“We refuse to be deterred by the unpopularity of a client or his cause from accepting a matter which justice and professional responsibility prompt us to take.” — Paul, Weiss Firm Principles
When you join Paul, Weiss you are joining a firm that sees pro bono representation as more than just an obligation. An integral part of being a Paul, Weiss lawyer is providing a positive impact on our community.
From landmark cases like Brown v. Board of Education to representation of the indigent and needy, we have always been committed to providing pro bono assistance across a broad range of constitutional, civil and human interest areas.
Some facts to consider:
- Hours: We treat pro bono hours exactly the same as billable hours. We do not have a minimum, or maximum, requirement for pro bono hours.
- Firmwide Work: Every department in Paul, Weiss represents pro bono clients and offers pro bono opportunities to associates.
- Great Training: Pro bono matters are a great way to develop skills and gain experience early in your career.
- Diversity of Matters: We handle a wide variety of matters from major impact litigation to matters for individuals desperately in need.
- Personnel: Our dedicated pro bono attorney manages our pro bono efforts full-time, helping associates and partners find compelling opportunities.
Some of our recent pro bono cases include:
Law Enforcement Officers Obtain Vindication
We represented 11 Asian-American police officers in a case against the Port Authority. After 2½ weeks of trial, the jury unanimously found that the Port Authority's promotion practices from 1996 to 2005 had a disparate impact on Asian-American police officers and that the Port Authority intentionally discriminated against seven of the 11 plaintiffs, who were awarded a total of $1.64 million in back pay and compensatory damages.
Welfare Recipients Seek Subsistence Grant
Working with the Urban Justice Center and the Economic Justice Project of the City University of New York School of Law, we brought an action in New York Supreme Court challenging the sufficiency of New York State's basic welfare grant. Article XVII of the New York State Constitution establishes that "the aid, care and support of the needy are public concerns." For nearly 20 years, New York State failed to raise the basic welfare grant despite the corrosive effect of inflation. The state case is pending.
Students Work on Behalf of Iraqi Refugees
We assist the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project, a student-run organization with chapters at Yale Law School, New York University School of Law and University of California, Berkeley School of Law. The project works to improve the plight of Iraqi refugees by facilitating the resettlement of refugees from abroad, improving U.S. policy toward the refugee crisis and easing the transition of newly resettled refugees to American life.
Individuals with Mental Illness Achieve Victory
In 2009, we achieved a resounding victory for Disability Advocates, Inc., an organization that protects and advances the rights of adults and children with disabilities, in a pro bono suit against New York State agencies and officials. The suit sought to end discrimination against persons with mental illness who reside in adult homes in New York City, maintaining that the State administers its mental health service system in a way that unnecessarily isolates individuals with mental illness instead of providing mental health services in the most integrated settings appropriate to their needs. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, sided with Disability Advocates on all fronts. Our co-counsel in the litigation, in addition to Disability Advocates, Inc., are the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, MFY Legal Services and the Urban Justice Center.
Paul, Weiss Advises Social Entrepreneurs
We provide counsel to Ashoka Fellows, entrepreneurs who combine innovative solutions to social problems with a commitment to bold new ideas that transform economic patterns in regions across the world. We are currently working with the South African Planning, Education, Agriculture, Community and Environment Foundation, which provides communities with tools and information for economic development; Fundacion Espave, which promotes and develops alternative work channels for indigenous communities in Colombia’s Amazon Rainforest; Release Communication Intervention, an Ireland-based organization dedicated to making the delivery of speech and language therapy accessible to caregivers; and Empowering Women of Nepal, which helps foster independence, self-sufficiency and decision-making among women by training and employing women in Nepal.
Corporate Attorneys Assist Immigrants
In an article in the June 2009 NYC Pro Bono Center newsletter, we were acknowledged for the remarkable effort by 27 corporate partners, associates and paralegals working with the City Bar Justice Center's Immigrant Women & Children Project (IWC) to assist survivors of human trafficking with their applications for lawful permanent residency. The lawyers have been working together since March 2009 on cases to help obtain lawful permanent residency for these immigrants, which has proven to have a profoundly positive impact on their lives. Beginning in October 2009, corporate partners, associates and paralegals commenced collaborating with the IWC to assist victims of violent crimes with their applications for residency as well.
Paul, Weiss Provides Representation for Those Seeking Political Asylum
Over the past year, we have obtained asylum for multiple clients seeking refuge from persecution. We worked closely with Human Rights First, the City Bar Justice Center and Immigration Equality to obtain asylum for clients from Europe, Asia and Africa on the basis of religious persecution, sexual orientation and HIV status, political opinions, nationality and membership in a social group and race. We continue to work on over 50 political asylum matters for clients from around the world.
For more information about our pro bono practice, please click here