Firm Celebrates Record Year of Pro Bono Achievements
(January 23, 2008, Oakland, CA) – LAWFUEL – Law Firm Newswire – Reed Smith LLP, one of the world’s 15 largest law firms, today named award-winning Bay Area attorney Jayne E. Fleming as full-time Pro Bono Counsel. The announcement comes as the firm celebrates a record year of achievements in its firmwide pro bono practice.
“Now is the perfect time to make this career transition,” explains Ms. Fleming. “Reed Smith’s devotion to pro bono reached record levels in 2007, and our senior management team is fully committed to building on that momentum as we move into 2008. My goal is to support our Pro Bono Committee in its efforts to help those who need a voice in our legal system.”
Over the past several years, Ms. Fleming has split her time as Reed Smith’s West Coast Pro Bono Coordinator and Human Rights Team leader, and a practicing member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Department. She is particularly renowned for her work in political asylum law, including representing international asylum applicants before the 2nd, 5th, 9th and 10th Circuit Courts of Appeal; the Board of Immigration Appeals; and the U.S. Immigration Court
Last year, for her groundbreaking work in asylum law, The National Law Journal named Ms. Fleming one of the “Fifty Most Influential Women Lawyers in America,” and California Lawyer named her an “Attorney of the Year” in 2005. That year, she also received the “Father Moriarity Award” from the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Reed Smith’s Sean Halpin Award for her overall pro bono efforts.
Going forward, Ms. Fleming will work collaboratively with Reed Smith’s Senior Pro Bono Counsel Christopher K. Walters, who is based in the firm’s Philadelphia office.
“Jayne’s human rights work, especially for refugees fleeing from political persecution, has truly been inspirational,” said Mr. Walters. “She will play a major role in helping Reed Smith identify dynamic pro bono projects, while building bridges to law schools and clients, who wish to assist us in our pro bono and community efforts.”
Overall, Reed Smith donated more than $23 million in billable hours to pro bono in 2007. With a record 67 percent of all U.S. attorneys participating in pro bono projects last year, the firm averaged more than 50 hours per attorney, meeting a challenge set by the Pro Bono Institute to devote three percent of U.S. billable hours to pro bono work.
With its largest office located in London, Reed Smith’s UK lawyers are also an increasing and important part of the firm’s pro bono platform. Last year, for their work on behalf of A4ID (Advocates for International Development), three Reed Smith lawyers received the “Pro Bono Team of the Year” award at the prestigious Lawyer magazine awards ceremony.
“These stunning achievements were made possible only through the selfless determination of hundreds of our attorneys worldwide,” said Ira S. Lefton, Chair of Reed Smith’s Firmwide Pro Bono Committee. “Even more gratifying about this past year’s performance is how it has bettered our relationships with the communities served by our pro bono efforts, while enhancing relationships with several clients such as Wachovia, GlaxoSmithKline, Exelon, and Bank of America, with whom we have been working together on pro bono matters. With Jayne’s full-time involvement, we look forward to making 2008 our best year yet.”
Since launching its Pro Bono Initiative in 2004, Reed Smith has moved up more than 50 places in the American Lawyer’s pro bono rankings of the top 200 law firms in America.
About Reed Smith
Reed Smith is one of the 15 largest law firms in the world, with more than 1,500 lawyers in 23 offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Founded in 1877, the firm represents leading international businesses from Fortune 100 corporations to mid-market and emerging enterprises. Its attorneys provide litigation services in multi-jurisdictional matters and other high stake disputes, deliver regulatory counsel, and execute the full range of strategic domestic and cross-border transactions. Reed Smith is a preeminent advisor to industries including financial services, life sciences, health care, advertising and media, shipping, international trade and commodities, real estate, manufacturing, and education. For more information, visit reedsmith.com
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