At the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge Tenth Anniversary Gala on November 1, 2005, WilmerHale was presented with The Pro Bono Institute’s inaugural John H. Pickering Award for its extraordinary pro bono culture and exceptional commitment to pro bono legal assistance.
The award is named in honor of John H. Pickering—a founding partner of Wilmer Cutler Pickering LLP (one of the two firms that have combined to form WilmerHale), a distinguished appellate lawyer, and a leader of the legal profession, who was equally well known for his extraordinary commitment to pro bono and public interest law. Mr. Pickering served on the Pro Bono Institute’s Law Firm Project Advisory Committee from its inception in 1989 until his death in March 2005.
In presenting this award to WilmerHale, The Pro Bono Institute stated that “over the past ten years, the firm has developed and grown a pro bono publico program at each of its legacy firms, visibly and vigorously undertaking a wide range of pro bono matters—from issues affecting the global community to those in the cities where the firm’s lawyers and staff practice and work.”
For decades, WilmerHale has been known for its record of pro bono representation and community service. Its lawyers have been involved in many of the influential legal cases and social developments that have shaped the nation and the world.
In 1954, Joseph N. Welch, assisted by James St. Clair and Jack Kimball, represented the US Army on a pro bono basis in the nationally televised Army-McCarthy hearings. In 1963, Lloyd Cutler and others served as a leading force in creating the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, at the behest of President John F. Kennedy.
The firm’s pro bono efforts have also influenced historic developments around the globe. Through the Southern Africa Legal Support and Education Project, its lawyers joined with others to fight apartheid and establish the rule of law in South Africa. The firm’s lawyers also helped write the constitutions of several Eastern European countries after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Click here to learn more about The Pro Bono Institute’s Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge.
Click here to learn more about WimerHale’s pro bono work.