The rule of law is meaningless where access to justice is denied, or available only to those able to afford the cost of representation. Unfortunately, many individuals of limited financial means simply cannot afford legal representation. As Associate U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has noted, “We educated, privileged lawyers have a professional and moral duty to represent the underrepresented in our society, to ensure that justice exists for all….” (November 2002)
A Strong Commitment to Helping Those in Need
Kelley Drye attorneys take seriously their professional and moral duty to assist the underrepresented. We help individuals in times of crisis. We represent prisoners whose constitutional rights were denied or infringed by the criminal justice system. We help LGBTQ individuals who have fled their homeland due to persecution, physical violence and death threats because of their sexual orientation, to obtain asylum in the United States. We help micro-entrepreneurs and small Not-For-Profit organizations work towards getting their activities off the ground. We provide legal support to organizations that impact change for those in need. In short, we work to make a difference in the lives of those who cannot help themselves.
Kelley Drye treats pro bono matters with the same degree of importance as those for our paying clients, and makes all of its resources available for these matters. More than a philosophy, at Kelley Drye pro bono work is a professional responsibility and civic duty.
There Are No Boundaries
All of our professionals, from summer associates to seasoned associates and partners, have an opportunity to work on pro bono matters that are small or larger in scope. Our attorneys are encouraged to handle pro bono matters in which they have a specific interest (“pursue your passion”) or work on matters in areas already approved by the firm’s Pro Bono Committee or our firm-wide Pro Bono Counsel.
The firm handles pro bono matters referred by many legal service organizations, including:
- Asylum matters referred by Immigration Equality and the City Bar Justice Center;
- Juvenile Immigration matters referred by Kids in Need of Defense (KIND);
- Micro-entrepreneurs and Not-For-Profits referred by Pro Bono Partnership or Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation;
- Family rights matters referred by Center for Family Representation and Her Justice;
- Artist referred by Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts; and
- Civil matters and education rights matters referred by The Legal Aid Society
There are no geographic boundaries or limitations on the types of matters the firm takes on. We are proud of all of the work we do to help our pro bono clients.
If you have any questions about our Pro Bono practice, please reach out to the firm’s Pro Bono Counsel, Jim O’Gara, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-808-7711.