But how do you find a pro bono lawyer when you need one?

That’s my big question having just read this terrific piece of news from the New York Law Journal:

Firm’s 8 Years of Pro Bono Work Pay Off for Man Convicted of Murder

Mark Hamblett, New York Law Journal


The murder, rape and robbery conviction of a man who spent decades in prison was vacated Wednesday, bringing to a close an eight-year odyssey for attorneys at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton who took the case pro bono and saw it through two rounds of DNA testing and new law on reviewing convictions made by the New York Court of Appeals.

I posted something about this–major white shoe law firms with pro bono units–while noting the “keep this on the down low” I got from a partner in one of these firms.

That firm was Cleary Gottlieb.

Is it still a big secret that big law firms do have pro bono units–and sometimes do great work (although there’s the notable, near deadly exception of Sullivan & Cromwell)? Or is it left to the law firm itself to select pro bono cases? Secretly? How do these clients find a firm? Is there a published list made available in prisons, for instance?

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