Fenwick Receives the 2022 ABA National Public Service Award

By: Richard L. Dickson

Fenwick has received the 2022 National Public Service Award from the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section, which recognizes significant pro bono legal contributions of law firms, corporate law departments and individual business lawyers that demonstrate a commitment to providing legal services to individuals and entities that could not otherwise afford them.

The Business Law Section’s Pro Bono Committee recognized the wide-ranging scope of Fenwick’s pro bono work. Fenwick was honored, in part, for the firm’s innovative efforts to help Afghans seek refuge outside of their home country in the wake of the U.S. military’s exit from Afghanistan last year. A Fenwick team came together to develop a technology system to help track the influx of Afghan clients in need of assistance with their humanitarian parole applications. The software originally developed by the Fenwick Labs and Knowledge & Innovation teams to handle mass client arbitration matters was adapted to address the project’s needs and its hundreds of pro bono clients.

Fenwick was also recognized for its longstanding pro bono support for small businesses and nonprofits. In 2021, Fenwick partnered with more than 70 organizations, including Start Small Think Big, Immigrant Legal Defense and The Access Project, Inc., to provide legal services in support of causes such as addressing food insecurity, protecting the environment, voting and other civil rights, ensuring equal access to justice, promoting gender equality and protecting reproductive rights.

“The past few years have been incredibly challenging for so many, both in the U.S. and abroad, and we are fortunate to have been able to assist not only hundreds of individuals, but also numerous small businesses and nonprofits,” said Fenwick chair Richard Dickson, who accepted the award on the firm’s behalf with video recorded remarks played at the organization's event on March 31, 2022. “As Fenwick celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, we are particularly honored to receive this award, and reaffirm our deep commitment to fostering a culture of giving.”

Fenwick’s pro bono program is dedicated to ensuring that disadvantaged people and communities have representation and access to justice. Fenwick also strives to be a catalyst for innovation and collaboration in establishing pro bono project partnerships with companies in the technology space. Every year, our lawyers donate more than three percent of their total billable hours to pro bono legal services to a broad range of clients and causes. In late 2021, the firm launched the Fenwick Community Fund, with initial individual and firm contributions of $13 million, to further support the firm’s pro bono partnerships and culture of giving.

More information on the firm’s pro bono efforts honored by the American Bar Association can be found here.

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