With a longstanding tradition of handling pro bono matters for people with financial need, promoting legal representation, and donating significant resources to ensuring justice for the indigent, we are committed to maintaining a high standard of public service.
Major pro bono cases handled by the firm in recent years include cases briefed and argued up through the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals involving a Jewish prisoner's constitutional right to a Kosher diet, defendants sentenced to the death penalty, and aliens seeking political asylum. The firm also provides basic legal services to the poor through the local Volunteer Lawyers Program. As part of this program, Lewis Roca lawyers staff a walk-in clinic 25 days per year.
The firm annually honors the lawyers who perform extraordinary pro bono work and those who also contribute at least 50 pro bono hours. Each year, the lawyer determined by the Pro Bono Committee to have shown the greatest commitment to pro bono hours is awarded the John P. Frank Pro Bono Award, and Lewis Roca hosts a banquet in the recipients honor, as well as to honor all who have met or exceeded the 50-hour contribution.
Pro Bono Award Winners 2017 - 2020
Dedicated to Service
Our Pro Bono Committee is comprised of partners and associates across the firm. Pro bono service is encouraged and considered in associate evaluations. Cases are supervised the same as other matters within the firm. In fact, we look at pro bono matters as a way to give courtroom experience to new associates, and to team with partners for supervision and advice. We also provide and encourage pro bono matters for our transactional lawyers.
- Asylum Win
In collaboration with the Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project, Melanie Pate successfully represented two LGBT immigrants from Cuba who were seeking asylum in the United States.
- Protecting Children
Dan Waite, assisted by Meng Zhong, represented new-born in termination of parental rights of drug-addicted parents and to place in custody and home of a loving relative.
- Access to Justice
Melanie Pate and Rob Charles were acknowledged as two of the Arizona Bar Foundation’s Top 50 Pro Bono Attorneys for 2020.
- Fighting for Asian Americans' Civil Rights
In 2020, Jimmy Kwun received the pro bono volunteer of the year award from the Citizenship Clinic at Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA.
- Helping Immigrant Children
Sami Schilly, Olga Katsnelson, and Warren Bleeker represent unaccompanied children in immigration proceedings in collaboration with KIND (Kids in Need of Defense).
- Justice for the Innocent and Wrongfully Imprisoned
In 2020, Randy Papetti was the recipient of the One Injustice Award from the Arizona Justice Project and the co-recipient of the Tom Karas Criminal Justice Award from the State Bar of Arizona.
- Building Communities Up
Stephen Johnson regularly provides transactional pro bono representation to Habitat for Humanity assisting its efforts to help working individuals and families build and buy their own homes.
- Supporting the Military
Lawyers in our Las Vegas office assisted active-duty members of the military to avoid contractual penalties imposed by landlords and other creditors when deployed.
Pro Bono Contacts
Our Commitment to the Community
- 156 Lawyers Provide Pro Bono Services in 2020
More than half of of the firm's lawyers dedicated time to provide pro bono services to the community where they live and work.
- 50+ Pro Bono Hours Provided in 2020
51 lawyers provided 50+ hours of pro bono services in 2020.
- Thousands of Hours Dedicated to Pro Bono in 2020
The firm's lawyers provided 8, 788 hours of pro bono services in 2020.