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American Bar Association Awards Sheppard Mullin 2021 Pro Bono Publico Award


The American Bar Association (ABA) today announced that Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP will receive the ABA's 2021 Pro Bono Publico Award.  The highest honor given by the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, the annual award honors the outstanding pro bono commitments of five individual lawyers or legal institutions. Sheppard Mullin, the only law firm being honored this year, will receive the award during the ABA's Annual Meeting, August 4-10, 2021.

The firm is being honored for its pro bono work responding to the racial justice movement, the COVID-19 pandemic, fighting for the rights of people with disabilities, and internally reinforcing its commitment to pro bono.

"What a humbling honor for Sheppard Mullin to receive this tremendous recognition from the ABA,” said Dan Brown, Sheppard Mullin’s Pro Bono Partner and a past recipient of the Pro Publico Award. “We are so privileged to work at a law firm that supports and encourages our attorneys to take on matters free of charge when there is an opportunity to help our communities on an individual or systemic basis. The award reflects Sheppard Mullin’s commitment to justice, equality, and doing the right thing.”

Guy Halgren, Sheppard Mullin chairman, commented, “As our firm has grown over the years, so has our focus on and commitment to expanding and formalizing our firm’s pro bono efforts.  We have purposefully increased our commitment to pro bono so that our attorneys can better assist individuals and organizations in need.  It is extremely gratifying to see the tremendous work that so many of our attorneys undertake being recognized by the ABA.”

Sheppard Mullin’s pro bono work being recognized by the ABA included: (i) creating the nation’s first Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE) program, a nationwide initiative to building a culture of peer intervention among police officers; (ii) establishing Effective Law Enforcement For All (ELE4A) to help reimagine law enforcement around principles of leadership, education, accountability and practices; (iii) leading successful litigations to obtain disclosure of records of police misconduct; (iv) publishing The Police Transparency Guide with the First Amendment Coalition; (v) managing all legal aspects to execute a plan to manufacture and distribute 30,000 face shields to frontline heroes in Los Angeles; (vi) providing legal assistance to small businesses and tenants affected by the pandemic; (vii) providing business advice that “saved” the Los Angeles Opera; (viii) successfully litigating for voting rights for people with disabilities in Virginia and West Virginia; and (ix) obtaining a significant appellate court decision in a novel case seeking to make New York City’s subways accessible for people with disabilities.

About the ABA Pro Bono Committee

The ABA’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service works to ensure access to justice through the expansion and enhancement of the delivery of legal and other law-related services to the underserved through volunteer efforts of legal professionals nationwide.  The Committee fosters the development of pro bono programs and activities by law firms, bar associations, corporate legal departments, law schools, government attorney offices and others; analyzes the scope and function of pro bono programs; and proposes and reviews policy that affects lawyers' ability to provide pro bono legal services.

About the ABA

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.

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