The awards recognize California attorneys, law firms and associations of lawyers who have provided or enabled the direct provision of legal services to poor persons or organizations, free of charge, without expectation of compensation from the client, in the preceding calendar year. Criteria considered by the selection committee include the breadth and impact of the nominees work, obstacles or challenges to doing pro bono work, and the continued commitment to pro bono work.
“Pro Bono work is its own reward,” said Deb Mallgrave, commercial litigation associate and head of the Pro Bono Committee in the firm’s Orange County office. “It is an honor to be singled out by the state bar for our firm’s efforts and accomplishments.”
The Orange County office of Snell & Wilmer contributed over 3,150 pro bono hours in 2011, more than twice the number of hours contributed in 2010. Many of the 70 pro bono matters handled were referred by the Public Law Center (PLC) and involved humanitarian immigration relief for victims of serious crimes, domestic violence and human trafficking, as well as representation in adoptions, elder abuse matters, collection defense, and nonprofit incorporation and related transactional assistance. The firm continued its partnership with PLC and UC Irvine School of Law to direct and supervise law students in the U Visa project that enables law students to participate actively in all phases of the process and is designed to instill an ongoing interest in pro bono.
Snell & Wilmer also handled matters referred by Legal Aid Society of Orange County, Ninth Circuit Pro Bono Program, and Human Rights, USA, several involving non-English speakers who had suffered severe psychological injuries and were attempting to deal with foreign legal systems and customs. Many Snell & Wilmer attorneys developed the expertise necessary to handle pro bono matters outside of their normal practice areas without any expectation of potential future economic benefit.
About Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.
Founded in 1938, Snell & Wilmer is a full-service business law firm with more than 400 attorneys practicing in nine locations throughout the western United States and in Mexico, including Orange County and Los Angeles, California; Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona; Denver, Colorado; Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Los Cabos, Mexico. The firm represents clients ranging from large, publicly traded corporations to small businesses, individuals and entrepreneurs. For more information, visit www.swlaw.com.