On August 6, 2012, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP will be honored with the prestigious American Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Award, presented each year to law firms and other institutions in the legal profession “that have enhanced the human dignity of others by improving or delivering volunteer legal services to the poor.”
In recognizing Akin Gump, the ABA focused on the firm’s groundbreaking work with Walmart’s legal department to develop the first corporate counsel medical-legal partnership in the United States. Additionally, it highlighted the firm’s immigration work, particularly concerning Violence Against Women Act petitions and asylum; its work with the KIPP charter schools on a wide range of complex issues; and its “extraordinary dedication” to pro bono service, demonstrated by the firm’s 210 percent increase in pro bono hours per attorney between 2006 and 2008 and its maintenance of more than 80 hours per U.S. attorney in each of the last four years.
This honor follows closely on recent recognition of Akin Gump’s pro bono work by Immigration Equality – a national organization fighting for equality under U.S. immigration law for LGBT and HIV-positive individuals - and UNICEF. The former recognized Akin Gump’s efforts and success in obtaining asylum for individuals fleeing persecution due to their sexual orientation or HIV/AIDS status. The latter honored Akin Gump client Appleseed’s 2011 report Children at the Border: The Screening, Protection and Repatriation of Unaccompanied Mexican Minors, on which Akin Gump attorneys were lead participants.