Perkins Coie’s commitment to community runs more than 110 years deep. Sharing our time and talents to help those most in need, both on an individual and systemic basis, defines our firm culture. Recognizing that our pro bono clients have been particularly vulnerable throughout the pandemic and other recent crises, we are dedicated to meeting their needs while assisting our legal service provider partners across the country.

Under the leadership of our senior pro bono counsel and the firmwide Pro Bono Committee, Perkins Coie’s pro bono program launches initiatives across all our offices. Support for pro bono involvement is generous and gives associates and counsel billable-hour credit for their work on approved matters.  

In 2022, Perkins Coie hired its first ever pro bono immigration lawyer to support the firm’s humanitarian immigration work.

Pro Bono Fellowships

Perkins Coie hosts two pro bono fellowship programs. Established in 1987, our Sher Kung Memorial Pro Bono Fellowship allows selected associates to devote up to six months of their full-time efforts to working for a nonprofit community organization providing significant public interest service. And our Racial Justice Fellowship is part of the firm’s Commitment to Racial Equality, a series of actions designed to improve racial equality and create a more just and equal society. The fellowship offers current and incoming first-year associates the opportunity to spend one year doing legal work in a civil rights or criminal justice organization or other association that promotes racial equity and equality.

Impact of Pro Bono at Perkins Coie

Our lawyers and business professionals have access to a wide array of volunteer opportunities and the backing of firm resources. The firm encourages them to follow their passions and use their high-level skills to provide critical legal representation to individuals and nonprofit organizations in need of legal assistance.

Perkins Coie has recently helped in these high-need areas:

Criminal and Constitutional Law Challenges

  • Secured freedom for a man convicted as a juvenile to life in prison without parole.
  • Helped clients on their path to obtain clemency and a second chance at life.

Immigration and Asylum

  • Challenged systemic policies affecting immigrants and refugees.
  • Obtained asylum for victims of domestic violence.
  • Obtained deferred action status for more than 2,000 Dreamers by hosting over 190 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) clinics.

Reproductive Justice

  • Filed amicus briefs in state courts to challenge unconstitutional restrictions on abortion.
  • Assisted women’s rights organizations nationwide with research into states’ attempts to restrict access to healthcare following the reversal of Roe v. Wade.

Military and Veterans' Rights

  • Defended survivors of military sexual assault.
  • Obtained deferred action status for immigrants recruited by the U.S. military.
  • Helped veterans to obtain disability benefits.

Families and Domestic Violence Survivors

  • Obtained domestic violence protection orders and other court protections for scores of survivors of domestic violence.
  • Advocated for abused and neglected children.

Nonprofit Organizations and Community Economic Development

  • Assisted organizations nationwide with their intellectual property rights, labor, real estate and corporate governance issues.
  • Advised low-income entrepreneurs at clinics nationwide and assisted clients with launching and running businesses.
  • Pioneered partnerships between nonprofits and client companies.

It's More Than Just Hours—It’s a Commitment

In 2022, Perkins Coie attorneys donated over 60,000 hours of pro bono legal service. Combined with the contributions of our business professionals, the value of our pro bono time in 2022 aggregates to around $49 million.

This level of involvement helped us meet our goals—for the 15th consecutive year—as a signatory to the Pro Bono Institute’s Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®. In 2022, the firm devoted 3.6% of its total billable hours to pro bono matters.

Perkins Coie is proud of the incredible devotion of our lawyers and business professionals. Through our pro bono legal work and community service efforts, we continue to take action and lend our voices to amplify our clients’ stories, change lives, and transform our communities.

Pro Bono Videos

The 2021 APEX Awards

The Washington State Bar Association presented the APEX Award for Pro Bono and Public Service to Virtual Help, a collaboration between Perkins Coie, Microsoft, and The WAVE Foundation

The Chance for a New Life - The Sara Kruzan Story

Documentary of the story of Sara Kruzan’s journey from being sexually trafficked as a young girl to her conviction for murder and sentence of life imprisonment.

Fighting for Foster Families

When foster parents faced an increasingly unfair financial burden, Perkins Coie litigators fought hard to increase funding for more than 10,000 foster children in Washington. Learn the story behind the $33 million settlement we secured that will meet children’s basic needs.

Upower & Perkins Coie

After cuts to physical education classes and after school programs left teens with few positive outlets, Upower stepped up to fill the gap. Watch how this nonprofit is making a difference and how Perkins Coie helped.

Restorative Work in a Historic Black Community 

Historic Black Community

The Albina Vision Trust (AVT) is committed to restoring the historic cultural hub of Portland's Black community within the former Lower Albina neighborhood, once the leading center of Black life and culture in northeast Portland. Plans include affordable housing, a theater project, parks, plazas, and more. Our attorneys serve as legal counsel to AVT in its $800 million redevelopment efforts. Learn more on Page 6.

Answering Afghans' Call for Help 

Answering Afghans' Call for Help 

As the U.S. military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021 threatened the safety of the Afghan people, particularly girls, women, and families, our attorneys felt compelled to act. We worked with U.S.-based nonprofit agency Women for Afghan Women to draft humanitarian parole applications for Afghans desperate to escape the turmoil. Read more on Page 11.

From the Outside: Clearing Criminal Records Heal Communities

Clearing Criminal Records Heal Communities

Clearing a criminal record can lead to life-changing opportunities: securing a job, housing, a professional license, or serving in the military. The collateral consequences of having a criminal record disproportionately hurt communities of color, especially Black men. We joined forces with corporate clients to help alleviate this burden through programs in Texas and California. Read more on Page 19.