PRO BONO AND COMMUNITY OUTREACH SERVICES
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati believes in enhancing the communities in which we live and work by providing legal services, financial support, and volunteer services to worthy agencies and individuals in need. Annually, WSGR provides more than 45,000 hours of pro bono legal work. Over the years, our attorneys have provided pro bono assistance to approximately 400 nonprofit agencies in fields such as healthcare, education, the arts, and the environment, as well as to numerous individuals.
"Providing first-rate legal services to people and organizations with limited means is the cornerstone of our pro bono program," says Chairman Larry Sonsini. "We participate in the Pro Bono Institute's law firm challenge, which encourages firms to devote three percent of their total billable hours to pro bono activities, and we strongly encourage all our attorneys to contribute to this effort."
Examples of the firm's pro bono legal services include:
- securing a landmark settlement—as part of a coalition of civil rights organizations—in favor of Latino and African American students, in a lawsuit challenging changes to the Kern High School District's discipline policies
- defending an appeal of a groundbreaking $4 million verdict against a former operative of a Chilean dictatorship
- helping the family of murdered Colombian anti-cocaine activist Julio Eustacio Henríquez Santamaria earn victim status and rights under the Crime Victims' Rights Act (CVRA)
- securing a historic class action settlement ending the routine shackling of detainees during civil hearings in San Francisco Immigration Court
- securing a settlement with a Central Valley school district that will ensure young English language learners have an equal chance to succeed
- obtaining a favorable settlement to end Medicare's "improvement standard"
- defending a former federal prosecutor against unfair claims of copyright infringement brought by a major non-practicing entity
- representing victims of persecution in a diverse array of discrimination, domestic violence, and asylum cases.
For other examples of our pro bono services, please see Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati's 2018 Pro Bono and Community Services Annual Report.
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati's community outreach program is another way our employees make a significant contribution to society. The firm organizes numerous events throughout the year, helping to identify and support a variety of interesting and meaningful volunteer opportunities. These include participating in food drives, walk-a-thons for medical research, habitat-restoration projects, and home and community facility renovation projects for low-income families and nonprofit organizations. Besides donating their time and skills, our employees regularly contribute to firm-sponsored fundraising drives, such as those supporting the victims of natural disasters—for instance, the devastating earthquake in Japan and ensuing tsunami—with the firm supplying matching funds.
The firm has implemented a wide variety of initiatives designed to reduce its impact on the environment. These include the installation of lighting retrofits and electric-vehicle charging stations, the use of green cleaning and moving products, the purchase of renewable energy from local municipalities, and the adoption of a voluntary composting program in several of the firm's offices. Additionally, the Green Team, a volunteer group of employees across all offices who share concerns about the firm's impact on the environment, plays an active role in encouraging environmentally friendly practices among employees. The firm is an active participant in the American Bar Association - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Law Office Climate Challenge and its associated programs, including the WasteWise Program, the Green Power Partnership, and the Energy Star Program.
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati's Palo Alto headquarters recently were awarded LEED Gold certification, reflecting the fact that our buildings are sustainably operated and managed using strategies aimed at improving performance in key areas of human and environmental health. In recognition of our sustainability achievements, the firm also has been certified as a "Green Business" in connection with the Santa Clara County Green Business Program.