commissioner. This case represented a significant victory for countless low-income taxpayers who frequently claim refundable credits, and it has provided the necessary precedent for seeking relief from the government in similar cases throughout the country.
- In November 2014 the Obama Administration announced the end of Secure Communities, a controversial program that allowed Immigration and Customs Enforcement access to fingerprint records from state and federal law enforcement. In abandoning the program, the Administration specifically cited to Makowski v. United States, a 2012 pro bono lawsuit filed by McDermott – in partnership with the National Immigrant Justice Center – on behalf of an unlawfully detained U.S. citizen.
- Before leaving office, former Illinois Governor Quinn granted clemency to four McDermott pro bono clients arrested during their youth. The life-changing grants achieved by McDermott lawyers will allow these clients to seek employment and other opportunities previously unavailable to them.
As a leading international law firm, McDermott is committed to pro bono service on a truly worldwide scale. In 2014, 85 percent of McDermott lawyers dedicated approximately 78,000 hours to pro bono and volunteer service worldwide. This past spring, McDermott released its 2014 Social Responsibility Report, which highlighted the firm’s dedication to pro bono legal work, volunteerism, philanthropy, and the promotion of diversity and environmental stewardship. McDermott’s pro bono and public service has recently been recognized with a 2nd place ranking on American Lawyer’s “Global 100’s Pro Bono Commitment” list as well as being named TrustLaw’s “International Firm of the Year.”
About 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 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.
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, Dallas, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Milan, Munich, New York, Orange County, Paris, Rome, Seoul, Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. Further extending our reach into Asia, we have a strategic alliance with MWE China Law Offices in Shanghai.