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 2013 awards include:
- Quarles & Brady won a Beacon of Justice Award from the National Legal Aid & Defender Association because of its work on criminal appeals and because of the establishment of a Truancy Court representation project in Appleton, Wisconsin.
- Melissa Manning of the Chicago office won a pro bono award from Chicago Volunteer Legal Services.
- Kristin Occhetti of the Milwaukee office was given the Howard B. Eisenberg Award by the Marquette University Law School. The annual award honors a Marquette Law School graduate who, within the past 15 years, has been committed to public interest law and/or service to the community.
- The Milwaukee office was given the Philanthropist of the Year Award from Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity for the free legal services provided to the organization, which over the years have exceeded $1 million in value.
The firmwide dedication to pro bono also was reflected statistically.
- In our 2013 fiscal year, Quarles & Brady lawyers recorded over 19,000 pro bono hours -- the equivalent of approximately 9 full-time lawyers, with 87% of those hours devoted to indigent persons or organizations that serve indigent persons. Firm attorneys averaged 40 pro bono hours for the year, and recorded pro bono hours in an amount over 3% of billable hours.
- We opened 211 new pro bono files in 2013, and, including our clinic work, served approximately 525 individuals and 80 organizations.
- In the last five years, 43 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. Chris Skey
was elected president of the board of Chicago Volunteer Legal Services and Melissa Manning was elected to the Junior Board of CVLS.
A team led by Steven Hunter, Vincent Angermeier
and Daniel Lewin
won asylum for an Ethiopian woman who was detained and tortured while fighting for democracy in Ethiopia.
E. King Poor
and Valerie Vidal
achieved a successful outcome for a pro bono client in a Seventh Circuit appellate case that provided new guidance on the law protecting the constitutional right to challenge search warrants and suppress evidence.
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.
The Madison office, led by Assistant Pro Bono Coordinator Emily Feinstein, partnered with Domestic Abuse Intervention Services of Dane County to represent victims of domestic abuse and is in the planning stages for a walk-in clinic that would assist DAIS clients with other legal issues.
The office continued its partnership with the Community Immigration Law Center. Milwaukee
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.
The Milwaukee office initiated a Lawyer for a Day program in Milwaukee County domestic abuse court, in partnership with Sojourner Family Peace Center, an advocacy organization, and the Marquette University Law School. The program provides in-court representation of victims of domestic abuse.
Through a financial contribution of retired partners Frank Daily
and Julie Ebert
, a mobile legal clinic was launched by Marquette and the Milwaukee Justice Center. Lawyers staffing the mobile clinic provide brief legal advice to economically disadvantaged residents in areas of Milwaukee County currently unserved by walk-in clinics.
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. Naples
, Tina Eckert
and Keely Smith
led a team from the Naples office that successfully reversed a death penalty conviction and sentence where the client had been on death row in Florida for almost 40 years.
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.
The Phoenix office continued its long partnership with the Volunteer Lawyers Program of Maricopa County and helped staff a brief advice clinic for the Salvation Army.
Fifty-nine pro bono matters were opened in the Phoenix office in the 2013 fiscal year, the most ever.
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.
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.
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.
Tucson lawyer Deanna Conn led a cross-office team that collaborated in the Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit to reverse a 20-year conviction for our client based on the wrongful admission of a prior conviction at trial. Tucson lawyer Jeremy Lite
also was part of the effort, as were Phoenix lawyers Lyzzette Bullock
and Ben Nielsen.