representation is a vital part of the Squire Sanders commitment to our profession and the communities in which we work and live. For that reason, Squire Sanders is proud to support the Public Service Initiative. As a part of our pro bono
efforts, the Public Service Initiative is a dedicated team of Squire Sanders lawyers who devote the vast majority of their time to challenging and complex pro bono
matters, including death penalty cases, vindication of innocence and litigation involving violations of constitutional rights. These lawyers also assist on institutional client appellate and commercial litigation matters. In a typical year, lawyers in our Public Service Initiative commit more than 6,300 hours to pro bono
efforts, and more than 1,000 hours to private client work. This initiative has made significant contributions to victories in the US Supreme Court, contributed to notable victories for our pro bono
clients, including in some of the most demanding post-conviction representations in impoverished and underserved areas of the country, and participated in several major public education and institutional reform initiatives. For this work, George Kendall, head of the Squire Sanders Public Service Initiative, received the American Bar Association’s John Paul Stevens Guiding Hand of Counsel Award. George is the second recipient of the award, which the ABA established in 2011. The first recipient was former US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, for whom the award is named.
But Squire Sanders’ commitment to pro bono
work does not end with the Public Service Initiative. We are deeply involved in and support civic, charitable, educational and professional organizations through extensive pro bono
activities. Our lawyers dedicate tens of thousands of hours annually to supporting pro bono
clients, which include individuals who could not otherwise afford legal services, religious institutions, shelters, educational foundations, arts societies, environmental groups and civil rights initiatives. In 2011, Squire Sanders lawyers provided more than 15,000 hours of pro bono
legal services and we have ongoing pro bono
programs throughout our offices. From criminal appeals, including death penalty cases, to small claims court to legal representation of nonprofit institutions and everything in between, our ongoing commitment to pro bono
service is broad and varied.
Examples of our dedication to providing pro bono
services in our communities include:
- Arizona – Several of our Phoenix office lawyers serve on a pro bono committee of the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, which represents refugees who have been victims of domestic violence and face removal action to their countries of origin. Our Phoenix lawyers also have long served as counsel to The Nature Conservancy through the Colorado River Program, protecting rivers and streams and preserving land in the Colorado River Basin.
- California – We prevailed on behalf of a nonbiological mother in an action seeking parental rights after the child’s biological mother, our client’s former partner of six years, denied her all contact with their child. Our lawyers have also successfully argued numerous immigration appeals in the Ninth Circuit and other federal courts.
- Florida – Our Florida lawyers partner with Disability Rights Florida, a not-for-profit assisting K-12 students with physical or mental disabilities access the public education system, in providing legal representation in connection with individual cases. They are also involved in numerous civic and charitable activities, including providing counsel to an organization dedicated to funding research and development for treatment of a rare form of cystic fibrosis and a young professional organization helping underprivileged students in South Florida “dress for success.”
- Houston – Our Houston office has become a “go-to” volunteer firm for the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program. Our lawyers volunteer their professional services for counsel and advice sessions at legal clinics, as well as handle an allotment of cases under the Equal Access to Justice Champions Program. They also handle referrals of divorce cases for indigent litigants
- New York – Our Public Service Initiative won a major victory in 2011 when a unanimous panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit overturned the death sentence of a pro bono client. Also, the Public Service Initiative is representing three clients in a civil rights suit claiming that their incarceration in 23-hour-a-day lockdown at Louisiana State Prison at Angola violated the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, devoting 1,493 hours to the case in 2010.
- Ohio – Lawyers in our Cleveland office have supported the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland for more than 40 years. This includes receiving training to handle abuse and domestic violence cases. In recent years, our lawyers handled 20 cases for victims of domestic violence seeking protective orders against their abusers. Our longstanding and deep commitment to the Legal Aid Society is also reflected in Columbus, where one of our partners serves as the board president for Legal Aid, and in the award Chris Meyer recently received from the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association in recognition of his support for pro bono and public service work. Our lawyers have also successfully argued numerous habeas and criminal appeals in the Sixth Circuit and other federal appellate courts.
- Hungary – Lawyers in our Budapest office have provided legal advice to the International Rescue Committee, an organization that offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster.
- UK – Our London office strongly supports the initiative City Year London, an organization that brings together young people of all backgrounds for a year of full-time service in and around urban schools.