(CHICAGO, Illinois) April 18, 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US LLP’s Chicago office will receive the Illinois State Bar Association’s 2004-2005 John C. McAndrews Pro Bono Service Award, the law firm has announced.
This prestigious honor, given by the ISBA Standing Committee on Delivery of Legal Services, recognizes lawyers’ meritorious effort in delivering pro bono legal services. DLA Piper is being honored for its large-scale, long-term, innovative pro bono works, in particular the firm’s signature Juvenile Justice Project, launched in summer 2004.
“We are deeply honored to learn that the ISBA is recognizing us with this notable award,” said Allen Ginsburg, managing partner of DLA Piper’s Chicago office. “Here in Illinois, the firm has worked hard to give back, performing pro bono work that reaches widely into the community and that is now reaching into the global community as well.”
DLA Piper has been deeply involved in pro bono work for many years, Ginsburg noted. But, he continued, “A couple of years ago we asked ourselves, ‘What pro bono work can we do that takes advantage of our firm’s large size and our attorneys’ skills?’ We then started looking for ways not just to perpetuate our pro bono commitment but to expand it, not only in hours but in human impact.
“Without in any way reducing our ongoing efforts, many of which are carried out by individual lawyers for individual beneficiaries, we determined to put in place major pro bono projects that would help the unrepresented on a large scale and improve public policy in the long term for large numbers of those in need. This is especially true for the Juvenile Justice Project, which we launched last summer here in Chicago.”
The Juvenile Justice Project, Ginsburg said, has two components, the first bringing direct legal representation to indigent children in the Cook County Juvenile Court system and the second a long-term, large-scale policy study of the relationship between the Cook County Juvenile Courts and the Chicago public schools.
DLA Piper meanwhile continues to engage in pro bono work in Illinois in a big way. In partnership with Asian Human Services, the firm sponsors the Asian American Legal Services Clinic, serving a broad spectrum of clients who have all been impacted by poverty, abuse, or discrimination. A DLA Piper attorney chairs the clinic and firm attorneys advise, counsel, and advocate for these clients. DLA Piper is a long-term supporter of the Greater Chicago Food Depository. For instance, a DLA Piper attorney has always served as GCFD’s general counsel, pro bono.
Attorneys from our Chicago office played a key role in a national case involving racial discrimination in public accommodations that concluded in late 2004. This case was pursued in federal district court in Georgia against the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain.
DLA Piper Chicago attorneys also give thousands of hours every year across the pro bono spectrum to help those who would otherwise go without representation. The Chicago office is involved in representation of indigent federal defendants, disputes with governments, and incorporation of nonprofits. It provides pro bono help in immigration, asylum, child custody, visitation rights, real estate, and criminal matters. It helps numerous Illinois nonprofits, including Deborah’s Place, Chicago’s largest provider of shelter and services to homeless and formerly homeless women; Family Rescue, Inc., the largest multi-service domestic violence agency in Illinois; the Brookfield Zoo; the Uptown People’s Law Center; the Partnership to End Homelessness; Lawyers for the Creative Arts; and Do the Write Thing.
And, Ginsburg pointed out, attorneys in the Chicago office are also involved in the New Perimeter initiative, a nonprofit subsidiary of DLA Piper dedicated exclusively to international pro bono work. This project is the first of its kind in the US legal industry and will involve firm attorneys in projects literally around the world. Attorneys from the Chicago office will be deeply involved in upcoming projects in Kosovo and in South Africa.
“I cannot say enough about the hard work and generosity of the many people in our Chicago office who are responsible for all this great work. They are determined to give back to the community that is their home, and to the world where they live,” Ginsburg concluded. “I thank the ISBA for recognizing their enormous contributions.”
DLA Piper will formally receive the McAndrews award at a luncheon during the ISBA’s annual meeting, in mid-June.
About DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US LLP
DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US LLP is a business law firm of 1,350 lawyers in offices throughout the US, whose core practices are real estate, corporate and securities, litigation, intellectual property and government affairs. Worldwide, DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary has 2,800 lawyers in 50 offices in 18 countries, including the United Kingdom, mainland Europe and Asia, offering leading practices in commercial, corporate and finance, human resources, litigation, real estate, regulatory and legislative, and technology, media and communications. More information about DLA Piper is available at www.dlapiper.com.