Law360 Names Arnold & Porter to Its 2015 'Pro Bono Law Firms of the Year' List
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 31, 2015 - Arnold & Porter LLP has been named to Law360’s list of “Pro Bono Firms of 2015” for having demonstrated “exceptionally stalwart commitment to pro bono work year after year,” and often involving “cases crucial to the public good.” The firm was also named to the list in 2011, 2013, and 2014.
Decades after Arnold & Porter helped establish every criminal defendant’s right to counsel in Gideon v. Wainwright, the publication said, the firm should be recognized this year for several recent cases, including one it took to build on its historic commitment to ensuring the right to counsel. In that case, Arnold & Porter achieved a settlement on behalf of impoverished adults and juveniles charged with crimes in the courts of south Georgia. Officials agreed to add two attorneys and an investigator to the Public Defender’s Office, as well as to improve the staff’s training and protocols. Law360 also highlighted the firm’s launching of a unique, nation-wide advocacy program to help sexual assault victims in the military navigate a justice system that does not always recognize their rights, including the representation of an alleged victim involving Naval Academy football players.
“Pro bono is about making the justice system work,” and that sometimes means representing not only “innocent people who are life’s victims, but also unpopular clients whose cases can be the toughest ones the firm handles,” Philip W. Horton, the longtime chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee, told Law360.
In addition, the editors recognized the firm’s pro bono work on behalf of a Muslim congregation in Bridgewater, New Jersey, to settle claims that the town wrongly flexed its zoning powers to thwart plans for a mosque there. Also called out was Arnold & Porter’s efforts to combat “the high cost of being poor,” by partnering with several local advocacy groups to represent public housing tenants in court against the Los Angeles Housing Authority, which had required them to pay trash fees in violation of federal law.