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The American Lawyer's Pro Bono Survey Ranks Firms on International as Well as Domestic Performance for the First Time

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NEW YORK, June 30, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- For the first time, ALM's The American Lawyer has surveyed the international as well as domestic pro bono performance of the Am Law 200, the nation's 200 largest law firms and reports the results in its July issue and online today at www.americanlawyer.com.

Arnold & Porter easily led a weak field in the inaugural international ranking. Fully 93 percent of the firm's non-U.S. lawyers logged at least 20 pro bono hours last year, with an average per lawyer of 103 hours. Both measures were nearly double those of its closest competitor.

Looking only at U.S. lawyers, as in past pro bono surveys, Jenner & Block topped the chart with an average 175 hours per lawyer and 87 percent of lawyers contributing at least 20 hour. The American Lawyer rankings give equal weight to the two metrics.

The international portion of the survey included 77 Am Law 200 firms with at least 20 lawyers outside the U.S. The American Lawyer 's October issue will measure pro bono activity at large non-U.S.-based firms as part of its Global 100 survey.

Overall, Am Law 100 firms' domestic lawyers averaged 62 pro bono hours, compared to a mere 17 hours for their lawyers outside the U.S.

"Parochialism didn't matter in 1990, when non-U.S. lawyers were a rounding error," writes senior international correspondent Michael Goldhaber of The American Lawyer's first pro bono survey. "But overseas attorneys now form a full 28 percent of the Am Law 100. The most progressive firms recognize that professional duties don't stop at American shores, and a universal moral code calls for a universal policy code."

In the domestic pro bono performance rankings, Jenner & Block is followed by Arnold & Porter, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, Hughes Hubbard, and Paul Hastings. In the non-U.S. table, leader Arnold & Porter is trailed by Patton Boggs (now Squire Patton Boggs), McDermott Will & Emery, Dechert, and Latham & Watkins.

As examples of outstanding pro bono initiatives, The American Lawyer details Arnold & Porter's representation of mentally ill prisoners at the nation's highest-security prison and the collective work of dozens of firms for undocumented minors. Also noted is an extraordinary individual performance by Jenner's Reena Bajowala, who logged 1,550 hours for opponents of the city of Joliet, IL's use of eminent domain.

The June issue also includes The American Lawyer's 2014 A-List, on which firms are ranked according to a formula based on revenue per lawyer, pro bono performance, associate satisfaction, and diversity ranking. Paul Hastings came out on top, followed by O'Melveny & Myers; Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy; and Wilmer.

Full pro bono survey data are available for purchase in searchable, sortable Excel format from ALM Legal Intelligence at www.almlegalintel.com/Surveys/probono.

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Source: ALM