At McKool Smith, we believe that serving the public good is just as important as racking up big wins in the courtroom.
Our active pro bono practice gives hope to individuals who may be denied justice because they cannot pay for legal representation, focusing on both widespread change in the legal system as well as long-lasting change in the lives of individuals. Pro bono cases also give our newly minted lawyers valuable courtroom experience, professional training, and the opportunity to pursue work they deem personally meaningful.
McKool Smith’s track record is a testament to our passion for helping those in need, from the communities on our doorstep to individuals all over the world. We were named “Best Pro Bono Law Firm” during the 2012 American Gateways' “Access to Justice Awards.” Leah Buratti, an Principal in our Austin office, took home an award for “Best Pro Bono Attorney” after handling a difficult withholding of removal case involving a Honduran victim of domestic violence.
Our recent pro bono contributions also include the representation of two detainees at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Station in Cuba in connection with their effort to challenge the legality of their detention by petitions for writs of habeas corpus. These proceedings have included numerous complex evidentiary hearings in federal court in the District of Columbia and subsequent appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals. The status of Guantanamo Bay's prison facilities remains a source of controversy due to allegations of torture and violations of the Geneva Convention.
We receive pro bono referrals from numerous sources, including nonprofit organizations, community programs, and local criminal defense lawyers.