Public Interest Law Initiative

2014 Pro Bono Initiative Award: Dentons US LLP

Posted on: December 4, 2014

Dentons_Logo_Purple_4CDentons has a long and proud tradition of serving the community. With approximately 2,600 lawyers and professionals in more than 75 locations in over 50 countries across the globe, Dentons serves the public interest through pro bono legal services, partnerships with nonprofit organizations, community volunteerism, environmental sustainability projects and diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Dentons has played key roles in several ground-breaking class actions on behalf of disadvantaged communities in Illinois. In Ligas v. Hamos, Dentons attorneys worked more than 9,000 hours over six years to dramatically expand living options for thousands of individuals with developmental disabilities. Dentons also serves as lead counsel in Colbert v. Quinn, for which Dentons attorneys devoted thousands of hours to ensure the ability of 20,000 Medicaid recipients in Cook County nursing homes to move into the community and have all services and housing costs covered. In the ongoing case of Rasho v. Walker, Dentons attorneys are lead counsel in an important effort to improve the treatment and conditions for seriously mentally ill Illinois prisoners.

Dentons was one of the founding law firms that created a collaborative pro bono legal clinic at the Cook County Domestic Violence Division. Then, when Dentons realized that petitioners were being wrongly denied orders of protection, Dentons helped form the Domestic Violence Appellate Project, a collaboration among Dentons, Allstate Insurance Company, LAF, and the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic. The Appellate Project has accepted five matters so far, and has secured relief for several clients through successful appeals or motions for reconsideration.

The American Lawyer recently recognized Dentons with the 2014 Global Citizenship Grand Prize for its environmental work in Cambodia. With the assistance of local counsel, Dentons counseled the Cambodian Forestry Administration on an avoided deforestation project for the northwestern province of Oddar Meanchey. Dentons negotiated the terms for the Emission Reduction Purchase Agreement that would allow the sale of carbon credits essential for funding the project and delivering high impact emissions reductions. Over the course of the project’s 30-year lifespan, a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions of approximately 7.1 million metric tons will be achieved, generating a significant income stream for the 58 villages and 13 community forestry groups who are involved in protecting the Oddar Meanchey’s forestland.

Learn about the recipients of PILI’s other 2014 Awards »

View all of PILI’s past Pro Bono Spotlights »

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