July/August 2011 Volunteer Feature: Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP Awarded the American Bar Association’s 2011 Pro Bono Publico Award
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP received the American Bar Association's ("ABA") 2011 Pro Bono Publico Award on August 9, 2011 at the ABA's annual meeting in Toronto Canada. The firm was nominated by The Legal Aid Society, Lawyers Alliance for New York, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund ("LDF"), Inc., and New York Lawyers for the Public Interest.
The Pro Bono Publico award recognizes the firm's exceptional pro bono work, its extensive history, and the variety, complexity, and volume of pro bono legal services it provides. The pro bono efforts of Paul, Weiss attorneys have meaningfully advanced the legal rights of the disadvantaged and underserved both in New York and throughout the country. The firm's policies and culture encourage lawyers at every level and in every practice group to devote considerable time to pro bono legal services. Paul, Weiss's engagements range from major impact litigation with national and international implications to basic legal services for indigent individuals, to strategic and transactional assistance for nonprofits serving underserved communities. The firm's increase in hours in 2009, which continued through 2010, demonstrates that when times are difficult, and the need for legal services expands, the firm steps up to meet those unmet needs.
Throughout Paul, Weiss's history, the firm has maintained an unwavering commitment to provide pro bono legal assistance and to serve the public interest. From helping Thurgood Marshall prepare and argue Brown v. Board of Education in the 1950s, and winning landmark victories in civil rights and death row cases in the 1970s and 1980s, to more recent challenges to legislation that disenfranchises voters, representation of the wrongfully convicted, and advocacy on behalf of women and children in a range of settings, the firm's pro bono work reflect that commitment. This tradition continued in 2010, when the firm continued to represent 1) the rights of the mentally disabled through the remedy and appeals process after a victory against New York state in the trial court, 2) for the rights of same-sex couples to marry, and 3) for the rights of the innocent to walk free. In addition to significant high-profile cases with broad impact, Paul, Weiss has been steadfast in its commitment to provide pro bono assistance to individuals in need of legal representation. The firm's outstanding pro bono record is reflected by Paul, Weiss being only one of five firms that has been on the American Lawyer's A-List from the beginning.