Perkins Coie’s commitment to community runs more than a hundred years deep. Sharing our time and talents to help those most in need, both on an individual and systemic basis, defines our firm culture.
Under the leadership of our Pro Bono Counsel and firmwide Pro Bono Committee, Perkins Coie’s pro bono program launches initiatives across all our offices. Support for pro bono involvement is generous and includes giving associates full billable-hour credit for their work on approved pro bono matters.
Our Sher Kung Memorial Pro Bono Fellowship allows selected associates to devote up to six months of their full-time efforts working for a nonprofit community organization providing significant public interest service.
Impact of Pro Bono at Perkins Coie
Our attorneys and staff have a wide array of volunteer opportunities and the backing of firm resources. We encourage them to follow their passions and use their high-level skills to provide critical legal representation to individuals and nonprofit organizations in dire need of help.
Perkins Coie pro bono attorneys and staff have recently helped in these high-need areas:
Criminal and Constitutional Law Challenges
- Obtained clemency for nonviolent offenders and secured freedom for those wrongly convicted
- Represented death row inmates as post-conviction counsel
- Improved a malfunctioning indigent defense system in Washington
- Secured freedom for a woman imprisoned for half of her life for a crime she committed as a young victim herself
- Prevailed on a Voting Rights Act challenge on behalf of Latinos in rural Washington
Immigration and Asylum
- Launched the first organized pro bono program for asylum seekers in Oregon
- Obtained deferred action status for Dreamers by hosting over 100 DACA clinics
- Challenged systemic policies affecting immigrants and refugees
Military and Veterans Rights
- Defended victims of military sexual assault
- Participated in programs combatting veteran homelessness
- Helped veterans to obtain additional disability benefits
- Provided consumer law assistance to active duty military service members
Families and Domestic Violence Survivors
- Obtained domestic violence protection orders and other court protections for scores of survivors of domestic violence
- Challenged underpayments to foster families and secured $33 million in increased funding in Washington
- 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 through direct representation on how to launch and run businesses
- Pioneered partnerships between nonprofits and client companies
More Than Just Hours, It’s a Commitment
In 2017, Perkins Coie attorneys donated more than 57,100 hours of pro bono legal service. Combined with the contributions of our legal staff, the value of our pro bono time in 2017 aggregates to more than $34 million.
This level of involvement helped us meet our goals, for the tenth consecutive year, as a signatory to the Pro Bono Institute’s Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®. In 2017, we devoted at least 3.7 percent of our total billable hours to pro bono matters.
Perkins Coie is proud of the incredible devotion of our attorneys and staff. Through our pro bono legal work and other public and community service efforts, we continue to change lives and transform our communities.
Pro Bono Videos
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.
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.
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.
PBI talks to Perkins Coie’s Leah Medway about her career, the firm’s pro bono program, the access to justice culture in Seattle, the documentary “The Chance for a New Life -- The Sara Kruzan Story,” and more.
Peek at Perkins Coie Pro Bono 2013