O’Melveny Honored as “Law Firm of the Year” by Public Law Center

May 24, 2010


Andrea Rodeschini
O'Melveny & Myers LLP

Sonja Steptoe
O'Melveny & Myers LLP

NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA ─ MAY 24, 2010 ─ O’Melveny & Myers LLP has been named “Law Firm of the Year” by the Public Law Center (PLC), Orange County’s non-profit pro bono legal services agency. The Firm will receive an award in recognition of this honor at PLC's Annual Volunteer for Justice Dinner on June 21, for its demonstration of profound awareness for the legal needs of the County’s low income community.


“O’Melveny & Myers has demonstrated a profound awareness of the legal needs of Orange County’s low income community and has responded with a very impressive commitment to meeting those needs,” says PLC Executive Director & General Counsel Ken Babcock.  “Partners, associates, paralegals, and others regularly role up their sleeves to help PLC ensure equal access to justice for some of the most vulnerable members of our community.” 


“O’Melveny believes the promise of ‘equal justice for all’ is empty if there is not ‘equal access to justice’ and there can be no equal access without access to an attorney,” said O’Melveny managing counsel for public interest and pro bono services David Lash.


In 2009, O’Melveny contributed over 3200 hours of pro bono legal assistance, with the majority of its services representing the plaintiffs in a major class action suit filed in federal court.  The case, Blackstar v. Orange County, et al., involves claims on behalf of Orange County applicants for food stamps and medical care that the County’s social services agency was failing to process their applications on time.  O’Melveny’s pro bono work resulted in a favorable settlement providing maintenance of high levels of compliance in timely processing of Food Stamp applications.


“The Blackstar case presented some very challenging issues,” said O’Melveny partner and pro bono chair of the Newport Beach office Phillip Kaplan.  “We recognized that the County was faced with its own budget pressures, but we believed strongly that in this severe recession, the County needed to do a better job in getting benefits to those in need.”


Additionally, the Firm has handled a wide range of matters for PLC including several U Visa immigration applications, housing, health care, elder law areas, and the involvement of a number of O'Melveny's transactions attorneys in setting up a clinic to advise non-profit agencies that advocate on behalf of the poor. 


“Public service is the key to becoming a well-rounded lawyer,” said O’Melveny managing partner of the Newport Beach office Brett Williamson. “Since its inception, O’Melveny has been deeply committed to pro bono service in the communities where we work and live, and we hold true to that value in Orange County, which is home to our Newport Beach office.  This recognition is truly a great honor and achievement for our Firm.”


About O’Melveny & Myers LLP

With approximately 1,000 lawyers in 14 offices worldwide, O’Melveny & Myers LLP helps industry leaders across a broad array of sectors manage the complex challenges of succeeding in the global economy. We are a values-driven law firm, guided by the principles of excellence, leadership, and citizenship. Our commitment to these values is reflected in our dedication to improving access to justice through pro bono work and championing initiatives that increase the diversity of the legal profession. For more information, please visit www.omm.com