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DC Pro Bono Week 2022 Profile: Crucial Pro Bono Leadership

By Gwen Washington

Jeremy Calsyn has been a pro bono champion at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen, and Hamilton since he joined the firm in 1999, and especially since he became a partner in 2008.

In his regular work in the antitrust space, Jeremy handles a broad range of matters, including merger reviews, criminal and civil government investigations, and complex class action litigations. However, in addition to his many professional accomplishments in the legal field, it’s Jeremy’s pro bono leadership and commitment to pro bono services that truly stands out. Not only does he regularly provide hands-on supervision of pro bono cases, but Jeremy also serves as Pro Bono Committee Chair in the D.C. office, supporting the work of the D.C. Pro Bono Attorney and offering guidance to the firm’s pro program as a whole.

Specific examples of Jeremy’s exemplary pro bono service aren’t hard to find. In the wake of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021, Jeremy was called to action – he immediately raised his hand to ask how he could help support newly-arrived refugees. His commitment to filling the gap in legal services for this trauma-affected population continued with a multi-day trip to Houston to help screen dozens of Afghan refugees and their families for asylum eligibility, alongside a dedicated team of the firm’s attorneys. For many refugees, these conversations with Jeremy would be the first time they had shared their experiences fleeing Afghanistan; the conversations were difficult for so many reasons, and Jeremy provided much-needed comfort and helpful legal advice, ensuring that his clients felt safe and welcomed at every step.  In the months that followed, Jeremy helped the family of a high-ranking politician from the former Afghan Government secure asylum and prepare petitions for them to reunify with their family members that are still outside the United States, while also representing the family of the only female Afghan reporter for the New York Times with their asylum applications. He remains entirely committed to his role as a firm leader in this space, and our partner organizations have lauded the work he has supervised as “among the most well-developed and well-written” they have seen.

Jeremy is understated about his deep commitment to pro bono work, which is not at all surprising when you get to know him. He’s never one to stand by when a crisis hits, jumping in and getting the work done, ensuring that our world and our clients’ worlds are a better place because he’s in it. With this profile, we wanted to recognize that commitment and his leadership in this space, and share our admiration of him!

Cleary Gottlieb is so proud of Jeremy’s dedication to pro bono, his accomplishments on behalf of his clients, and his steadfast commitment to those in need.

Gwen Washington is D.C. Pro Bono Attorney at Cleary Gottlieb and a Washington Council of Lawyers Board Member.

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