Sidley has been honored with the 2021 “Law Firm Pro Bono Award” at Public Counsel's annual William O. Douglas Awards Dinner. In describing Sidley’s collaboration with the organization, director of Public Counsel Opportunity Under Law, Mark Rosenbaum, lauded the firm’s “passion, commitment, and intelligence.” Each year, Public Counsel presents the award to a law firm that demonstrates an exemplary commitment to pro bono, as well as leadership and advocacy on behalf of indigent, vulnerable, and victimized members of society. Public Counsel selected Sidley to receive this award based on the firm's “extraordinary history of pro bono work and its continued excellence in serving others.” Century City partner Dan Clivner accepted the award on behalf of the firm at a dinner at the Beverly Hilton Hotel attended by 800 people.
Public Counsel and Sidley’s longstanding partnership has been groundbreaking, resulting in incredible outcomes for the organization's clients. The firm’s work on the Gary B. v. Whitmer case was instrumental in attaining last year’s historic ruling that a basic minimum education, including literacy, is a Constitutional right. Similarly, the firm’s work in a class action family separation case, Ms. JP v Barr, resulted in a groundbreaking order holding the federal government responsible for the trauma inflicted by their family separation policy and held that the government must provide mental health services to thousands of impacted immigrant families. Sidley is also currently partnering with Public Counsel on yet another historic lawsuit, IntegrateNYC v State of New York, challenging the New York City school system and seeking a constitutional right to an anti-racist education. In 2020, Sidley lawyers provided more than 160,000 hours of pro bono services.
Sidley’s 155-year-long commitment to pro bono has impacted countless lives across the globe. From supporting veterans to immigrants’ rights, advocating on behalf of prisoners on death row to assisting nonprofits, Sidley’s pro bono efforts are as varied as the communities the firm serves.