WilmerHale has been named to The National Law Journal’s (NLJ) 2019 Pro Bono Hot List, which features the nation’s top law firms dedicated to leading the way on access to justice. “The lawyers in our 2019 Pro Bono Hot List have used their legal expertise to take on some of the biggest issues of our time,” said NLJ Editor-in-Chief Lisa Helem. “These lawyers and law firms pair their purpose with their practice.”
This NLJ annual report includes takeaways from key pro bono matters from each law firm named in this year’s list. In a Q&A, Christopher Herrling, WilmerHale pro bono counsel, and Seth Waxman, co-chair of the firm’s Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Practice, discussed achieving a victory for WilmerHale client Robert McCoy in the McCoy v. Louisiana case. The firm managed to successfully reverse the US Supreme Court’s decision to sentence Mr. McCoy to death row and granted the firm’s client the right to a new trial. The main argument claimed that Robert McCoy’s rights were violated when Mr. McCoy’s lawyer admitted his guilt to the jury against his expressed wishes. “The justices based their opinion largely on this ground, adopting points we made in our briefs and at oral argument,” said Herrling.
When asked why pro bono work matters, Waxman stated “using [our skills] on behalf of people for whom such help is otherwise unavailable helps to make the world a fairer, more just place.”