Pro Bono Teams Recognized for Making Impact in Our Communities

October.16.2013

​Orrick has been recognized recently for the impact of our pro bono work around the world.

Who's Who Legal, the Official Research Partner of the International Bar Association, has selected us to be their inaugural Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year. Who's Who noted our program's effectiveness in matching the substantive expertise of our lawyers with legal work that has the greatest impact.

Law360 named Orrick to its Top 20 Pro Bono list for the second consecutive year.

Our teams have also been recognized for their impact on specific substantive areas:

Orrick was recognized by the Legal Aid Society of New York for its successful representation of a class of children detained by the Office of Children and Family Services, the New York state agency responsible for detaining juvenile delinquents, who alleged constitutional violations arising from the misuse and overuse of physical restraints, and the failure to provide adequate mental health treatment. The case resulted in a favorable settlement for the class, including comprehensive injunctive relief, payment of $500,000 to the named plaintiffs and payment of substantial legal fees to both Orrick and the Legal Aid Society. The team recognized for this work includes Peter Coll, Alison Roffi, Eliza Golden and Rene Kathawala. In addition, Toi Frederick, Jake Albertson, Zachary Proulx and Caitlin McCullough were recognized for their outstanding representation of detained immigrants. Bob Sills and Matthew Ingles were recognized for their representation of the Legal Aid Society in connection with improving dangerous conditions at a court facility at Rikers Island that was damaged as a result of Superstorm Sandy.

The Katharine & George Alexander Community Law Center at Santa Clara University recognized Orrick for our commitment to assisting victims of human and/or sexual trafficking. In one case referred to Orrick by the Law Center, Lynne Hermle, Trish Higgins and Cammie Desmond successfully represented two clients, originally from Thailand, who were trafficked to the United States to work in restaurants. They were not paid for work and forced to work incredibly long hours under deplorable conditions. Our clients were granted T-Visas, which provide them with lawful immigration status and ultimately a path to citizenship as a result of proving their status as trafficking victims. Unfortunately, and ironically, they were sued by their traffickers in state court for defamation, invasion of privacy and breach of contract. The litigation team quickly filed an anti-SLAPP counterclaim against the traffickers and also successfully had the claims against the clients dismissed. In addition, Rene Kathawala has worked with members of the Law Center to provide technical materials and support to develop significant identification and screening of trafficking victims.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) will award Orrick the 2013 Advancement in Animal Law Pro Bono Achievement Award on October 26 at the Animal Law Conference at Stanford Law School. One of ALDF's board members said she was "not exaggerating when I say, without your help, we could not fight to protect animals in the legal system as much as we do." Our team includes Jim Burns, Katie DeWitt, Lynne Hermle, Lindsey Hulse, Julia Riechert, Joe Liburt and Shelley White.