Washington, D.C. – Akin Gump is pleased to announce it has been named one of Law360’s Pro Bono Firms of 2014. This is the second straight year Akin Gump has received this honor, which recognizes law firms that “went above and beyond for their pro bono clients” during the past 12 months.
As part of its reporting, Law360 cited several of Akin Gump’s cases from the past year. They include:
- A case in Texas, in which partners Barry Chasnoff and Neel Lane argued for the rights of two same-sex couples to marry. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia agreed and issued an injunction prohibiting the state from enforcing a constitutional ban against such marriages.
- On behalf of the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, the firm defeated an Arizona voter registration law that disenfranchised tens of thousands of voters. Arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court, former partner Patricia Millett (currently a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals) and senior counsel Michael Small secured a 7-2 decision striking down Arizona’s evidence of citizen requirement, which the Court said was preempted by the National Voter Registration Act.
- Litigation partner Mark MacDougall convinced a South Carolina jury to unanimously recommend life imprisonment over the death penalty for a man convicted of a 2009 double murder. The result was South Carolina’s first unanimous verdict of life imprisonment in more than 12 years.
Steven Schulman, Akin Gump’s pro bono practice head and president of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel, tells Law360 the firm handles as many as 800 pro bono cases per year, which are referred to the firm by its many legal aid partners across the country. He says, “There are many social justice issues that require dedicated, qualified litigation and many clients whose rights are not being looked out for if not for the type of pro bono work that is part of Akin Gump’s DNA.” The firm’s latest major project involves work with Central American women and children detained by the Department of Homeland Security in Karnes City, Texas.
In addition to its two consecutive years as a Law360 Pro Bono Firm of the Year, Akin Gump was also recognized in April 2014 as a recipient of the American Bar Association (ABA) Outstanding Pro Bono Advocacy in MLP Award at the Medical-Legal Partnership Summit in Seattle. In 2012, the firm was a recipient of the ABA’s Pro Bono Publico award, presented each year to law firms and other institutions in the legal profession “that have enhanced the human dignity of others by improving or delivering volunteer legal services to the poor.”
Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 900 attorneys in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.