Pro Bono Isn’t Always Liberal
Posted Jul 9, 2007 7:49 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Pro bono causes are often liberal. But more large law firms are taking up conservative pro bono cases, challenging racial preferences, defending school districts that incorporate religion during and after school hours, and backing a ban on stem cell research.
An example of this “quiet phenomenon,” says the American Lawyer, is the work done by a partner at Davis Wright & Tremaine on behalf of white parents challenging a policy that took race into account in public school assignments. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled for the parents in June. (See previous ABAJournal.com post.)
Harry Korrell III told the legal newspaper that some partners at Davis Wright disagreed with his views on the case, but they supported his work just the same.
The legal magazine highlights work by big firms in other conservative cases:
--A Paul Weiss partner supported the government’s decision to withhold funds to law schools that barred military recruiters.
--A Cravath, Swaine & Moore partner represented two pregnancy centers that stressed the emotional impact of abortion.
--A partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld defended a school that taught the Bible and a school board that held prayer meetings.
--Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher backed a ban on embryonic stem cell research.