Manatt will be honored with the 2019 Law Firm Pro Bono Award by longtime pro bono partner Public Counsel Law Center at the organization’s annual William O. Douglas Award Dinner on October 24, 2019. Each year, this prestigious award is presented to a law firm or corporate counsel for leadership and advocacy on behalf of indigent, vulnerable and victimized members of our society.
Giving back to communities through pro bono work has always been a core part of Manatt’s culture. In 2004, the firm hired its first full-time pro bono attorney, and since then, Manatt’s professionals have contributed nearly 365,000 hours to a wide variety of pro bono matters.
Public Counsel is one of Manatt’s closest and most longstanding pro bono partners. In fact, Manatt counsel Stanley W. Levy was its founding executive director in 1970. Since Manatt initiated its formal pro bono program, its professionals have contributed over 41,000 hours to projects referred by the organization. As a result, Manatt has facilitated adoptions for more than 250 foster care families and handled numerous immigration petitions, consumer advocacy cases and transactional matters for Public Counsel itself and for nonprofits and low-income small businesses serving Los Angeles.
Over the past year, Manatt’s relationship with Public Counsel broke new ground to include two of the firm’s most high-profile and large-impact civil rights cases. Together, Public Counsel and Manatt have been defending a class of young immigrants in California who had been abused, neglected or abandoned, and whose access to humanitarian relief was being threatened by the current Administration. In addition, Manatt, Public Counsel and Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights successfully teamed up to file suit against the Secretary of Commerce’s efforts to place a citizenship question on the 2020 Census.
Public Counsel is the largest pro bono law firm in the nation, working with major law firms and corporations to change people’s futures. Manatt is proud of its close relationship with the organization, and is honored to receive this year’s Law Firm Pro Bono Award.