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Read the 2017 edition of our annual report, "For the Public Good,” highlighting a selection of recent pro bono work and awards. To watch a video about our partnership with nonprofit organization City Year, Inc. to promote literacy and education across the United States click here.

We actively encourage our lawyers to provide pro bono legal representation and to participate in other charitable, community, educational and professional activities.

Every lawyer has the professional responsibility to provide pro bono services. In 2015 and again in 2016 the firm’s lawyers recorded over 70,000 hours on approved pro bono matters. We work on hundreds of such matters each year. Among other things, we litigate civil rights cases, establish and advise nonprofit organizations, assist such organizations in transactions, and represent indigent persons in consumer, landlord-tenant, and immigration matters. In addition to providing legal assistance directly to individuals who have limited means but substantial civil legal needs, we provide legal counsel and public policy advocacy to help organizations advance their public-service programs, work to advance the rule of law around the world and accept court appointments to provide pro bono counsel. Each year, the firm highlights a selection of recent pro bono work and awards in For the Public Good.

The firm delivers pro bono services in cooperation with dozens of organizations and legal services programs, including the American Civil Liberties Union, Cancer Council of Australia, Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, Children’s Law Center, Consumer Action Law Centre, Habitat for Humanity, Her Justice, International Senior Lawyers Project, Kaleidoscope Human Rights Foundation, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), Justice Connect, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, Lawyers for the Creative Arts, National Immigrant Justice Center, Neighborhood Legal Services Association, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Public Counsel, Refugee Legal, St. John’s Legal Centre and Tahirih Justice Center.

Lawyers from across the firm work together to address common problems. One example is our acclaimed Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project, which assists victims of non-consensual pornography. Another example is the collaboration by lawyers in our Australian and U.S. offices in producing a best-practice guide to assessing applications for asylum on the grounds of sexual or gender identity. This guide has been adopted around the world.

The firm also undertakes pro bono impact litigation. As just a few examples, lawyers in our San Francisco and Palo Alto offices won an important victory on behalf of inmates in the California prison system, helping to convince the court that federal oversight of the state system is still necessary. Our lawyers then served as lead counsel in a trial addressing the state’s unconstitutional use of force against mentally ill inmates, secured an order halting that practice, and worked with the state to establish new protocols for the use of force. We have challenged the denial of legal representation to unaccompanied minors in U.S. removal proceedings. A team of Washington, D.C. lawyers secured freedom for an inmate on death row in Texas. The firm recently was named the recipient of the Massachusetts Bar Association’s 2017 Access to Justice Pro Bono Law Firm Award.

K&L Gates has underscored its institutional support of pro bono activities in several ways. The firm is a signatory to the Pro Bono Institute’s Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge. K&L Gates treats all hours reasonably recorded on approved pro bono matters as the equivalent of billable hours in determining associate bonus eligibility. A firmwide Pro Bono Committee oversees the firm’s pro bono programs in collaboration with Pro Bono Coordinators in each K&L Gates office. The Pro Bono Committee assesses the effectiveness of the firm’s pro bono efforts and provides leadership to ensure fulfillment of our professional obligations as lawyers.

Beyond pro bono legal representation, our lawyers and staff perform varied public service work in the communities where they live and work. This includes serving as members of governing bodies of educational institutions, youth sports and arts organizations, environmental groups, civic and cultural organizations, and health care and research institutions, as well as social service and community organizations. Additionally, many of our lawyers and staff provide community service through an array of teaching, mentoring and other non-legal programs.