Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce partner Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP was recently selected by the Pro Bono Partnership as its Law Firm Volunteer of the Year for 2004. Drinker Biddle, with more than 450 lawyers, was founded in Philadelphia in 1849 and has nine offices throughout the country. At Drinker Biddle, pro bono work is an important part of its everyday practice and culture, and is a deeply rooted tradition dating back to the start of the firm more than 150 years ago. During 2004, Drinker Biddle lawyers devoted more than 20,000 hours to pro bono work and invested more than one-million dollars in out-of-pocket costs in connection with pro bono cases.
The Pro Bono Partnership has offices in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The organization refers nonlitigation pro bono matters, primarily for small nonprofit organization clients, to volunteer counsel. The award is in recognition of the many Drinker Biddle lawyers in the firm’s Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York offices who have volunteered to work on pro bono cases. These cases involve issues relating to corporate formation and governance, application for tax-exempt status, economic development projects, labor and employment and environmental issues, and many other legal needs. Clients represented through this organization include organizations involved in child and health care, economic development and arts-related organizations.
In addition to these projects, Drinker Biddle lawyers also are handling a number of other pro bono matters. They include appeals on behalf of several death row inmates, litigating a series of complex cases involving racial discrimination in public accommodations, and representing prisoners in civil rights actions and many other individual clients, from homeless tenants who were wrongly evicted, to victims of domestic violence and child abuse, to families of limited means that are trying to adopt hard to place children.
“Our firm has a deep and abiding commitment to providing pro bono legal counsel to those in need,” said James M. Sweet, Chairman of Drinker Biddle. “This recognition by the Pro Bono Partnership is a tribute to the dedication and volunteer spirit of our lawyers.”
To read more about Drinker Biddle’s pro bono projects, please view our pro bono section.