O’Melveny Named to National Law Journal’s 2020 Pro Bono Hot ListMay 07, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LOS ANGELES—May 7, 2020—The National Law Journal has named O’Melveny to its 2020 “Pro Bono Hot List,” a prestigious honor recognizing 18 firms “dedicated to making a monumental impact on the lives of those in need.”
In a Q&A with the NLJ, David Lash, O’Melveny’s managing counsel for pro bono and public interest, discussed the firm’s pro bono program, which tackles critical issues of our time, from immigration and housing to women’s rights and veterans’ affairs, from criminal justice and equitable education to protecting civil rights and building community.
“While our pro bono clients are often our most resilient, they often cannot access the legal system alone,” Lash said. “It is our responsibility—and privilege—to serve these clients with all the vigor and resourcefulness we devote to our commercial clients.”
Lash cited in particular two cases the firm handled in 2019. In October, the firm won injunctive relief to stop the Trump administration from diverting federal funds to build a wall along the southern border. Representing the Border Network for Human Rights and El Paso County, Texas, the firm and its co-counsel convinced a US district court judge that the administration’s declaration of a national emergency had been unlawful.
And in May, the firm persuaded a Kentucky district court to strike down a state law banning a medical procedure used in virtually all second-trimester abortions. Along with the American Civil Liberties Union Reproductive Freedom Project, O’Melveny successfully argued that the law violated the 14th Amendment and posed a substantial obstacle to a woman’s right to an abortion. The decision was a major win for EMW Women’s Surgical Center—Kentucky’s last remaining abortion provider and a destination for women from five other states.
“A lawyer has no higher calling than ensuring that democracy works for everyone,” Lash observed. “When people need a lawyer to see a doctor or to stay in their homes, an attorney can be truly lifesaving. Pro bono work is at the core of our values, essential to our pursuit of justice.”
For more on O’Melveny’s pro bono program, see our most recent Pro Bono Program Review.
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