“Kelley Drye's strong commitment and approach to pro bono work and community involvement is something we are proud to say is an integral part of our firm culture. Providing legal representation to those in need and supporting interest groups whose goal is to better society create an atmosphere that supports diverse legal experience to attorneys at all levels. The firm's long-standing commitment to helping communities and individuals around the world comes from our belief that there are many levels of legal service.”
The firm treats pro bono matters with the same importance as those for other clients, and makes all of its resources available for these matters. More than a philosophy to us, the firm approaches pro bono work as our civic responsibility. Kelley Drye has represented pro bono clients in all areas of law including family law, voting rights, employee benefits, civil rights, housing rights, immigration, media rights, child custody and trusts and estates. We combine exceptional lawyering expertise with virtuous intentions to create practical results.
Kelley Drye advises on numerous pro bono matters for a variety of charitable and non-profit organizations dedicated to supporting health-related causes, disadvantaged individuals, education and the arts. Associates specifically may handle new pro bono cases in which they have a special interest or work on those already approved by the firm's pro bono coordinating partners.
The firm handles matters referred to us by many agencies including inMotion; Human Rights First; The Legal Aid Society; Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts; Partnership for the Homeless; Lawyers for Children of America; Connecticut Legal Services, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest and Legal Services of New Jersey and Children's Oncology Services. There are no geographic boundaries or limitations on the types of matters we take on.
Key Areas of Pro Bono Interest
Many Kelley Drye attorneys have focused their energies on domestic violence cases. These attorneys represent women in cases involving divorce orders of protection, issues of child custody, visitation and child or spousal support. Our attorneys dedicate a substantial amount of time to cases involving violence against women, including filing for orders of protection and petitions for relief under the Violence Against Women Act. These cases are often referred to the firm by inMotion, a non-profit organization in the New York that provides legal services to victims of domestic violence.
A team of Kelley Drye attorneys, in conjunction with the Equal Rights Center, have devoted significant efforts to fight against this discrimination against physically and mentally handicapped Americans. More specifically, the Kelley Drye team works to remedy violations of the Fair Housing Act and Americans with Disabilities Act in situations where large residential builders construct housing complexes without complying with the accessibility requirements of the FHA and ADA.
During the presidential election, Kelley Drye participated in the "Election Protection" program. The attorneys staffed voter protection hotlines and answered questions on voting and election law and voter registration. On Election Day, the attorneys provided assistance by answering questions on the voting process and solving problems.
Kelley Drye associates have participated in an externship program with the Law Offices of the City of New York. Through this program, a Kelley Drye associate serves as trial counsel for the City of New York for a period of four to six months. The program enables mid-level litigation associates to obtain extensive trial and deposition experience while working in a public service setting.
Kelley Drye also offers a summer pro bono fellowship to a summer associate interested in working for a non-profit organization in the New York metropolitan area. Law students accepted into the firm's summer program are invited to apply for the fellowship prior to starting their summer program. The Fellow receives the same salary and benefits as summer associates who work at the firm's offices for the entire summer.