Four Washington law firms were lauded by the D.C. Circuit April 19 for their significant pro bono service in 2017.
Jenner & Block, Miller & Chevalier, Paul Hastings, and Ropes & Gray had 60 percent or more of their attorneys contribute at least 50 hours of pro bono work last year, a court press release said.
They will be honored along with 33 other firms for their service at the court’s annual pro bono recognition breakfast April 24.
To qualify for the honor, firms with 25 or more attorneys must have at least 40 percent of all attorneys spend at least 50 hours per year on pro bono work.
This year’s ceremony honors a “record high 37 firms,” Chief Justice Merrick B. Garland said in a statement. At the first ceremony in 2002 only seven firms qualified, Garland said.
This growth reflects the change that’s happened at law firms over the past two decades. During this time, law firms have grown their pro bono departments, which have become “mini firms” within firms, Anthony PerezCassino, the assistant director of public service at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP, told Bloomberg Law last year.
The departments have dedicated staff, and pro bono work counts toward the billable hour requirement at many firms, making it easier for attorneys to do pro bono work.
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