Pro Bono Publico Awards Winners: Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP


Congratulations to Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP on being a recipient of the 2018 ABA Pro Bono Publico Awards! Here is Simpson Thacher & Bartlett’s response to receiving this award.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is deeply honored to receive the American Bar Association’s 2018 Pro Bono Publico Award.

Simpson Thacher has an abiding commitment to public service that dates back for decades. Our attorneys believe in using their skills and passions to serve low-income communities, fight against injustice, preserve access to the courts, and enforce the rule of law. The large majority of the Firm’s attorneys across the world participate in pro bono work, devoting tens of thousands of hours to pro bono projects each year.  That work includes advocating on behalf of low-income clients and the nonprofits that serve them, representing individual clients in matters involving immigration proceedings, contract drafting, nonprofit formation, unemployment and benefits hearings, housing and family court cases, and special education meetings, just to name a few.  In addition, Simpson Thacher attorneys consult with hundreds of additional individuals each year at legal clinics, where volunteer attorneys advise artists, entrepreneurs, immigrants, victims of human trafficking, homeless youth, students and their families about the legal issues that concern and profoundly affect their lives.  The significance and breadth of these matters demonstrates the far-ranging areas in which attorneys at Simpson Thacher have made a difference, secured rights under the legal framework that binds us, and protected the rule of law.

Among its high profile pro bono engagements over the years is Simpson Thacher’s 20-year advocacy for a death row inmate, Reggie Clemons, before having his conviction vacated in November 2016.  The Firm is also widely known for its representation of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity in its successful constitutional challenge to the public education funding system in New York State.

Recent high profile matters include litigation to reform unconstitutional police practices and voter disenfranchisement in Mississippi, challenge rules that would allow the denial of insurance coverage for contraception, reform the process by which courts hear veterans appealing the denial of service-connected benefits, and redress gender inequities in school athletic programs under Title IX.  Investigative work on potential challenges include issues relating to voting rights, privacy, environmental protections, and expedited removal.  The Firm has represented amici in four separate litigations challenging the travel ban executive orders, and disseminates daily updates to thousands of attorneys and organizations regarding the status of litigation around those orders and in the sanctuary cities cases around the country.  In addition, attorneys at the Firm provide legal advice and guidance to those who have suffered through natural disasters, including in Hurricanes Harvey and Maria. The Firm’s full-year Public Service Fellowship and Summer Public Interest Fellowship Programs further illustrate its manifest commitment to pro bono values.

This award reflects the strength of the Firm’s long-term partnerships and relationships with countless legal services organizations that serve the individuals and communities from who are served by our pro bono engagements. Some of Simpson Thacher’s longstanding pro bono clients include Doctors Without Borders, Natural Resources Defense Council, the Robin Hood Foundation, New Visions for Public Schools, and the Apollo Theater Foundation.  Simpson Thacher counts among its legal services partners many civil rights and legal services nonprofits throughout the country, some of whom have recognized the Firm with awards for its pro bono work.  Simpson Thacher is especially grateful to the legal services organizations who nominated the Firm for this award: New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, The Legal Aid Society of New York, and Lawyers Alliance for New York, with additional supporting letters from the City Bar Justice Center, Mobilization for Justice, National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, Kids in Need of Defense, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Legal Aid of the District of Columbia, and Legal Aid at Work/Fair Play for Girls in Sports.  The dedication and guidance of these organizations in every aspect of their work with the Firm has been invaluable.


Erin Law, Chair, ABA Pro Bono Publico Awards Subcommittee, Joshua Levine, Partner, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, Harlene Katzman, Pro Bono Counsel and Director, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, and Buck Lewis, Chair, ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service

Simpson Thacher is proud of its pro bono tradition, and deeply committed to continuing its efforts to provide pro bono legal assistance to individuals, communities, organizations and businesses whose rights are threatened or who otherwise would be denied access to effective legal representation, in the United States and around the world.

Watch Simpson Thacher & Bartlett’s 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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