AFS Pro Bono

Pro Bono

Lawyers have a special obligation to the administration of justice. ArentFox Schiff believes that community service and pro bono public work are integral to the practice of law. Our priority is giving a voice to those who otherwise might not be heard.

Our Pro Bono Work

Providing pro bono services is a pillar of our profession. Gaps in the legal system must be addressed, even if it’s one matter at a time. To that end, ArentFox Schiff is proud to work with a number of leading nonprofit organizations that are advocating for a more equitable, inclusive, and just society.

Over the years, our work has ranged from supporting human rights and safeguarding civil liberties to aiding in fights against housing insecurity and racial injustice. These projects have contributed substantially to the health, welfare, and dignity of people in our community. If you are interested in partnering with us on an initiative, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Jon Bouker and Paula Ketcham
Pro Bono Committee Co-Chairs

AFS Pro Bono Highlights 2022

View Our Report

Our Annual Numbers

26,000 Pro Bono Hours

$15M in Services

550+ Lawyers Dedicated to Pro Bono

40+Legal Aid Groups Supported

Pro Bono Our Partners
Key Partnerships

Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS)

This unique and trailblazing pro bono partnership to advance change, improve lives, and bring justice began in 1979 when Schiff Hardin adopted a CVLS neighborhood legal clinic in Rogers Park, a culturally vibrant, yet economically under-resourced community in Chicago. Our attorneys provide low-income residents access to legal assistance that helps protect their rights in landlord/tenant disputes, access government benefits, and mediate family law issues.


DC Affordable Law Firm

The DCALF – a joint venture among ArentFox Schiff, Georgetown Law Center, and DLA Piper – selects six lawyers each year from Georgetown’s graduating class for a fellowship program that starts with an intensive three-month training by Georgetown professors, law firm practitioners, and legal service organizations in the District of Columbia. Following the training, fellows spend one year as lawyers with DCALF advising on family, housing, and immigration law matters.


Organizations We Support

At ArentFox Schiff, we take pride in offering pro bono services to over 100 renowned nonprofits, bridging legal gaps and fostering an equitable, inclusive society. Here are some of our valued partners:

  • Alliance for Children’s Rights
  • Black Swan Academy
  • Capital Area Immigrant Rights Coalition
  • Catholic Charities
  • Center for Health and Gender Equity
  • Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights
  • Children's Law Center (DC)
  • City Bar Justice Center
  • Council for Court Excellence
  • DC Access to Justice Commission
  • DC Affordable Law Firm
  • DC Appleseed Awards Dinner
  • DC Bar Foundation
  • DC Bar Pro Bono Center
  • DC School of Law Foundation
  • DC Vote
  • Her Justice
  • Inner City Law Center
  • Lawyers Alliance for NY
  • Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Learning Plunge
  • Legal Aid Society DC
  • Legal Counsel for the Elderly
  • Mass Appleseed
  • Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project
  • National Appleseed Foundation
  • National Bar Association
  • National Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
  • National Legal Aid & Defender Association
  • Network for Victim Recovery of DC
  • New England Innocence Project
  • New York Legal Assistance Group
  • Pro Bono Institute
  • Public Counsel
  • Public Interest Law Initiative
  • Read to a Child
  • Street Sense
  • Washington Council of Lawyers
  • Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs
  • Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless
  • Western Center on Law and Poverty
Our Work

ArentFox Schiff attorneys across the firm stepped up this year to support those in need. Here are some of our extraordinary accomplishments, representing the highest achievements in pro bono.

First Step Act

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BOSS Clean Energy

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Ivory Coast Asylum

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Kids in Need of Defense

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Sexual Harassment at Work

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CVLS Divorce Case

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Boston Housing Authority Cases

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Our History

Giving back is both a strong commitment and chosen responsibility of the firm. In the early years, our lawyers presided over the Illinois Constitutional Convention that wrote the 1870 Constitution and signed the Articles of Incorporation for the Chicago Bar Association. In 1939, name partner Albert E. Arent was one of four lawyers who launched the Civil Liberties section in the Criminal Division at the US Department of Justice – what would later become the Civil Rights Division. At the time, it was widely interpreted that the protection of civil liberties and the prevention of violence were primarily the responsibility of state and local governments.

Arent sought to change that. He prosecuted two cases to test whether the federal government had jurisdiction over loosely enforced civil rights laws. Arent was successful in both cases and helped usher in a new era for the federal government in seeking to protect the rights of all Americans.

This legacy of public service endures. Today, we are proud to help immigrants who face persecution of all kinds stay in the United States. Our Task Force Melmastya provides free legal assistance to Afghans trying to escape to the US. We have worked on matters ranging from death penalty cases to class actions on behalf of women farmers to representing youth faced with expulsion from school or criminal prosecution.

Key Contacts