Pro Bono at Arnold & Porter
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.
- Representing Black Lives Matter DC in a lawsuit against the federal government on behalf of protesters tear-gassed in Washington, DC's Lafayette Square, and Black Lives Matter 5280 in a lawsuit against the City and County of Denver for police violence in the wake of social justice protests.
- Fighting for equity in education by obtaining a historic settlement in a school funding litigation in support of underserved public school children in Delaware, and a landmark settlement on behalf of homeless students in Missouri.
- Assisting hundreds of restaurant employees and owners impacted by COVID-19 by providing individual counseling on unemployment, food stamps and other benefits, as well as small business counseling on CARES Act relief under the Paycheck Protection Program.
- Combating sexual assault in the armed forces by representing numerous assault survivors in legal proceedings, and by advocating for systemic changes in how the military addresses sexual assault.
- Extensive voting rights work, including successfully challenging the partisan gerrymandering of Pennsylvania's congressional districts; expanding access to voter registration and vote-by-mail in Florida; and dedicating thousands of attorney hours and tech support to Election Protection hotlines to protect the right to vote.
- Obtaining immigration relief, including asylum, U Visa and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, for individuals escaping violence and persecution, as well as significant impact, policy and regulatory work on issues relating to immigration and the immigration court system.
- Representing five asylum-seeking mothers and their children who were torn apart under the government's family separation policy in a lawsuit under the Federal Tort Claims Act, seeking compensatory damages from the government for its intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence.
- Partnering with national gun safety organizations, including Brady United, Giffords Law Center, Everytown for Gun Safety, and March for Our Lives, in litigation, policy and legislative work to address gun violence in this country.
- Fighting for the rights of the accused, including by securing freedom for a client in Virginia wrongfully incarcerated for 44 years due to a coerced false confession, and for a client on death row in Pennsylvania who spent 25 years behind bars for a murder he did not commit.
- Extensive housing work, including advocating for affordable housing; protecting clients from eviction and homelessness; and representing 150 low-income senior citizens who lost their homes and possessions in a fire that decimated their public housing building in Washington, DC.
- Protecting reproductive freedom by obtaining an injunction on behalf of the City of Baltimore to allow family planning providers that permit abortion referrals as part of pregnancy counseling to continue receiving Title X funds, and by obtaining a jury verdict in favor of Planned Parenthood against anti-abortion activists who engaged in a years-long campaign of fraud and deception to "destroy" the organization.
Washington Lawyers’ Committee Recognizes Freedman for Commitment to Civil Rights and Economic Justice
The American Lawyer’s 2021 Pro Bono Scorecard—Top 10
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 US government from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census and challenging the US government’s abrupt termination of the Central American Minors Parole Program.
Arnold & Porter Joins Top 10 on The American Lawyer's 2020 'Pro Bono Scorecard'
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 its 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