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Doing Well by Doing Good

Schulte is widely recognized and often awarded for its pro bono representations. The firm has a history as a leader in pro bono with myriad initiatives to its credit. In addition to providing the more traditional services for individual indigent clients, and law reform and class action lawsuits on their behalf, we serve as corporate general counsel to international, national and local organizations on their non-mission work, using transactional lawyering skills and policy analysis. Schulte was also the first firm to place summer associates in week-long internships with public interest organizations and the firm's pro bono clients.

Schulte regularly advises nearly 50 nonprofits with diverse missions. Our pro bono clients include Sanctuary for Families, which defends battered women; Hedge Funds Care, which raises money to support abused children; and Partners In Health, which provides health care in underdeveloped countries such as Haiti, Peru and Rwanda.

We also give a voice to people — and causes — that would otherwise go underserved. In 2015, for example, we served as co-counsel with the New York Civil Liberties Union in the historic settlement of Hurrell-Harring v. New York, which addressed the adequacy of standards, oversight, and resources in the indigent defense system. We also recently collaborated with the Bazelon Center, the National Disability Rights Network and the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network to release a newly updated voting rights guide called “Vote. It’s Your Right: A Guide to the Voting Rights of People with Mental Disabilities.” The guide serves as a resource to help preserve the rights of people with mental disabilities.

We prevailed in a lawsuit against FEMA, keeping more than 150,000 families in hotel shelters after Hurricane Katrina destroyed their homes. The Louisiana Bar Association awarded Schulte its Pro Bono Publico Award in appreciation of our team’s tireless efforts there.

In 2017, on behalf of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding (“Tanenbaum”), a pro bono team from Schulte filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court of the United States in support of a same-sex couple who was refused service by a bakery and its owner in connection with their request for a wedding cake.

In January 2018, the Second Circuit issued its opinion reversing the conviction of Schulte pro bono client Joseph Tigano, III in the case of United States v. Tigano. Tigano was arrested on federal charges of growing marijuana in 2008 but he did not have a trial until 2015. During that entire time, he remained in pretrial incarceration. The Second Circuit agreed with the argument by Schulte litigators that this extraordinary seven-year delay violated Tigano's constitutional right to a speedy trial. This is the first time the Court has reversed a conviction based on a violation of the defendant's Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial in nearly 40 years. As a result of the Schulte team's efforts, Tigano was released from prison and reunited with his family, and the indictment against him was dismissed with prejudice.

Schulte and its individual attorneys are consistently acknowledged for their pro bono work:

Through our pro bono work, we work hard to advance social justice, and to provide high-quality legal aid to those who need it most.

Read more about Schulte's pro bono program.