Pro Bono Publico Awards Winners: Cooley LLP


Erin Law, Chair, ABA Pro Bono Publico Awards Subcommittee, Monique Sherman, Pro Bono Counsel, Cooley LLP, Maureen Alger, Pro Bono Partner, Cooley LLP, Erin Walszewski, Pro Bono Counsel, Cooley LLP, and Buck Lewis, Chair, ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service

Congratulations to Cooley LLP on being  a recipient of the 2018 ABA Pro Bono Publico Awards. Here is Cooley’s response to receiving this award:

As a firm that strives to give generously of our time, talents, and resources to the communities in which we practice, we are truly honored that the American Bar Association has selected Cooley for the 2018 Pro Bono Publico Award.

Cooley has a long tradition of providing pro bono services and working to expand access to justice. The founders of the firm were early supporters of the Legal Aid Society of San Francisco nearly a century ago and from the outset encouraged other members of the firm to get involved in supporting the delivery of legal services to those of limited means. That original commitment has endured and informs our pro bono practice even today.

Cooley contributed almost 53,000 hours of pro bono legal services in 2017. In addition to the work we do year in and year out representing individuals and nonprofit organizations, our attorneys negotiated large settlements in several civil rights and discrimination cases, filed new high-profile impact litigation cases, and responded to current events and environmental crises. We partnered with more than 75 legal services organizations in these endeavors.

The firm’s recent litigation victories have resulted in systemic change benefiting some of the most vulnerable members of our society – from teen immigrants taken from their families, detained by ICE and flown across the country in the middle of the night, to low-income renters evicted under a racially discriminatory code enforcement scheme, to a monolingual Spanish-speaking domestic abuse survivor who was denied the opportunity to be heard, resulting in her wrongful arrest and separation from her children.

Cooley devotes more than one-third of its pro bono practice to immigration-related pro bono work, including impact litigation to protect the due process rights of immigrants, amicus briefs on immigration-related cases, and individual applications for humanitarian immigration relief. In 2017, we represented more than 100 clients on petitions for asylum, petitions for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) for children who have been abused or abandoned by a parent, and applications for immigration relief for survivors of domestic abuse. Cooley filed amicus briefs on behalf of immigration legal services providers in challenges to the rescission of DACA, and in sanctuary city litigation on behalf of health and human services nonprofits in danger of losing federal funding.

In addition to our involvement in cutting edge legal issues, and advocacy for individuals of limited means, Cooley maintains a robust practice supporting both low-income entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations with their legal needs. Our attorneys leverage their deep knowledge in startup counseling in working with low-income entrepreneurs, and provide representation to hundreds of nonprofits on a wide variety of legal issues.


Erin Walczewski, Pro Bono Counsel, Cooley LLP, Maureen Alger, Pro Bono Partner, Cooley LLP, and Monique Sherman, Pro Bono Counsel, Cooley LLP

We are proud to bring to bear our legal expertise, our lawyers’ talent, and our commitment to excellence and innovation to assist clients who might not otherwise be able to navigate, or even access, the legal system. On behalf of all Cooley attorneys and staff, we gratefully accept this award from the American Bar Association.

View Cooley’s 2018 Pro Bono Publico Awards video here!

This entry was posted in Community Profile, Pro bono news, Pro Bono Story. Bookmark the permalink.

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