White and Williams has a long, proud history of leadership in the provision of pro bono services and community-related services. Our lawyers are honored to lend a helping hand by dedicating time and resources to charitable and public interest causes. We annually provide thousands of hours of free legal services to individuals and non-profit organizations, for a variety of causes, including access to public benefits, asylum, child advocacy, civil rights, homelessness, international human rights, landlord-tenant matters, protecting the rights of senior citizens, special education and veterans' affairs. We believe that everyone should have equal access to legal representation, and we approach our pro bono efforts with the same commitment, care and energy we do for the firm’s paying clients.
Click here for a list of Pro Bono clients.
In addition to providing pro bono legal services, lawyers at White and Williams donate countless hours to community service organizations and projects. Click here for our Community page.
COMMITMENT TO PRO BONO
White and Williams supports the Philadelphia Bar Association's One Day Pledge, taking that commitment one step further. The One Day Pledge is built on the idea that one day – 24 hours – a year can make a difference in the lives of others in our communities. White and Williams pledges that every lawyer, not just those based in Philadelphia, will devote 24 hours annually to pro bono and community service efforts.
OUR Pro Bono Experience - Lindsay MaIONe, Zaara Bajwa Nazir and Jenifer Scarcella
In April 2018, we successfully obtained a grant of asylum under 8 U.S.C. 1158 for a Cameroonian national. The individual seeking asylum had been persecuted on account of his political beliefs, membership in the Southern Cameroons National Council, and membership in the Anglophone social group. Once he entered the US, he was detained for over six months in the Essex County Correctional Facility. After submission of extensive documentary support, we presented the case at a final hearing before the Immigration Court. The Immigration Court granted asylum, finding that the individual suffered past persecution and had a reasonable fear of future persecution. The case was taken on in connection with the firm's partnership with the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
RECOGNITION AND INVOLVEMENT
White and Williams Hosts Mock Argument Exercise
The Newark office hosted a mock oral argument for four high school students from the New Jersey Law & Education Empowerment Program. NJ LEEP focuses on combining law-related education programming with college access programming. The high school students that visited White and Williams are currently interning with the legal department of Horizon Healthcare Services, Inc.
Robert Wright, Rafael Vergara, Zaara Bajwa Nazir and Sean Rose organized and coached the students through a mock oral argument exercise. The mock oral argument involved a cell phone search case where a fictional defendant appealed a trial court’s order that allowed admission of evidence obtained from a search of his cell phone subsequent to a lawful arrest. The students were split into two groups, petitioner and respondent. The students were coached by Rafael, Zaara, Sean and members of Horizon’s legal department to develop their arguments, and anticipate their adversary’s arguments and the judge’s questions. The students then presented their arguments and were subjected to questioning from “Judge” Wright. The students demonstrated poise, tenacity and quick-thinking in their presentations and in their responses to judicial questioning. The students all made compelling presentations, were able to identify and respond to their adversary’s strongest arguments, and most importantly, developed their communication and presentation skills.
White and Williams Recognized for Pro Bono Efforts
White and Williams was honored at the Philadelphia Business Journal's inaugural Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection Awards Dinner in 2016 and its Faces of Philanthropy Awards Dinner in 2017. The events recognize partnerships between non-profit and for-profit organizations that help the city of Philadelphia. White and Williams was specifically recognized for its significant number of pro bono hours donated throughout 2014 and 2015, respectively, which ranked highly among local law firms.
Pro Bono Profile - Wes Payne
Wes is Chair of the firm's Diversity Committee and Co-Chair of the Pro Bono Committee. He also serves on several pro bono and civil boards and as a Judge Pro Tem for the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. He is active in several legal organizations, holding leadership positions with many of them. Read more.
Click here for additional Pro Bono Profiles.