Rene Kathawala serves as Orrick's firmwide pro bono counsel, responsible for managing and initiating the firm's pro bono activities, including all administrative and legal aspects.
Rene works with other pro bono counsel and legal services nonprofits to increase the quantity and quality of pro bono representation that is being provided to indigent clients in each of the cities worldwide where Orrick has a presence. In addition, he supervises and directly works on cases in such diverse areas as immigration law, family and matrimonial law, housing law, public benefits law, employment law counseling, impact litigation and nonprofit advice and counseling. Rene has worked on many substantial matters in the federal and state systems over his career that are reported as precedent. He also works with firm attorneys to strengthen the firm's innovative Impact Finance team that he founded and that provides representation in diverse transactional areas to nonprofit, for profit and hybrid organizations dedicated to providing basic services to poor persons around the world in areas including microfinance, water, education, energy, housing and health.
Immediately prior to joining Orrick in his current position, Rene served as a law clerk to the Honorable I. Leo Glasser, United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, between September 2004 and August 2005. He was an associate in Orrick's employment law department between October 1996 and July 2004 where he practiced in general labor and employment counseling and litigation, with a focus on trade secrets. During that time, he initiated a formal pro bono program in the New York office and served as the pro bono coordinator for the office.