McKool Smith believes that serving our communities is as important as racking up big trial wins in the courtroom.

Our pro bono practice advocates for organizations and people who otherwise may be denied justice because they cannot pay for legal representation; we focus on widespread change in the legal system as well as long-lasting change in the lives of individuals.

We receive pro bono referrals from numerous sources including nonprofit organizations, community programs, and local criminal defense lawyers. Our attorneys are encouraged to pursue these cases because it is our passion to help those in need, whether they are resident in our hometowns or other nations. Pro bono cases also give our more junior lawyers valuable courtroom experience, professional training, and the opportunity to pursue work they deem personally meaningful.

We take on these matters with the same energy, enthusiasm, and dedication as any others.

McKool Smith was awarded “Best Pro Bono Law Firm” by American Gateways following the firm’s handling of a difficult withholding of removal case involving a Honduran victim of domestic violence. The firm’s pro bono efforts include representing two Guantanamo Bay detainees in challenging the legality of their detention by petitions for writs of habeas corpus. McKool Smith also represented a Yemeni man who sued the U.S. government following the deaths of his nephew and brother-in-law who were killed in a U.S. drone strike. In 2018, the firm successfully represented the Planning and Conservation League in filing an original writ petition in California Supreme Court seeking to remove California Proposition 9, the “Three Californias” initiative, from the November 2018 ballot.  The Court unanimously ordered the removal of the referendum just nine days after the filing.

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