WilmerHale has been named to the National Law Journal’s (NLJ) 2020 Pro Bono Hot List for its unwavering dedication to making a monumental impact on the lives of those in need. According to NLJ’s Editor-in-Chief Lisa Helem and Managing Editor Sarah Tincher, “this year’s group of honorees tackled some of the weightiest issues of our day.”
As part of the special report, honorees shared some of their most notable pro bono work in the past year. In a featured Q&A, Boston-based Partner Felicia Ellsworth discussed securing a favorable settlement in the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit on behalf of trafficking survivor Lisa Ricchio. The ruling reversed a district court’s initial dismissal of Ms. Ricchio’s claims against a motel and its operators under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). As a result, there is now clarification on what makes a hotel/motel liable for sex trafficking on their premises under the TVPA. Having the gratifying opportunity to play a small part in the client’s healing process, Ellsworth notes how Ms. Ricchio’s bravery will help other survivors in similar situations.
Sharing some of the pro bono matters the firm is currently working on, Ellsworth discussed why pro bono service is important to her as a lawyer: “Using our skills on behalf of people for whom such help is otherwise unavailable makes the world a fairer, more just place. Ms. Ricchio’s case is a great example.”
WilmerHale has a steadfast commitment to pro bono representation which has been a hallmark of the firm since the early 20th century. The firm’s pro bono efforts have influenced historic developments around the world. Through these efforts, and community service initiatives that have grown into thriving partnerships, WilmerHale works to enhance the quality of life for many. Visit our Public Service and Pro Bono page to learn more.