Squire Patton Boggs Cares

Squire Patton Boggs has a longstanding commitment to pro bono services that promote equal justice and provide service for those with limited resources.

Our pro bono legacy is deeply rooted in our dedication to the communities where we live and work, both in the United States and around the world. We actively encourage and support our lawyers in answering the call to serve and volunteer their legal services each year by providing billable credit, awards and other recognitions for performing pro bono work.

Our attorneys work on a diverse range of pro bono matters that advance social justice, support non-profit organizations across the globe, protect our global resources and provide individual assistance to those in need. In addition, the firm’s Public Service Initiative (PSI), a team of lawyers in our New York City office, are dedicated to handling the most challenging constitutional criminal justice issues, innocence cases, and challenges to the death penalty.

In 2021, the pro bono work of our attorneys and staff consisted of:
25k+
Hours Worked
250+
Active Matters
13
Countries

Our Work

Our work includes ensuring access to justice to individual clients in matters that include housing, family/custody, domestic violence, immigration, and assistance to veterans. Our attorneys have also represented numerous U.S. and international nonprofit organizations, advised small businesses, including minority-owned businesses, and initiated a Pro Bono Patent program to support economically-disadvantaged inventors. As a firm, we have amplified our efforts to promote racial equity including by advising organizations that are serving communities of color. Through the firm’s Public Service Initiative and other work throughout the firm, we have increased our long-standing efforts to challenge the inequities in the criminal justice system. From immigration to natural resources protection to international child abduction cases to successful asylum representation for members of the LGBTQ+ community, our attorneys are on the forefront of offering critical, groundbreaking legal work where and when it’s needed most. Below is a sampling of some of the pro bono work our attorneys have performed.
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Civil Rights
  • Represented a California inmate in his successful appeal in a religious freedom case. A member of the Sikh faith, our client challenged prison grooming rules that required him to cut his hair, which is not permitted in the Sikh religion. 
  • Represented amicus curiae, the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, in urging a state Supreme Court to hold that evidence seized as a result of unconstitutional, racially motivated traffic stops should be suppressed under the equal protection and unreasonable searches and seizure provisions of both the state and US Constitutions.
  • Representing the mother of a two-year-old girl in an international child abduction case in conjunction with the Office of Children’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State. The case centers around the abduction of a child from her mother (who resides in Mexico) by the father (a US resident of Texas). Our attorneys are representing the mother and seeking the return of the daughter to Mexico under The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
  • Our Florida lawyers partner with Disability Rights Florida, a not-for-profit assisting K-12 students with physical or mental disabilities access the public education system, in providing legal representation in connection with individual cases. 
 
Criminal Justice
  • Created a report on police accountability in Ohio for the Lawyers Committee of Civil Rights Under Law, researching issues including local demographics, hiring and training practices, and reform efforts.
  • As part of the Judicial Release Coalition – a coalition of 6 law firms in Ohio – representing prisoners of color in trying to obtain early release.
  • Representing several individuals in criminal appellate proceedings and leading a Sixth Circuit Appellate Clinic at two Ohio law schools.
  • Squire Patton Boggs’ Pro Bono Department is home to the Public Service Initiative (PSI). PSI holds a deep commitment to improving the criminal justice system, through representing our clients in challenging appellate and litigation matters.
 
Immigrant Rights
  • Represented a gay, HIV+ man from the small dual island nation of St. Kitts and Nevis who was seeking asylum in the United States based on fear of past and future persecution were he to return to his home country. The final asylum hearing was held on November 29, 2021. After listening to all the evidence, including the testimony of the client, the client’s partner, and two experts, the government decided to waive its closing argument and its right to appeal a decision in the case. The judge granted the client’s request for asylum from the bench.
  • Assisted an active-duty sergeant in the US Army related to sponsoring his father for US permanent residency and petitioning the US Consulate in Cameroon to accept a waiver of inadmissibility application. 
  • Persuaded the Ninth Circuit to overturn a Board of Immigration Appeals order denying the application of a client for political asylum and withholding of removal (denial of deportation) following his flight from discrimination and persecution in Armenia.
 
LGBTQ+ Rights
  • Represented an openly gay member of the US military who challenged the constitutionality of his discharge from service.
  • Represented the National Center for Lesbian Rights in a landmark custody trial, the conclusion of a four-year-long fight between two mothers over their daughter. 
  • Authored amicus briefs on behalf of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children and nine other child advocacy organizations challenging a directive from the Governor of Texas and the Texas Attorney General that gender-affirming health care constitutes child abuse under Texas law.
  • Partnering with Equality Ohio to assist LGBTQ+ individuals with legal name and gender change recognition.
 
Nonprofit Organizations
  • Providing continuing legal support to More Than A Vote, an organization founded by Lebron James and over 40+ entertainers and athletes whose mission is engagement, education and protection of black voters. 
  • Serving as privacy and governance counsel for a women scientist organization that aims to make science open, inclusive, and accessible and to transform society by fighting racism, patriarchy, and oppressive societal norms.
  • Dedicating countless hours of service towards the successful opening of the Conway Health and Resource Center in Washington, D.C., a facility that provides medical, dental and behavioral healthcare to district residents, primarily in Ward 8.
  • Advising the American Academy of Diplomacy (AAD) on policy developments. AAD is an independent, non-profit association of former senior US ambassadors and high-level government officials whose mission is to strengthen American diplomacy.
  • Providing pro bono services to The Asia Foundation and its affiliate Give2Asia, the leading 501(c)(3) organization facilitating charitable gifts to Asia.
  • Serving as counsel for numerous outdoor recreation non-profits, including the American Mountain Guides Association, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and the Leave No Trace Association.
  • Serving as pro bono general corporate counsel for the GRYD Foundation, a public/private partnership with the city of Los Angeles gang reduction and youth development division.
 
Securing Access to Justice
  • Our lawyers in our Cleveland, Ohio office have supported the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland for more than 40 years. This includes securing dozens of protective orders for victims of domestic violence seeking protective orders against their abusers. Our lawyers have also successfully argued numerous habeas and criminal appeals in the Sixth Circuit and other federal appellate courts. 
  • Our pro bono team participated in the California Habeas Project, a collaboration of several respected California nonprofit organizations and law firms dedicated to protecting the rights of domestic violence survivors with murder convictions by challenging the legality of their confinement through writs of habeas corpus provided by Penal Code section 1473.5.  Penal Code section 1473.5 provides women the opportunity to use expert testimony on physical abuse and its lasting psychological impacts in order to supplement their defense against charges of murder. 
 
Throughout my legal career, I have sought out 'good trouble, necessary trouble,' as the late John Lewis referred to the fight for justice and equal rights. That search has been nurtured and supported by Squire Patton Boggs and the incredibly talented and conscientious attorneys at the firm. Our Public Service Initiative is a testament to the firm's commitment to improving our criminal justice system and ensuring equal rights and equal justice for all, regardless of race or class.
Corrine Irish, Partner

Public Service Initiative

A team of Squire Patton Boggs attorneys and legal staff – known as the Public Service Initiative (PSI) – has successfully litigated capital punishment and life imprisonment criminal cases for indigent clients involving a miscarriage of justice and/or a denial of fundamental rights. PSI adopts a strategy of broad-based advocacy on behalf of their clients that can include individual and impact litigation, policy reform, and media advocacy. Highlights of their recent work include:
PSI Secures the Release of Albert Woodfox, of the Angola 3, Who Served More Time in Solitary Confinement Than Anyone in U.S. History

In 2016, PSI secured the release of Albert Woodfox, of the Angola 3, who served 44 years in solitary confinement—a story that is told in Mr. Woodfox’s highly-praised memoir, Solitary.

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DNA Testing Secured by PSI for Death Row Client Christopher Barbour Implicates Another Man Already Serving a Life Sentence for Murder

After 30 years of asserting his innocence on Alabama’s death row, Christopher Barbour finally won a court order entitling him to DNA testing, which not only excluded him and a co-defendant as the perpetrators but also identified another man already serving a life sentence for murder as the likely actual perpetrator. PSI is now preparing for a hearing to prove Mr. Barbour’s innocence.

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PSI’s Principal Amicus Brief Plays a Critical Role in Persuading the U.S. Supreme Court that Indigent Defendants are Entitled to Independent Experts

PSI submitted the principal amicus brief on behalf of several national defense organizations in McWilliams v. Dunn, which—as evidenced by the majority opinion’s reliance on the brief—was critical to convincing the U.S. Supreme Court that an indigent defendant is entitled to a mental health expert independent of the state and prosecution.

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PSI Wins Court Order Vacating Kenneth Reams’s Death Sentence

Having secured a decision that vacated Kenneth Reams’s death sentence, PSI and the NAACP LDF are now working to secure clemency for Mr. Reams and recently filed his federal habeas petition. 

 
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PSI Secures the Release and Full Pardon for Client Joseph J. Dick Jr., of the Norfolk Four, Who Was Wrongfully Convicted in 1999

In 2016, PSI secured a court ruling stating that Joseph J. Dick Jr. was innocent, leading to the dismissal of all criminal charges against him and his co-defendants (the Norfolk Four) and, one year later, an absolute pardon for all of them from the Governor of Virginia.

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PSI Presents More Than 20 Witnesses at an Evidentiary Hearing to Demonstrate Death Row Client Rodney Reed’s Compelling Claim of Innocence

After presenting more than 20 witnesses testifying to how his conviction was based on flawed forensics and incorrect facts, Rodney Reed’s compelling claim of innocence is now before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and garnering bipartisan legislative support in the Texas House of Representatives.

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Awards & Recognitions