Quarles & Brady LLP has for many years demonstrated an enthusiastic commitment to the provision of pro bono legal services. We consider it our duty to help to ensure that justice is available to all persons, regardless of income, and we strive to provide quality legal representation for those in our communities who are least able to pay, yet most in need of those services. It is ingrained in our Firm culture.
That dedication and commitment constantly drives us to do more. Rather than be satisfied with the already high level of pro bono representation we provide, we search for other ways to serve and more projects to which we can direct our resources. It is our intent to set the bar higher.
For instance, we are an enthusiastic signatory to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®
, which is administered by the Pro Bono Institute’s Law Firm Pro Bono Project, of which we are a member. We have “challenged” ourselves to contribute, at a minimum, an amount of time equal to three percent of the Firm’s total billable hours, or 60 hours per attorney, to pro bono work. Additionally illustrating our commitment to the “challenge,” we offer the unique distinction of providing hour-for-hour credit to our attorneys for their pro bono service to indigent persons. Attorneys from all of our offices take part in the Challenge.
Quarles and Brady has received numerous awards in the pro bono area. Examples of 2012 awards include:
- Deanna Conn of the Tucson office and Lyzzette Bullock of the Phoenix office were among the annual honorees as top pro bono lawyers by the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education.
- Mitch Moser and Valerie Vidal of the Milwaukee office received pro bono recognition awards from the Volunteer Lawyers Project.
- Lisa Duran of the Phoenix office received a pro bono award from the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
- Mike Gonring of the Milwaukee office received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the State Bar of Wisconsin and a Distinguished Service Award from the Milwaukee Bar Association for his pro bono work.
- Three Tucson office lawyers, Jeremy Lite, Deanna Conn and Michael Curley, were named pro bono lawyers of the month by the Volunteer Lawyers Program.
The firmwide dedication to pro bono also was reflected statistically.
- In our 2012 fiscal year, Quarles & Brady lawyers recorded 16,000 pro bono hours -- the equivalent of approximately 8 full-time lawyers, with 83% of those hours devoted to indigent persons or organizations that serve indigent persons.
- Firm attorneys averaged 36 hours in pro bono hours for the year.
- We opened 208 new pro bono files in 2012, and, including our clinic work, served approximately 325 individuals and 75 organizations.
- We ranked 22nd in the Best Pro Bono Program category in the influential VAULT survey.
- In the last five years, 45 Quarles & Brady lawyers and four of the firm's offices have won awards and recognition for their pro bono work.
The pro bono highlights below are categorized by office. Click on the links below to view specific office highlights:ChicagoMadisonMilwaukeeNaplesPhoenixTampaTucson
Coordinated by partner Ted Yi
, the Chicago office continued a partnership with the Chinatown Pro Bono Legal Clinic, staffing the clinic and providing training for others interested in the clinic’s work.
Pro bono attorneys in the Chicago office provided legal services to dozens of organizations, including the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law and Big Brothers Big Sisters. They also represented individuals on a pro bono basis regarding guardianships, immigration/asylum issues, landlord-tenant problems and estate planning.
Office attorneys continued their involvement in the Firm’s pro bono criminal appeals program, taking cases on referral from the Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. Melissa Manning
won a new hearing for a pro bono client whose public housing voucher was terminated because of the conduct of her mentally ill son.
The office continued as an active participant in the Dane County Family Court Assistance project, and pro bono lawyers provided a wide variety of legal services in virtually all areas of the law, including transactional work for organizations and representation of individuals in the areas of asylum, civil rights, Social Security disability, family law, labor and employment, and domestic abuse.
Representation of two mentally ill prisoners by a team of Greg Everts
, Elyce Wos
and Cristina Choi
caused the State of Wisconsin’s Department of Corrections to change its practices and regulations regarding administrative confinement and screening of such prisoners.
The office continued its partnership with the Community Immigration Law Center. Grant Sovern
, after a four year ordeal, won permanent residence for a woman from Guinea who, along with her three daughters, faced almost certain female genital mutilation if she returned to Guinea.
Lawyers in the Madison, Milwaukee and Phoenix offices participated in the Election Protection program sponsored by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law.
The office continued its strong partnership with the Volunteer Lawyers Project and Sojourner Family Peace Center in assisting victims of domestic abuse to obtain restraining orders, and representing them in court to obtain injunctions.
47% of Milwaukee office associates had more than 50 hours of pro bono representation.
The office continued its partnership with Marquette University Law School in staffing a legal clinic on the South Side of Milwaukee and partnered with Children’s Hospital, the Medical College of Wisconsin and Marquette University to staff the Legal-Medical Partnership at the Downtown Health Center. The Milwaukee office also continued its partnership with Children’s Hospital of Milwaukee in a guardianship clinic.
Milwaukee office lawyers, led by David Bartel
and John Schaak
, initiated a program in Truancy Court in the Appleton (WI) school district, representing alleged truants at initial and second hearings. Kristin Occhetti
of the Milwaukee office was the driving force behind a Milwaukee Bar Association project that provided trust and will services to indigent persons in hospice care.
The Naples office led the way in pro bono hours as a percentage of billable hours, at 4.5%.
and Patrick Costello
successfully handled an international child abduction case under the Hague Convention, returning the child to his mother in Montreal.
The office handled over a dozen adoptions for the Children's Network of Southwest Florida.
The office continued its broad range of representation to Fun Time Early Childhood Academy and St. Matthew’s House, both organizations serving poor people. Office pro bono lawyers also provided significant representation in adoption cases and in a wide variety of other areas.
won reversal of a conviction of second degree homicide for a pro bono client who, the appellate court said, was entitled to a full evidentiary hearing on DNA evidence.
became the first associate named to an office pro bono coordinator position.
and Hector Diaz
won, in US District Court, a First Amendment challenge to a Mohave County administrative policy prohibiting leafleting on county property.
and Marian Zapata-Rossa
obtained the return of a child to his Mexican national father in an international child abduction case under the Hague Convention.
The Tampa office has an ongoing relationship with Bay Area Legal Services, which refers cases in a number of areas, including housing, family law, and consumer law.
The office also regularly takes judicial pro bono appointments from local bankruptcy judges.
and Lindsay Saxe
were successful in obtaining a dismissal of a defamation claim against our clients, parents of a young autistic boy. The plaintiff brought his lawsuit when the parents prevented him, a stranger living in the neighborhood, from spending time alone with the boy.
The Tampa office had the largest percentage increase in pro bono hours from 2011 to 2012.
The office sustained its long partnerships with The Southern Arizona Legal Aid Volunteer Lawyer Program and the Volunteer Lawyer Program of Pima County.
Pro Bono legal services were provided in a multitude of areas, including veteran’s rights, landlord-tenant, guardianship and consumer’s rights. The office also helped staff the self-help clinic at the United States Bankruptcy Court.
The Tucson office led the firm with a 63% per-lawyer average in pro bono hours.