Sullivan & Cromwell considers pro bono work to be an important commitment of every lawyer, as well as a tool by which lawyers can supplement and bolster their skills.
 
In 2015, S&C devoted more than 64,000 hours to a range of pro bono activities, benefiting not only individuals but also legal, charitable and government organizations.
 
S&C’s efforts include individual pro bono initiatives and ongoing, long-term “signature projects.” Those signature projects include support of the New York AIDS Clinic, Human Rights First’s Asylum Representation Project, Her Justice’s Violence Against Women Act matters, the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund’s Name Change Project and more. The variety of matters handled and the results achieved by the Firm represent expertise across a range of practice groups.
 

Pro Bono at S&C: A Panel's Perspective

S&C hosted a panel designed to highlight the ways in which new associates can get involved in pro bono work and to encourage them to pursue such projects starting early on in their time at S&C.

Judge Lippman's Permanent Commission on Access to Justice

S&C plays a key role in the New York State Chief Judge's commission, which facilitates low-income New Yorkers' access to legal representation.

Defending the Disadvantaged: Secondment to the Federal Defenders of New York

Through S&C's Federal Defenders secondment program, eight S&C lawyers have been seconded
to the Federal Defenders of New York. Litigation associate and former secondee Siji Moore
shares his insider's perspective.


 


 
PRO BONO COMMITTEE MEMBERS
 

Robert W. Reeder III
Chair
Mr. Reeder is co-head of S&C's Corporate Group. He is head of the Firm's Pro Bono Committee and serves on the Board of Directors of the Teak Foundation and as chairman at Old Sturbridge Village. David Gilberg
David J. Gilberg
Mr. Gilberg practices primarily in the area of derivatives and trading-related matters.

Robert J. Giuffra Jr.
Mr. Giuffra is a partner in S&C's Litigation Group and a member of the Firm's Management Committee. He serves on New York's Permanent Commission on Access to Justice.
Julia M. Jordan 
(Washington, D.C.)
Ms. Jordan is a partner in S&C's Litigation Group. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Washington Lawyers Committee For Civil Rights and Urban Affairs and of the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project Screening Committee.

Sharon L. Nelles
Ms. Nelles is a partner in S&C's Litigation Group
and a member of the Firm's Management Committee. She serves on the Board of Directors of Her Justice.

Joseph E. Neuhaus
Mr. Neuhaus is a partner in the Firm's Litigation Group and a coordinator of S&C's arbitration practice. He co-heads S&C's pro bono Asylum Practice Group.

Richard C. Pepperman II
Mr. Pepperman is Managing Partner of S&C's Litigation Group.
Richard A. Pollack
(London)
Mr. Pollack is Managing Partner of S&C's London Office and is co-head of the Firm's Private Equity Group. Until recently, he chaired the Board of a charter school in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn.

Karen Patton Seymour
Ms. Seymour is a member of S&C's Management Committee and was formerly the Co-Managing Partner of the Firm's Litigation Group. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Vera Institute of Justice and The Nature Conservancy.
Michael H. Steinberg
(Los Angeles)
Mr. Steinberg is a member of S&C's Litigation Group. He is a member of the Firm's Managing Partners Committee and is the Coordinating Partner for Los Angeles litigation.
PRO BONO SPECIAL COUNSEL


Jessica Klein

Ms. Klein is the Firm’s Head of Pro Bono Practice. She maintains an active docket of cases in many areas of public interest law, including asylum, domestic violence, education law and civil rights. She is active in the Firm’s efforts to expand access to justice and serves as Counsel to The New York State Permanent Commission on Access to Justice and on the board of directors of Immigration Equality. 


 

SELECTED REPRESENTATIONS

Ongoing Projects at Sullivan & Cromwell:

Asylum
S&C lawyers have formed an Asylum Practice Group for those interested in helping individuals who are fleeing home countries in which they were persecuted. The Firm is an active member in Human Rights First’s Asylum Representation Project and also partners with Immigration Equality, which represents LGBT asylum seekers.

AIDS Clinic
For more than 25 years, S&C lawyers have hosted a biweekly legal clinic at New York-Presbyterian Hospital’s Center for Special Studies and its satellite location. The clinic provides estate-planning services to impoverished individuals who have AIDS or are living with HIV. Since 1989, the Firm has dedicated more than 14,000 hours to this project.

Criminal Practice
S&C lawyers serve pro bono on the Criminal Justice Act Panels in the U.S. district courts for the Southern and Eastern districts of New York. They represent indigent defendants in federal criminal cases at pretrial, at trial and on appeal.

The Firm’s lawyers also represent pro bono clients in a variety of criminal appellate matters. S&C associates serve as special assistant district attorneys in the Kings County District Attorney’s Office Appeals Bureau. Working under the supervision of a full-time assistant district attorney in the Appeals Bureau, the associates who serve as special assistant district attorneys represent the office in criminal appeals filed in the New York State Supreme Court, Second Appellate Division. S&C associates also handle appeals for criminal defendants in Manhattan through the Office of the Appellate Defender’s Volunteer Appellate Defender program.

Domestic Violence
Working in concert with Sanctuary for Families and Her Justice, the Firm helps domestic violence survivors with uncontested divorces; child support proceedings in Family Court; and immigration matters pursuant to the Violence Against Women Act.

International Impact
Through the Public Interest Law & Policy Group, the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice and other organizations with a global focus, S&C lawyers have contributed to projects on a range of issues concerning human rights, international law and law reform. Projects have included:
 
  • assisting People in Aid in registering as a charitable entity in the United States; and
  • helping Village Water Limited, a U.K.-based charity that works in Zambia, in contract negotiations.
The Name Change Project
S&C works with the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund’s The Name Change Project, which assists low-income members of the transgender community who are seeking to change their legal name to conform to their gender identity. S&C lawyers have obtained name changes for more than 155 TLDEF clients. As part of this project, S&C lawyers mentor Columbia Law students on these cases.

Ninth Circuit Pro Bono Program
Through the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s Pro Bono Program, S&C associates working in U.S. offices have briefed and argued appeals before the Ninth Circuit on a variety of matters ranging from asylum to prisoners’ rights.

The Sullivan & Cromwell Foundation
Since its inception in 2001, the Foundation has collected and disbursed more than $2.4 million in contributions to aid those affected by the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon; organizations dedicated to rebuilding the Downtown and Battery Park areas of New York City; organizations dedicated to providing aid to the victims of the tsunami that struck Southeast Asia; and charitable organizations in Louisiana and Mississippi to aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina.