NALP Directory of Legal Employers

Directory Year: 2022

Rothwell, Figg, Ernst & Manbeck, P.C. - Washington, District Of Columbia

Pro Bono/Public Interest

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Pro Bono Contact

Pro Bono Contact Name Steven Lieberman
Pro Bono Contact Title Member
Pro Bono Contact Phone 202-783-6040
Pro Bono Contact Email [email protected]
Is the pro bono information indicated here firm-wide or specific to one office? Firm-wide
% Firm Billable Hours last year 3.02
Average Hours per Attorney last year 45.7

Pro Bono Participation

Percent of associates participating last year 42
Percent of partners participating last year 18.5
Percent of other lawyers participating last year N/A

Average hours

Average hours per associate last year 76.65
Average hours per partner last year 25.6
Average hours per other lawyer last year N/A
What percentage of attorneys performed more than 20 hours? 19.5
What was the number of actual pro bono hours contributed by the organization in the prior calendar year? 2544.9
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?

Approved work that advances the public interest and/or the greater good, rights wrongs or prevent or remedies injustice.

Does the organization set annual goals regarding the minimum number of pro bono hours to be contributed by the organization? No
Does the organization set individual attorney goals regarding the minimum number of pro bono hours to be contributed? No


Is an attorney's commitment to pro bono activity considered a favorable factor in advancement and compensation decisions? Yes
If yes, to what extent? It is very important.

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?


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): An attorney who coordinates pro bono projects as an ancillary duty to other work
How is pro bono work assigned/distributed?

By the partners in charge of the pro bono matter or by the person who brings in the project.

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 Coordinator
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):

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.)

Super Lawyers 2012 Pro Bono Awards

Law360's "The Biggest Personal Injury Decisions And Verdicts Of 2020"

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

Rothwell Figg encourages its lawyers to give back to the community through work that advances the public interest or the greater good, rights wrongs, or prevents or remedies injustice. Associates get full credit for pro bono hours, and an attorney’s commitment to pro bono is a very important consideration in advancement and compensation decisions. Additionally, pro bono hours are a factor when determining an associate’s bonus.

The firm’s recent pro bono work includes assisting:

  • Flare, a Harvard Business School startup, in developing novel Bluetooth-compatible jewelry that allow wearers to discreetly request help without reaching for a phone. The design features an audible alarm, automatic texts to emergency contacts specifying a GPS location, and a recording device to capture audio evidence. We are developing a comprehensive IP portfolio for Flare, including utility and design patent applications, as well as trademark and copyright registrations. Flare was named among the best inventions of 2020 by Time.
  • Chabad, a worldwide Jewish organization established 250 years ago in eastern Russia, in its long-running lawsuit against the Russian Federation to recover its archives and library which were stolen by the Nazis and are currently held illegally by Russia. The government of Vladimir Putin refuses to return them, despite a ruling from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia imposing sanctions of $50,000 a day on the Russian Federation for each day that it continues to wrongfully withhold Chabad’s sacred books. The accumulated sanctions against the Russian Federation and the other Defendants now total more than $175 million. Recently, in an effort to satisfy this judgment, we filed on behalf of Chabad a motion requesting court permission to attach the assets of VEB, a Russian bank that has been described as a “piggy bank” for the Kremlin.
  • Kurt Eichenwald, a highly regarded journalist, in a civil case arising from a weaponized Twitter attack on him. Mr. Eichenwald is an epileptic who was sent a flashing strobe light with the phrase “You deserve a seizure for your posts” by an anonymous Twitter user who turned out to be John Rivello, a white supremacist. After three years of litigation, Mr. Eichenwald won on all of his civil claims, including assault, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and was awarded a $100,000 judgment. The groundbreaking case is already being taught in law schools, including the Duke University Law School.
  • Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition (BACC) in a fight to halt construction on the Moses African Cemetery, the burial ground of formerly enslaved Africans dating back to the 18th The BACC, which was started by the Macedonia Baptist Church and is made up of volunteers, activists, community groups, and faith-based organizations, would like to see the land returned to the church, the former owner of the cemetery, and the consecration of the cemetery with a memorial and museum. In October 2021, we obtained a groundbreaking preliminary injunction against the sale of the cemetery to a developer. Subsequently, the Court entered a permanent injunction against the sale of the property. We are continuing to represent our clients in their efforts to force the owner of the property to restore the cemetery to its proper use.

Fellowship sponsorship

Does your organization sponsor split public interest summer and/or post-graduate fellowships? No
Public Interest Fellowship Comments