My First Trial and Pro Bono at WilmerHale

My First Trial and Pro Bono at WilmerHale


Welcome back to my blog! Although it's only been a couple of weeks, a lot has happened since I last posted.

Andrew, my officemate, and I spent the bulk of last week in Orange County, California, where we had the amazing opportunity of working on a small trial team as pro bono counsel. We helped defend an orthodox Jewish institution that had been sued for its participation in a particular religious ritual under California's Unfair Competition Law. And by the end of the week, we got the good news—we won!

In the weeks leading up to trial, Andrew and I were able to help the team with much of the substantive preparation. We reviewed depositions, conducted witness research, and drafted outlines for the cross-examination. The day before trial, we assisted with witness preparation, discussed trial strategy and even drafted some of the trial motions. It was all incredibly challenging, interesting and meaningful work. And, of course, we were able to watch the trial itself and experientially learn about courtroom advocacy.

While actually going to trial can be rare for junior lawyers, WilmerHale really strives to make sure that the firm's junior attorneys have plenty of opportunities to gain this kind of experience. One way the firm does so is through its robust pro bono practice.

WilmerHale really does honor its commitment to pro bono in a way that surpassed my high expectations. Most of the attorneys take on pro bono work, and the firm makes it very easy to find interesting opportunities through its dedicated pro bono team. The attorneys give just as much effort and care to their pro bono matters as they do to their billable matters.

Plus, with so many attorneys from all walks of life, there is a wide variety of cases to choose from. First Amendment, reproductive rights and criminal defense are just a few examples of the areas of law that the firm's pro bono practice covers.

One of the reasons I chose to be at WilmerHale in the first place was that I would be able to truly give back to the community while working in private practice. Thanks to the firm's dedication to pro bono, I was able to do just that!