Laura K. Tuell
For over 100 years Jones Day has demonstrated a strong commitment to pro bono and public service. Many of the Firm's most notable leaders, including Frank E. Joseph, Dean Erwin Griswold, Richard W. Pogue, Allen Holmes, Jack Reavis, H. Chapman Rose, Senator Charles Mathias, Herbert Hansell, and Lord Geoffrey Howe, dedicated substantial portions of their careers to pro bono and public service. To continue this tradition and foster an even greater commitment to pro bono and public service, I was named the head of of Pro Bono in January 2008. Since that time, I have become familiar with the pro bono work undertaken by all of our offices worldwide and have been exploring opportunities for further growth in all of the communities in which we practice. Our goal is simple – to be active and effective in pro bono and public service activities, a responsibility that we believe comes with our professional success.
To meet this goal, we strongly encourage all of our professionals to participate in pro bono and public service activities. Participation in pro bono work allows the Firm to assist individuals and organizations with unmet legal needs and to help seek solutions to societal problems. In pursuing these public service responsibilities, Jones Day professionals gain valuable experience, which we believe is integral to their personal and professional development.
We are proud to allow our professionals the freedom to explore a variety of pro bono opportunities. The Firm does not place political or philosophical restrictions on the types of organizations we represent or the causes we champion. Jones Day has represented organizations supporting the right to die, assisted immigrants in obtaining asylum, fought for the rights of college students to vote, counseled churches and other religious organizations, and filed briefs on behalf of organizations to advance a remarkably broad range of views. The freedom to cultivate individual areas of interest inspires our professionals to become active members of the community and to develop lasting relationships with public service organizations and nonprofit corporations.
Our open approach to pro bono work results in an extraordinarily diverse and wide-ranging pro bono practice. One of the primary goals of the pro bono program is to advance the rule of law around the world. For example, Jones Day has become a member of the Public Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan. The firm has also joined forces with Lawyers Without Borders working on projects to advance the rule of law, most recently in Kenya. We look forward to additional opportunities to help make a difference in this area.
The Firm also represents pro bono clients at all levels of the federal judiciary, including the U.S. Supreme Court and the courts of appeal. We also practice before administrative agencies in litigation-like settings, such as representing individuals seeking political asylum before the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Moreover, we provide a variety of less complex, but no less important, pro bono legal services directly to underprivileged members of the communities in which we practice. For example, we staff several legal clinics at the community level, offering free legal advice to the poor on issues such as landlord/tenant law, public benefits, immigration, and consumer fraud. The Firm’s transactional lawyers also play an important role in Jones Day's pro bono practice. We regularly provide services to nonprofit corporations, such as incorporating entities, obtaining Section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, and advising them in mergers or dissolutions.
A number of Jones Day lawyers also act as primary outside general counsel to nonprofit organizations. Through those representations, we encounter a broad range of different issues that confront these organizations, including real estate purchases, employment disputes, contract negotiations, and fraud.