Press Releases

ABA Honors Sheppard Mullin Partner Dan Brown With Prestigious 2015 ABA Pro Bono Publico Award

May 11, 2015

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP announced today that Daniel L. Brown will receive the American Bar Association’s 2015 Pro Bono Publico Award, which honors those who have enhanced the human dignity of others by improving or delivering volunteer legal services to our nation's poor and disadvantaged.  A partner in Sheppard Mullin’s Business Trial practice group, Brown is also chair of the firm’s pro bono committee. 

The ABA’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service presents five awards, annually, to individual lawyers and legal institutions that have demonstrated outstanding commitment to the poor and disadvantaged.  Brown, one of two individual attorneys being honored this year, will receive the award at the ABA’s Annual Meeting in Chicago on August 1. 

“Dan has a deep, enthusiastic and contagious passion for pro bono work, which has impacted Sheppard Mullin in very positive ways, both in our New York office and nationally across the firm.  His commitment to the firm and our pro bono program through his diligent efforts as chair have certainly made our firm better, and more importantly Dan’s litigation successes on behalf of the disability community in New York City have significantly bettered the lives of countless thousands,” said Guy N. Halgren, Sheppard Mullin chairman. 

Brown is being honored for his outstanding pro bono accomplishments, but most notably for the remarkable contributions he has made to New York’s disability community litigating cases with Disability Rights Advocates that have achieved historic results on behalf of hundreds of thousands of individuals with disabilities. In 2014, Brown received Disability Rights Advocates’ New York Impact Litigation Award in recognition of his life changing litigation on behalf of people with disabilities. 

Brown’s recent pro bono highlights include Brooklyn Center for the Disabled, et al. v. Bloomberg, a landmark trial victory that led to a settlement with the City of New York agreeing to implement the most comprehensive disaster plan ever established in the country aimed at improving the lives and safety of nearly 900,000 New Yorkers with disabilities and Taxis for AllCampaign v. Taxi & Limousine Commission, which resulted in a historic settlement that will make the New York taxi fleet the most accessible in the country. Brown’s victories are already having an impact across the country, serving as precedent setting blueprints and inspiration for comparable changes in other major cities.  Brown also handles and/or supervises many of the firm’s asylum cases and encourages other attorneys to take on these cases, which resulted in the firm receiving the 2011 Marvin Frankel award from Human Rights First for "extraordinary commitment to pro bono service." 

As Sheppard Mullin’s pro bono chair, Brown is forcefully leading a firm-wide initiative to rejuvenate and extend the role of pro bono within the firm.  His strategic and comprehensive initiative includes an office-by-office, top-to-bottom focus on increasing pro bono participation and the firm’s relationships with the legal services and pro bono communities. As a result of Brown’s push to recognize and emphasize pro bono, associate pro bono hours are treated the same as billable hours, pro bono is part of the associate development plans, and pro bono factors in the annual partner compensation review process.

“It is truly humbling to receive this recognition from the ABA,” said Brown. “It’s a privilege and honor to represent my pro bono clients, and pro bono work has been so rewarding for me professionally and personally.  I want to thank Sheppard Mullin for its support and commitment to community service, and encourage all attorneys to experience the many rewards that pro bono provides.”