Public Interest Law Initiative

2017 Pro Bono Initiative Award: McDermott Will & Emery LLP

Posted on: December 11, 2017

McDermott Will & Emery has a longstanding history of dedication to service, fairness, and justice which is inspiring to all and a model for others. McDermott’s pro bono program provides critical assistance to underprivileged individuals in the areas of family law, housing, education, civil rights, criminal defense, and asylum and immigration. McDermott also provides legal services to nonprofits and entrepreneurs serving disadvantaged communities and seeks to alleviate poverty, protect human rights and to effect legal and social change worldwide through collaboration with international nongovernmental organizations and social enterprises.

In 2016, McDermott’s Chicago lawyers dedicated 13,000 hours to pro bono and volunteer service, valued at $7.6 million. They handled 357 total matters in Chicago and had an 89% participation rate in their pro bono and community service activities.

A few examples of the firm’s recent pro bono matters demonstrate the depth and breadth of their commitment. In one matter, the firm secured a substantial settlement in a civil rights lawsuit brought on behalf of a mother who was indicated for environment injurious by DCFS, solely as a result of her being a victim of domestic violence. In another matter, the firm secured asylum for a young woman from Guatemala who was the victim of repeated physical and sexual abuse. The firm also represented multiple detainees in Cook County Jail who were fighting against deplorable living conditions inside the jail and ultimately secured favorable settlements on their behalf.

McDermott was recently honored with the “Pioneering Pro Bono Program of the Year” award from Chambers USA at the 2017 Chambers Women in Law Awards. McDermott lawyers were also recognized by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois with an award for “Excellence in Pro Bono Service” for their diligence in representing the detainees in Cook County Jail.

“Pro bono at McDermott represents to me a wide array of opportunities for incredible personal and professional growth and satisfaction. I have been extremely gratified and nourished by McDermott’s exemplary commitment to pro bono.” – Brad Wilson, Partner, McDermott Will & Emery LLP

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