In 2015, BSF worked on over 90 pro bono matters, covering all areas of the law from death penalty defense, asylum, civil rights, family law, disability benefits, and constitutional issues.
BSF’s commitment to being the nation’s best law firm is reflected in its pro bono work as much as in its commercial practice. It delivers the same innovative legal strategies and zealous representation to its pro bono clients as it does to its corporate clients. The result is a track record of victories for clients who too often have been denied access to top-tier legal representation.
Pro bono matters are staffed by a combination of partners, counsel and associates who choose to volunteer their time to provide these important services. As a matter of philosophy, the Firm takes a pro bono approach to pro bono work. Therefore, BSF does not impose pro bono requirements on its lawyers. Instead, lawyers are encouraged to take on pro bono matters when they want and for whom they want.
While the Pro Bono Committee is available to facilitate work for the public good by the Firm’s lawyers, at the end of the day, BSF relies on its lawyers’ individual initiative and interests for the shape it takes.
Recent highlights from BSF’s pro bono program include the following:
Gay rights litigation, including the June 26, 2013, Supreme Court ruling in favor of BSF and co-counsel that had the effect of upholding the district court’s finding that California’s Proposition 8 was unconstitutional, and a February 3, 2014, district court opinion for the Eastern District of Virginia agreeing that restrictions on same-sex couples’ freedom to marry is unconstitutional.
In 2015, BSF joined with Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) in efforts to represent the growing numbers of unaccompanied children who are placed in immigration removal proceedings. To date, BSF has agreed to represent eight children in seven cases.
BSF has been fighting the state of Florida since 2005 for access to health and dental care for Florida children that they are entitled to under Medicaid, during which time the firm has conducted 90 days of trial and, on December 31, 2014, Judge Adalberto Jordan found sweeping violations of the Medicaid Act resulting in “approximately one-third of Florida children on Medicaid are not receiving the preventative medical care they are supposed to receive.” The court also found denials of rights to specialist care, dental care, and outreach.
The firm subscribes to the ABA’s definition of pro bono work.