Pickering Fellowships PRO BONO

WilmerHale has a long history of community service and philanthropy, based on the strong principles John H. Pickering held in founding the firm. Today the firm pays tribute to his legacy and strengthens its commitment to the community through the annual presentation of the Pickering Fellowships. Throughout his career, Mr. Pickering inspired generations of lawyers with his lifelong and much-heralded commitment to public service. The WilmerHale Pickering Fellowships program allows selected associates to spend six months each working in a pro bono organization.

A sample of Pickering Fellowship placements:

WilmerHale has a long history of community service and philanthropy, based on the strong principles John H. Pickering held in founding the firm. Today the firm pays tribute to his legacy and strengthens its commitment to the community through the annual presentation of the Pickering Fellowships. Throughout his career, Mr. Pickering inspired generations of lawyers with his lifelong and much-heralded commitment to public service. The WilmerHale Pickering Fellowships program allows selected associates to spend six months each working in a pro bono organization.

A sample of Pickering Fellowship placements:

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Contacts

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Regan, John J.

John J. Regan

Co-Chair, Pro Bono and Community Service Committee

+1 617 526 6120 (t)

john.regan@wilmerhale.com

Herrling, Christopher J.

Christopher J. Herrling

Pro Bono Counsel

+1 202 663 6780 (t)

christopher.herrling@wilmerhale.com

Bowie, Anne

Anne Bowie

Public Service Manager

+1 617 526 5526 (t)

anne.bowie@wilmerhale.com

Pro Bono Efforts

In recent pro bono efforts spanning a diverse range of issues and interests, we:

  • Helped to achieve an important victory to remove barriers in public schools on behalf of Richmond, Virginia's citizens with disabilities. In an important ruling, the Court is requiring that Richmond City Public Schools comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act in order for the city's citizens with disabilities to have full access to services, programs and activities held at school facilities.
  • Successfully aided in representing a class of children throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In a landmark ruling known as Rosie D., the Court found Massachusetts violated federal law in failing to provide children's mental health services to an estimated 15,000 children in and around the Commonwealth.
  • Represented six Bosnian-Algerians, including Lakhdar Boumediene, who have been detained at Guantanamo since 2002. On June 12, 2008, the US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that detainees held in Guantanamo Bay have a constitutional right to challenge their detention in US civilian courts; and on November 20, 2008, a federal court upheld the claim of five Bosnian-Algerian men that the US government had no lawful basis for imprisoning them at Guantanamo Bay, where they have been held for nearly seven years.
  • Successfully contended that the Eighth Amendment forbids the death penalty for persons under the age of 18 in one of the most important death-penalty decisions in recent years, Simmons v. Roper.
  • Helped persuade the US Supreme Court to uphold the constitutionality of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform legislation.
  • Succeeded in defending—in a series of federal lawsuits—the Massachusetts and Texas Interest On Lawyer Trust Account (IOLTA) programs that fund legal services for the poor.
  • Served as counsel to the tenants' association at a HUD-subsidized property in a rapidly gentrifying Washington DC neighborhood and, through a series of complex agreements, enabled the tenants to obtain an ownership interest that allowed them to continue living in the neighborhood.
  • Achieved what The Washington Post described as a “stunning reversal” of a miscarriage of justice in a nationally-reported case—undertaken with co-counsel from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and other firms—in Tulia, Texas, in which multiple defendants, nearly all African-American, were wrongfully convicted and sentenced on drug charges based on the completely uncorroborated testimony of a white undercover agent who was later indicted for perjury. (One of The New York Times "100 Notable Books of 2005," Tulia: Race, Cocaine, and Corruption in a Small Texas Town by Nate Blakeslee tells the sad yet ultimately triumphant story.)
  • Provided research that helped the Human Rights Law Network establish a right to shelter for the millions of homeless in India and a right to treatment and healthcare for the estimated 5.5 million Indian citizens suffering from AIDS.
  • Assisted World Hope International in creating First Step, a subsidiary which was able to establish a special economic zone (SEZ) in Sierra Leone. The SEZ will increase the quality of goods produced in Sierra Leone as well as enhance the quality of life for those who live there.
  • Advised GALVmed, a non-profit global alliance of public, private and government partners, on developing a strategy that would ensure proper distribution of a cattle vaccine to farmers throughout Africa. This vaccine protects against East Coast Fever, a disease which kills one million cattle each year.
  • Overturned the wrongful conviction of Dewey Bozella, who spent 26 in a New York prison for a murder he did not commit. Bozella is now free and living a life enriched by the graduate degree he pursued during his incarceration.
  • Secured a “Deferred Action” visa for Yirdaw Anteneh, an Ethiopian man who faced deportation after his work visa expired while he was receiving urgent care for his failing liver.
  • Represented the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in arbitration at The Hague’s Peace Palace. Boundary disputes giving rise to ongoing conflict were resolved, leaving peaceful political paths in their place.
  • Obtained a settlement for Community Outreach for Vietnam Era Returnees (COVER) from the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), after the VA failed to reimburse and support COVER for the counseling services provided to Vietnam-era Veterans, imposing severe hardship on COVER and its staff.
  • On behalf of the Coalition for the Homeless and a group of homeless men and women, we—together with Legal Aid co-counsel—succeeded in enforcing a consent decree that obligates the city of New York to provide sufficient shelter, of an adequate standard, to those in need.

Publications & News

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September 27, 2013

Law360 Names WilmerHale Pro Bono Firm of the Year for Second Consecutive Year

For the second consecutive year, Law360 selected WilmerHale to its "Pro Bono Firms of the Year" list for notable successes.

April 29, 2013

Elizabeth Canizares and Julianne Harper Named 2013 Pickering Fellows

Counsel Elizabeth Canizares and Senior Associate Julianne Harper have been named WilmerHale’s 2013 Pickering fellows.

September 12, 2012

May 1, 2012

Washington Business Journal Recognizes WilmerHale for Corporate Philanthropy

February 2, 2010

WilmerHale Names Newest Pickering Fellowship Recipients

Shauna Friedman and Stephen Smith were selected as WilmerHale’s most recent recipients of the Pickering Fellowship. Through this distinctive opportunity, they will spend six months at a public service organization, where they will represent the firm’s long standing commitment to public service.

December 4, 2009

WilmerHale Named Area’s Largest Pro Bono Law Firm

June 15, 2009

WilmerHale Honored for Pro Bono Political Asylum and Immigration Efforts

February 12, 2009

Three WilmerHale Associates Selected to Continue Public Service Fellowship

Danielle Conley, Lisa Parrington and Lara Phimister are WilmerHale’s most recent recipients of the distinguished Pickering Fellowship. Through this unique opportunity, they will each spend six months at a public service organization, where they will carry on the firm’s long standing commitment to the public good.

July 25, 2008

Pickering Fellowships Offer Hands-on Experience, Lessons in Confidence

July 23, 2008

WilmerHale Announces Latest Recipients of the Pickering Fellowship