NALP Directory of Legal Employers

Directory Year: 2020

Sidley Austin LLP - Washington, District Of Columbia

Pro Bono/Public Interest

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Pro Bono Contact

Pro Bono Contact Name Mark Herzog
Pro Bono Contact Title Pro Bono Counsel
Pro Bono Contact Phone 202-736-8339
Pro Bono Contact Email mherzog@sidley.com
Is the pro bono information indicated here firm-wide or specific to one office? Firm-wide
% Firm Billable Hours last year 4.6%
Average Hours per Attorney last year 77.87

Pro Bono Participation

Percent of associates participating last year 87.9
Percent of partners participating last year 36.8
Percent of other lawyers participating last year 41.8

Average hours

Average hours per associate last year 111.99
Average hours per partner last year 31.73
Average hours per other lawyer last year 73.09
What percentage of attorneys performed more than 20 hours? 52.2%
What was the number of actual pro bono hours contributed by the organization in the prior calendar year? 137,874.50 (US offices)
Does the organization maintain a written pro bono policy that sets forth the organization's commitment to pro bono? Yes
How does the organization define what constitutes pro bono legal work? ABA Definition

Organization pro bono hours goals

Does the organization set annual goals regarding the minimum number of pro bono hours to be contributed by the organization? Yes
If yes, what is that annual goal? 3%

Attorney pro bono goals

Does the organization set individual attorney goals regarding the minimum number of pro bono hours to be contributed? Yes
If yes, what is that annual goal? 60

Advancement/compensation

Is an attorney's commitment to pro bono activity considered a favorable factor in advancement and compensation decisions? Yes
If yes, to what extent? The Firm considers the quantity and quality of all hours worked, as well as the contribution the attorney has made to the Firm overall, in determining compensation and advancement within the Firm. An attorney's contribution to the Firm's ability to meet the ABA Pro Bono Challenge is viewed favorably in this context.

Pro bono support services

Are full-time support services (word processing, online research Lexis/Westlaw, out of pocket costs) available for pro bono representation? Yes
If so, are there any limitations? There are no limitations. We do ask experts and service providers in our pro bono cases if they would consider donating their services as well.
Are associates provided written evaluations of their work on pro bono matters? Yes
Does the organization employ one or more of the following structures to manage its pro bono program and to provide training and guidance to participating attorneys? (Check all that apply): Full-time attorney in a dedicated pro bono coordination/oversight role
Pro Bono Committee
Non-attorney administrator
Other
How is pro bono work assigned/distributed? Pro bono work is assigned generally on the basis of attorney preference/interest. Sidley generates pro bono opportunities internally (through, for example, long-standing relationships with legal service providers, bar organizations and other non-profits) and welcomes pro bono work that Firm lawyers bring in and wish to undertake. Sidley has established four firm-wide initiatives: the Capital Litigation Project, the Political Asylum and Immigrants’ Rights Project, the Veterans Benefits Project, and the Africa & Asia Agricultural Enterprise Program. The Firm encourages attorneys to support these projects, and has devoted significant resources to the matters we have taken pursuant to these initiatives.
If an attorney is permitted to bring a pro bono case for possible consideration by the firm, who makes decisions about whether the firm will handle the matter? (check all that apply) Pro Bono Committee
Other

Enabling pro bono or public interest work

Does the organization provide any of the following to enable its attorneys to participate in pro bono activities or work in a public interest setting? (Check all that apply): Externships
Fellowships
Other
If so please describe Sidley sponsors Pro Bono Fellows in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Chicago. Sidley has a pro bono externship program in our New York office.

Summer associate pro bono opportunities

Are pro bono opportunities available for summer associates? Yes
Additional comments (Please use this space to provide any additional information about your organization's pro bono program including any special recognition or awards the organization has received for its pro bono work.)

Sidley handles a wide variety of pro bono matters each year, including transactional and real estate work, criminal trials and appeals (including numerous appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court), housing discrimination litigation, matters involving battered women, child custody cases, landlord/tenant disputes, and public benefits cases. As part of our Capital Litigation Project, our first firm-wide initiative launched in 2004, we have represented 23 defendants on death row in Alabama in post-conviction proceedings. As part of Sidley’s Political Asylum and Immigrants' Rights Project, the firm’s second firm-wide initiative established two years later, we handle a large number of asylum applications and other matters on behalf of indigent immigrants. In 2007, Sidley founded its third firm-wide initiative, the Veterans Benefits Project, to help returning service members and veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and veterans of other conflicts receive the benefits to which they are entitled. Most recently, in 2012, Sidley launched its fourth firm-wide initiative -- and its first global firm-wide initiative -- the Emerging Enterprises Program. The Program provides free legal support to eligible small and medium-sized for-profit enterprises and market-focused NGOs and non-profits that have a clear social impact in developing countries across Africa, Asia, Central and South America, and the Caribbean.

Sidley frequently is recognized for its unwavering commitment to pro bono service and the work we do.

What are some of the areas in which your organization has performed pro bono work in the past year?

A full description of our pro bono work can be found in our annual pro bono reports at: https://www.sidley.com/en/probonolanding

Fellowship sponsorship

Does your organization sponsor split public interest summer and/or post-graduate fellowships? Yes
Public Interest Fellowship Comments An important component of Sidley’s pro bono work is its fellowship program, which allows associates to work at nonprofit organizations in the community before they begin working at the firm. While the programs in Sidley’s various offices differ in some respects, the programs all share certain characteristics: Sidley provides a fellowship stipend or pays the salary of the fellows or externs to allow them to work for a nonprofit organization for up to 10 weeks.