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An Interview with Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year: Morrison & Foerster

Jennifer Brown

The 2015 Who’s Who Legal Pro Bono Award is presented to Morrison & Foerster in recognition of the long-standing pro bono tradition at the firm and the inspiring level of senior buy-in. In an exclusive interview, its members discuss what makes the practice stand out from others and how the firm maintains such a high level of participation among its lawyers. 

2015 Pro Bono Survey

In response to the growing attention to the practice of pro bono, Who’s Who Legal decided to commence tracking the progress of institutionalisation among law firms in 2013. Now in its third year, the survey – which is open to law firms of all sizes from all jurisdictions – provides a valuable insight into the culture of pro bono within the legal profession. This year’s survey has been remodelled to allow for a deeper analysis of the systems in place to enable law firms to carry out pro bono work. Furthermore, it looks into the relationships between clients and their law firms – be they in the form of collaboration on projects, or clients asking their legal counsel for details on the work they have been involved in. 

Leading Firms

There is a strong tradition of ensuring access to justice among the legal profession and this year’s survey responses once again highlight the commitment by law firms and their practitioners to giving back to their local communities. While all firms who took part in the survey are making valued contributions, the following 10 firms stood out as examples of best practice. Clayton Utz Kirkland & Ellis DLA Piper Kim & Chang Latham & Watkins Mattos Filho Veiga Filho Marrey Jr e Quiroga Morrison & Foerster Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe    Schulte Roth & Zabel    White & Case

Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year 2015: DLA Piper

Elizabeth Dewey

This year’s Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year Award is presented to DLA Piper, which stood out for its commitment to maintaining a leading practice and the ground breaking work it had undertaken. In an exclusive interview, its members discuss what it takes to establish and maintain a leading pro bono practice. 

Survey Results 2014

Following on from the success of our first pro bono survey, Who’s Who Legal once again invited law firms to participate in its annual review of global pro bono activity. Building on last year’s findings, the survey seeks to track progress and explore how the practice of pro bono is evolving. This year, we received submissions from an even mix of international and national firms representing Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, South America and North America. Below we share our findings.

Leading Firms 2014

Many among the legal profession strongly appreciate their responsibility to ensure access to justice; the responses to this year’s survey once again highlight the commitment of practitioners and law firms to serving their local communities. While all firms who responded to the survey are making valued contributions, some stood out for their innovation and as examples of best practice.

Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year 2013: Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe


The inaugural award for Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year is presented to Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe. In deciding the winner, we focused on a number of factors including the percentage of the firm’s total billed hours dedicated to this work, the steps taken to institutionalise pro bono, the percentage of participation throughout all levels of the firm and the firm’s proudest moment of 2012. Orrick stood out in the survey for its “tremendous contribution” and “forward-thinking” practice. In an exclusive interview with the coordinator of Orrick’s practice Rene Kathawala, Who’s Who Legal finds out what it takes to run a “world-class” pro bono group.

Pro Bono — the Inside Story


Having previously conducted research into the law firms with the leading pro bono practices, Who’s Who Legal turns its attention to the practice of pro bono among in-house legal teams. In this feature, we explore why the practice is on the rise, how corporate counsel are providing pro bono services and their motivation for doing so, and the positive impact such activities can have on the company as a whole.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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