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Sheppard Mullin Receives 2021 Beacon of Justice Award

Firm Recognized for Pro Bono Work Addressing Systemic Racial Disparities

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP is pleased to announce that the firm has received the Beacon of Justice Award from the National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA). This award recognizes law firms that have provided an exemplary commitment to pro bono, with this year’s focus placed on pro bono work addressing systemic racial disparities in 2020. The firm will receive the award at NLADA’s virtual gala, Redefining Justice: Celebrating Tenacious Heroes, on June 9, 2021.

“It is truly an honor to have been selected for a Beacon of Justice Award in connection with our attorneys’ ongoing work to advance racial equity and improve policing,” said Dan Brown, the firm’s Pro Bono Partner.

Guy Halgren, Sheppard Mullin Chair, added, “This recognition is a testament to our firm’s commitment and dedication to give back to the communities in which we live. Our attorneys and staff around the globe are committed to being part of the solution to help communities affected by racial disparity.”

The NLADA honored Sheppard Mullin’s ongoing commitment to intentionally and positively promote racial equity through the following pro bono initiatives:

  • Creating a nationwide training program to promote safe policing. Together with Georgetown Law School’s Innovative Policing Program, the firm launched the Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE) project. ABLE arose from Sheppard Mullin’s work, led by partner Jonathan Aronie, as the federal court appointed monitor over the New Orleans Police Department. Since the ABLE project launched, 300 police officers representing 90 police agencies and 30 states have been trained in ABLE methods, which they will now teach to more than 110,000 police officers who will now provide safer policing to more than 48 million members of the public.
  • Successfully litigating in California state courts for disclosure of records of police misconduct.  Led by special counsel Tenaya Rodewald, a Sheppard Mullin team achieved multiple victories that bring to light critical information regarding police misconduct.
  • Publishing, in conjunction with the First amendment Coalition, a Police Transparency Guide which provides easy-to-follow steps for accessing law enforcement misconduct and use-of-force records; a comprehensive overview of key statutes and developments in case law; and sample letters for requesting police records.

“NLADA is pleased to recognize this year’s winners for their pro bono and other efforts to advance racial equity,” said Jo-Ann Wallace, NLADA president & CEO. “These firms are vital partners in the NLADA community’s endeavor to dismantle racial inequities and injustices. We look forward to our continued collaboration to eliminate systemic racism in our nation. Congratulations on your achievements, and thank you for your commitment to equal justice.”

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About the National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA)

The NLADA is America’s oldest and largest nonprofit association devoted to excellence in the delivery of legal services to those who cannot afford counsel. We provide advocacy, guidance, information, training and technical assistance for members of the equal justice community, especially those working in public defense and civil legal aid. For more than a century, we have connected and supported people across the country committed to justice for all.

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