O'Melveny Receives The American Bar Association's Pro Bono Público Award

June 21, 2011   

Piper Hall
O’Melveny & Myers LLP
202-870-1800 (cell)

Julie Fei
O’Melveny & Myers LLP
213.440.7792 (cell)

LOS ANGELES, CA ─ June 21, 2011 ─ O’Melveny & Myers LLP has been named this year’s recipient of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) prestigious Pro Bono Público Award, which is presented annually by the ABA’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service. The award honors individual lawyers, law firms, law schools, corporate law departments, government attorney offices, and other institutions within the legal community that have “enhanced the human dignity of others by improving or delivering volunteer legal services to the poor.” The Firm and other 2011 recipients will be honored at an August 8 ceremony during the ABA Annual Meeting in Toronto, Canada.

“We consider it our duty and privilege to uphold the profession's time-honored tradition of volunteerism, as have the many generations of O’Melveny lawyers who preceded us,” said Arthur B. Culvahouse, Jr., Chair of O’Melveny.

In announcing the 2011 award winners, the ABA noted the longevity of O’Melveny’s program, which dates back to the Firm’s pioneering efforts to aid the indigent through its co-founding of the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles in the 1930s and continues through its formal pro bono initiative, launched in 2006, that is dedicated to maximizing the Firm’s provision of quality legal aid to noteworthy causes as well as individuals on a local, national, and international scale.

Under the leadership of partner and Community Legal Services Committee Chair Lee Blalack and Managing Counsel for Pro Bono and Public Interest Services David Lash, the Firm devoted more than 83,000 hours of legal representation to pro bono matters in 2010. These efforts included a victory on behalf of food stamp applicants and recipients leading to a three-year Consent Decree establishing guidelines and deadlines with which Orange County, California Social Services Agency must comply; trying to verdict the first case under a new California statute designed to protect victims of human trafficking in conjunction with Bet Tzedek, one of the nation’s premier legal services organizations; and, also with Bet Tzedek, helping thousands of Holocaust survivors obtain the recovery of substantial reparations from the German government.

“Our public interest work has been both far-reaching and innovative in a time when those with limited means and limited access to legal services have needed our counsel more than ever,” said K. Lee Blalack, O'Melveny's Partner-in-Charge of Public Interest and Pro Bono Services. “We are proud of the work that led to this wonderful recognition, most of all because of what it has meant to our clients.”

About O’Melveny & Myers LLP
With approximately 900 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.