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Most innovative North American law firms 2014: Social responsibility projects

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Law firm
StandoutReed Smith26998While carrying out legal aid work in Haiti, the firm implemented the “humanitarian parole mechanism”, offering victims of abuse permanent asylum in the US. Commended: Jayne Fleming.
StandoutPillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman24888A programme in collaboration with American Veterans that has provided furniture or home equipment to 1,500 former military personnel.
StandoutSkadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom24897The firm offers fellows of the Skadden Foundation $10,000 grants to incubate ideas for delivering legal services to those in need. So far, 57 projects have been funded.
StandoutLinklaters23788Partnered with B Lab, a not-for-profit social entrepreneurs organisation, to advance the concept of benefit companies worldwide.
Highly CommendedFenwick & West and DLA Piper22787Collaborated with Cisco to create virtual pro bono clinics accessed online in public libraries for low-income groups.
Highly CommendedPerkins Coie22778Help for underprivileged children to apply their rights under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programme for illegal immigrants who entered the US as children.
Highly CommendedSeyfarth Shaw22886A new model developed to help legal aid organisations increase the effectiveness of pro bono work.
Highly CommendedStroock & Stroock & Lavan22787Drafting the structure and insurance policies for African Risk Capacity, an agency set up to bring more certainty to the way international assistance is provided to African countries faced with extreme weather, using UN data to predict rainfall.
Highly CommendedWomble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice22787Creation of a firm-wide initiative to promote the impact economy, which marries investors' profit with social good. Commended: Pam Rothenberg.
CommendedDechert21777Created a debt repayment model for a fair-trade cacao sourcing and production company in Belize, tying repayments to receipt of revenue rather than to a fixed schedule.
CommendedSkadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom21885A new model designed to maximise the delivery of pro bono services to local communities through formal and sustained partnerships with corporate in-house attorneys and non-profit public service providers. Commended: Fred Goldberg.
CommendedWhite & Case21777Helping married lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) couples navigate the tax regime in the wake of the legalisation of same-sex marriages.
CommendedChadbourne & Parke20677Continuing work with young immigrants has been boosted by a new partnership with the Legal Aid Society.
CommendedFenwick & West20767Helped improve access to legal systems in emerging economies by training the providers. Commended: Victor Schachter.
CommendedO'Melveny & Myers20776A full-time pro bono programme designed to increase access to legal services for underprivileged businesses and individuals.
CommendedOrrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe20587The firm’s “impact finance” practice group allows lawyers to use their expertise on a variety of social finance structures designed to generate positive change.
CommendedShearman & Sterling20677Using legal technologies and US media to impact access to justice in Africa.
CommendedSidley Austin20677A creative way to do pro bono work in sub-Saharan Africa that attempts to educate legal service providers and improve access to justice.
CommendedWhite & Case20587Created an investment fund that uses private-sector money for philanthropic purposes.
CommendedWilmerHale20677An integrated, strategic approach has added to the impact of the firm’s charitable endeavours and support for community projects.
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