Women's Issues

O’Melveny’s pro bono program directs significant resources toward helping ensure that women and girls have access to justice. We have achieved precedent-setting victories on behalf of women involving reproductive rights and important custody issues, while representing nonprofit organizations that assist women around the world. The firm also represents women in scores of individual matters, working to secure legal residency for immigrant survivors of violence and obtaining protection for abused women who help prosecute their abusers.

Appellate Custody Win for Domestic Violence Survivor. O’Melveny secured an appellate victory on behalf of a domestic violence victim seeking to retain legal and physical custody of her five children. O’Melveny’s client endured years of abuse at the hands of the father before she and the children fled the home they shared with him in early 2013, relocating to a domestic violence shelter with the help of a New York nonprofit. After months of contentious pretrial proceedings and a grueling 10-day trial, she won custody of the children. The father appealed, and O’Melveny took on the mother’s representation before the Appellate Division, Second Department. The court ruled in our client’s favor the day before Thanksgiving 2016, making her holiday with her children especially joyous.

Employment Tribunal Case for Immigrant Woman in UK. O’Melveny represented an immigrant woman from Bangladesh who was forced to resign from her job after suffering relentless harassment at the hands of coworkers. The client, who came to the United Kingdom from Bangladesh 13 years ago, had previously been granted asylum based on death threats she received from her stepfather in her home country and a subsequent knife attack that caused her visible facial injuries. After spending more than a decade in the UK, she became the target of harassment from neighbors as well as work colleagues, who repeatedly made lewd comments and called her a prostitute. She believed that the harassment stemmed from her stepfather’s contact with the UK-based Bangladeshi community. Ultimately, the torment at work forced her to resign. O’Melveny helped her bring several claims against her employer, including sexual harassment, victimization, unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal, and race and direct sex discrimination. Although her claims proved unsuccessful, the judge generously commended O’Melveny for having ably represented the claimant in the proceedings.

Corporate Assistance for Organization Empowering Young Women. O’Melveny assisted Young Women Empowered (Y-WE) with its corporate formation and procurement of not-for-profit, tax-exempt status. Y-WE was formed to strengthen, enrich, and empower young women from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds in the Pacific Northwest, preparing and encouraging them to step into leadership roles in their schools, communities, and around the world. To accomplish this, Y-WE offers intergenerational mentorship, intercultural collaboration, and creative programs that equip girls with the confidence, resiliency, and planning skills needed to achieve their goals and ignite change in their communities. O’Melveny drafted Y-WE’s articles of incorporation, bylaws, formation resolutions, and corporate policies, and helped the organization secure 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.

Representation of Charity Helping Women Subjected to Violence in Underdeveloped Countries. O’Melveny is advising Strategic Advocacy for Human Rights (SAHR), a nonprofit legal services organization that assists women in underdeveloped countries who have been victims of sexual assault or violence. An O’Melveny team in Asia has been advising SAHR on issues related to organizational structure, preparing lobbying materials to improve relevant laws, advising on litigation strategy in specific cases, and providing guidance on referrals, where necessary, for assistance in other jurisdictions.

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