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(L-R) Andrew Horne, Bridget O’Connor, Jenny Levy, Matthew Dexter, Tom Yannucci

2015 Law Firm Award: Kirkland & Ellis

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By Sierra Blanchard-Hodge

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is a leader not only in litigation and advocacy, but also in pro bono and public interest work. Every year the firm contributes at least 3% of its attorney time to pro bono work, and it encourages all of its lawyers to work on pro bono cases. Kirkland pro bono work comprises a wide range of issues—including immigration, disability rights, civil rights, prisoner rights, death penalty cases and criminal appeals, guardianship, veterans’ benefits, and more.

We are not the only organization to recognize the firm’s pro bono contributions. For three years in a row, Kirkland & Ellis has been named a Law360 Pro Bono Firm. This year, the firm was recognized by the ABA Death Penalty Representation Project with an Exceptional Service Award. The firm is a member of The American Lawyer’s A-List, which looks at pro bono work, diversity, and associate satisfaction in addition to revenue. Kirkland & Ellis also was honored at the annual 40 at 50 Judicial Pro Bono Recognition breakfast in Washington, DC: in 2014 it was one of 23 local firms where at least 40 percent of lawyers performed at least 50 hours of pro bono service, one of five firms with 60 percent or more of all lawyers completing 50 hours, and one of three firms whose partners met the “40 at 50” goal.

Kirkland has been especially dedicated to pro bono partnerships in Washington, DC. For instance, the firm has collaborated for several years with the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia. As detailed in this video, Kirkland lawyers have conducted hundreds of intakes and handled dozens of pro bono cases on behalf of Legal Aid, helping to bring legal services to the DC communities most in need.

Finally, we are also grateful for the firm’s support of Washington Council of Lawyers. In addition to its generous financial support, the firm has hosted many our programs and trainings, including Litigation Skills Series, Meet the Jolly Good Fellows, and Destination Public Interest. In addition, the firm has supported the participation of partner Mark Kovner, who serves as a member of Board of Directors, the co-chair of our Honorary Board committee, and the co-chair of our Judicial Nominations committee.

Kirkland & Ellis has devoted itself to pro bono work and public interest initiatives, and has actively supported our mission of doing the same. The firm is a worthy recipient of our 2015 Law Firm Award.