Our Firm

Pro Bono

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Our pro bono commitment is key to who we are and the reason many of our attorneys make Arnold & Porter their professional home. From our early days arguing for a right to counsel in Gideon v. Wainwright, to our current work advocating for equal access to justice, we believe that pro bono is an integral part of legal practice.

Our pro bono program is as broad as it is deep. We allow the need for social justice and the interests of our lawyers to dictate the work we do. Arnold & Porter’s pro bono work includes litigation, transactional, regulatory and public policy advocacy, on both systemic and individual levels.

We are proud to be partnering with the Advancement Project National Office to fight systemic racism in US schools, which continues to disproportionately impact students of color, as well as low-income students.

Recent Matters


National Law Journal Pro Bono Hot List (2018 and 2020)

The National Law Journal’s annual “Pro Bono Hot List” recognizes firms that are “dedicated to making a monumental impact on the lives of those in need” and profiles attorneys who have “taken on some of the biggest issues of our time.” The 2020 issue profiled Senior Counsel John Freedman and partner Dan Cantor, who chairs the firm's Pro Bono Committee, and highlighted the firm’s involvement in preventing the U.S. government from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census and challenging the U.S. government’s abrupt termination of the Central American Minors Parole Program.

The American Lawyer’s 2021 Pro Bono Scorecard—Top 10

The firm was ranked in the top 10 both in the US and internationally. Read more.

Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Award - Rule of Law and Access to Justice (2018 and 2019)

Arnold & Porter won the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Award in the category of Rule of Law and Access to Justice for pro bono work successfully challenging the U.S. government’s attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The award recognizes the originality, leadership, and impact of a law firm’s work. Arnold & Porter, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the New York Civil Liberties Union secured a groundbreaking victory on behalf of immigration advocacy groups when the Supreme Court ruled on June 27, 2019, that the U.S. could not add a citizenship question to the 2020 census because its stated reason for adding the question was pretextual. Following this defeat in the high court, the administration announced that it would print the 2020 census without the citizenship question. This marks the second year in a row the Financial Times has honored the firm's pro bono work with this award: We won last year for our work in a high-profile lawsuit that struck down Pennsylvania's congressional districting map as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander.

From Our Legal Services Partners

"It is impossible to overstate the commitment of Arnold & Porter in the fight for racial equity and for equal justice. The firm's dedication to ensuring that the law is used in the services of good is built in its DNA. From James Earl Gideon in 1963 to ensure that the Sixth Amendment is a meaningful guarantee to its representation today of applicants for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the fight to ensure that the Census is complete and fair, and challenges to the abuses of solitary confinement, the firm has been a leader. We are proud to partner with a firm that treats is pro bono clients with the same dignity, respect and urgency as those who can pay a fee."

Jonathan M. Smith, Executive Director, Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs

"Arnold & Porter is an indispensable pro bono partner that is always ready and willing to take on the most complex and consequential matters. The legal aid and legal services communities are deeply indebted to Arnold & Porter's lawyers and legal professionals who have donated countless hours and resources to ensure clients across the globe have access to justice.

David Daniels, Pro Bono Director, Public Counsel

"Arnold and Porter not only delivers high impact, exceptional quality pro bono representation to our low income small business clients, but they show a broader commitment to pro bono and supporting black and brown small business owners. The pro bono team regularly connects attorneys at Arnold and Porter with in-house counsel teams to offer small businesses, many of whom are struggling to survive, a much needed lifeline of broad spectrum high-quality legal services and invaluable counsel. It is a real privilege to have them on our side and working with our clients."

Alex Stepick, Legal Program Director, Start Small Think Big

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