Alliance for Children’s Rights

Anti-Defamation League

Appleseed Foundation

Asian American Justice Center

Asian Pacific American Legal Center

Bet Tzedek

Brennan Center for Justice

California Women's Law Center

Catholic Charities

Center for International Peace Organizations

Constitutional Rights Foundation

Dignity Fund

El Centro Legal

Freedom from Hunger

Grameen Foundation

Habitat for Humanity

Human Rights First

International Development Law Organization

Kiva

Lambda Legal

Lawyers Alliance for New York

Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law

Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles

Legal Services for Entrepreneurs

Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund

MFY Legal Services

Mississippi Center for Justice

NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund

National Council of La Raza

New York Lawyers for the Public Interest

Office of the Public Defender for Montgomery County (Maryland)

Public Counsel

Public Law Center

Robinhood Foundation

Sanctuary for Families

Teach for America

Teen Court

Tenderloin Health

The Legal Aid Society of New York

Trial Advocacy Prosecution Program

United States Appeals Court for the Ninth Circuit

Varick Street Project

Volunteer Legal Services Program of the San Francisco Bar Association

Washington, DC Area Lawyers for the Arts 

Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless

Western Center on Law and Poverty


Pro Bono

For more than 100 years, O’Melveny lawyers have been actively involved in their communities, engaging in our profession’s highest calling—ensuring access to justice through pro bono representation of the poor and disenfranchised. In 1929, Jack O’Melveny helped found the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, still the oldest and largest organization serving the poor in Southern California. O’Melveny lawyers answered the call of President Kennedy in 1963 to come to Washington, DC and organize in support of the civil rights workers in the deep South, out of which grew the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. And in the 1990s, we successfully defended before the US Supreme Court the constitutionality of the Interest On Lawyers Trust Accounts programs, the country’s second largest funding source for the provision of free legal aid to the poor.

We have a long-established policy of giving lawyers full credit for all pro bono hours. In 2013, attorneys at O’Melveny devoted more than 70,000 hours of legal representation to pro bono matters, averaging more than 110 hours per lawyer. The value of this work amounted to more than US$41 million worth of legal services to the poor and voiceless, as our pro bono program rose to meet our clients' needs. This involved the participation of more than 76% of the Firm’s lawyers. In the past year, more than 55% of our attorneys reported doing more than 20 hours of pro bono work. While the number of pro bono hours recorded by our lawyers has been maintained at a dramatically high level over the past several years, we prefer to measure the impact of our work by the people we serve and the lives we touch.

Key Facts

  • Under our firmwide Pro Bono Initiative, new lawyers in all US offices are required to handle at least one pro bono matter in their first year at the Firm. Each partner is expected to supervise at least one pro bono matter every year, and all attorneys are encouraged to perform at least 50 hours of pro bono work annually.
  • We have appointed a firmwide partner-in-charge and a full-time managing counsel of pro bono. David Lash, our managing counsel for public interest and pro bono services, is a former Executive Director of Bet Tzedek. In 2014, Lash received Bet Tzedek's Rose L. Schiff Commitment to Justice Award for helping to build the agency into one of the nation’s preeminent nonprofit legal service organizations.
  • Our attorneys sit on the boards of major legal services organizations in every US city in which the firm practices. The Firm has satisfied key pledges around the country, including the Pro Bono Institute’s Pro Bono Challenge, which asks major law firms to devote not less than 3% of billable hours to pro bono service.
  • We are a founding member of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization which grew out of President John F. Kennedy’s 1963 request to have major US law firms address the issue of racial discrimination.

 



    David Lash speaks to Voice of America about O’Melveny’s global pro bono program and his role as the Firm’s managing counsel of pro bono and public interest services. “The last 10 years has seen a substantial growth in pro bono participation among lawyers…the notion is burgeoning and growing,” Lash said. VIEW


    O'Melveny received the National Legal Aid & Defender Association's 2014 Beacon of Justice Award honoring law firms that have created and implemented innovative strategies to improve life outcomes for those unable to afford counsel.

    O’Melveny was ranked No. 2 on The American Lawyer's 2014 A-List, which recognizes the nation’s top 20 firms based on a holistic assessment that heavily weighs pro bono commitment.

    O'Melveny was named a Pro Bono Firm of the Year by Law360 for the fifth consecutive year in 2014.

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