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Pro Bono

Making a World of Difference

“By bridging the gap in access to justice, our lawyers make a tremendous impact on our everyday social landscape and are able to improve the lives of pro bono clients from virtually every corner of the globe.”
                     —Creighton Condon, Senior Partner

Shearman & Sterling believes that engaging in pro bono work is an essential part of every lawyer’s practice. While serving the needs of indigent individuals and nonprofit organizations with limited access to legal services, the pro bono experience connects our lawyers to the communities in which we work.

According to Senior Partner Creighton Condon, “Our pro bono practice is the cornerstone of our lasting commitment to bring positive social change to our local and global communities. By bridging the gap in access to justice, our lawyers make a tremendous impact on our everyday social landscape and are able to improve the lives of pro bono clients from virtually every corner of the globe.”

We are dedicated to offering pro bono opportunities to all our lawyers in every office. Our multi-jurisdictional practice uniquely qualifies us to address pro bono matters around the world, whether at a San Francisco legal clinic or in Tanzania at the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

Our full-time Pro Bono Counsel and her staff work exclusively on directing our pro bono efforts and assist in effectively matching the interests of our lawyers with the needs of individual clients and nonprofit organizations. In 2016, Shearman & Sterling lawyers and staff devoted approximately 52,500 hours to pro bono matters, ranging from assisting low-income veterans to micro-finance and development work for low-income entrepreneurs around the globe.

The firm’s pro bono program is also about choice. Our lawyers are encouraged to select their own qualifying pro bono matters, subject to standard conflicts of interest policies. There are no ideological limitations or geographic boundaries. Lawyers in the London office can represent artists in New York City while lawyers in the New York office can do work with nonprofits in China. No matter is too large or too small. Attorneys in the Bay Area spend a few hours at a clinic assisting the homeless, while others in the Washington, DC office represent death row inmates.

Combining outstanding lawyering skills with good intentions to produce practical results is the cornerstone of Shearman & Sterling’s pro bono practice. The firm’s long-standing engagements in assisting communities around the world stem from our belief that there are many levels to our professional mandate. We are also deeply committed to doing all we can to support our lawyers in their pro bono contributions. 

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