United States Supreme Court

AFSCRE: Our Work

Law firms have a special responsibility to promote the values of justice, fairness, and equality. The Center is dedicated to advancing racial justice by using legal, policy, and advocacy tools to help create a more fair and equitable society. Here are highlights from our recent work and partnerships.

Our Work

NAACP LDF Voting Rights Project

ArentFox Schiff attorneys analyzed 50 state laws regarding voting poll regulations. They researched the nuances of whether voters were allowed to cast a ballot if they had been waiting in line after polls closed, waiting in line to get into the parking lot, not physically standing in line, and how these protections applied to curbside voters or voters unable to reach a polling site due to parking lot congestions. Their findings concluded that individuals in line at the time of a poll closing were permitted to vote in the states.

Washington Lawyers’ Committee

ArentFox Schiff assisted the Washington Lawyers’ Committee with racial disparities research in connection with traffic stops. The project included collecting all existing information, assessing prior research and reports, identifying potential sources for interviews, and working with the Committee to engage other advocates.

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR)

ArentFox Schiff attorneys provide assistance to low-income individuals and families struggling with bail bond debt through the LCCR Bail Clinic; advised low-income entrepreneurs starting or developing small businesses in economically distressed neighborhoods and who hire employees with arrest and conviction records through the Legal Services for Entrepreneurs project; and provide homeless and low-income individuals with information and specialized referrals to local centers and organizations at the GLIDE Memorial Church Unconditional Legal Clinic. ArentFox Schiff has:

  • Staffed four Legal Services for Entrepreneurs virtual clinics to meet with and answer questions from low-income small business owners;
  • Conducted nearly 100 one-hour commercial lease consultations with local businesses;
  • Assisted previously arrested individuals with the negotiation of bail-bond debts through LCCR’s upcoming virtual Bail Clinics; and
  • Prepared and filed a Standard Form 95 administrative claim against ICE and DHS under the Federal Tort Claims Act on behalf of an immigrant family who was separated upon their entry into the United States.

San Francisco AIDS Foundation (SFAF)

ArentFox Schiff’s San Francisco office recently formalized its partnership with the San Francisco AIDS Foundation (SFAF), and will serve as SFAF’s outside pro bono counsel moving forward. Initial projects for SFAF have included revising and updating its existing vendor contract templates, and reviewing, reorganizing, and implementing a tracking system for the organization’s permits and annual application renewals.

  • Future projects will include providing land use and government affairs assistance related to the organization’s planned purchase of a new headquarters location and the purchase of an existing location that SFAF currently rents in the San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood.
  • SFAF promotes health, wellness, and social justice for communities most impacted by HIV, through sexual health and substance use services, advocacy, and community partnerships.

Racial & Ethnic Disparities in Maternal Health Care

Black women are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. Most of these deaths are preventable.

ArentFox Schiff attorneys Diane Roldán and Anne-Carmene Almonord hosted a discussion on racial disparities in maternal health care and how to end them. 

The panel of experts includes:

Dr. Joy Cooper is a practicing ob-gyn based in Oakland, California, and a co-founder of Culture Care, which connects patients with culturally sensitive physicians via telemedicine.

Dr. Tiffany Wiggins is a Medical Officer with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and a former White House Fellow whose portfolio focuses on innovative mechanisms to advance maternal and child health. She is a board-certified ob-gyn and preventive medicine physician.

CBC Project

ArentFox Schiff attorneys Diane Roldan and Shelby Cummings conducted legal research for CBC on HHS’s decision to change COVID-19 reporting and essentially bypassing the CDC. Their research found:

  • HHS has the legal authority to respond to national health emergencies and coordinate epidemiological research technology. Because the CDC is a division of HHS, HHS may direct how COVID-19 reporting data is received within the overall agency.
  • Additional information regarding the decision could be obtained by FOIA requests, but response time can be lengthy and some exceptions may allow HHS to refuse to produce important documents. ArentFox Schiff has included several sample FOIA questions in the memorandum. If CBCF decides to proceed with FOIA requests, ArentFox Schiff will develop a comprehensive set of FOIA requests.

NAACP LDP Pre-Elections News Monitoring

ArentFox Schiff attorneys and staff conducted nonpartisan remote pre-election news monitoring in Alabama and Mississippi. Volunteers were divided into three groups to conduct monitoring through social media, traditional sources, and official sources. They spotted issues, including voter suppression and misinformation, and reported their findings to LDF through a survey. Sarah Benator and Justin Goldberg then analyzed the team’s findings and created weekly summary reports, flagging crucial findings, for LDF.

Timothy Chapple and Gabby Villafan also conducted outreach to polling precincts in Alabama and Mississippi to determine correct polling site locations. They compiled lists for each state and provided their data to LDF.

Key Contacts