Latham & Watkins has been named to The National Law Journal’s 2018 “Pro Bono Hot List,” which celebrates “law firms that do well by doing good.” Latham was recognized for its role in working to reform the criminal justice system in New York City, specifically the city’s main jail complex at Rikers Island.
In 2016, Judge Jonathan Lippman, of counsel in the firm’s New York office, was asked to chair the newly formed Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice & Incarceration Reform. New York partner Kevin McDonough was tasked with heading a team to advise and offer pro bono counsel to the commission. More than 30 Latham lawyers and staff donated approximately 3,000 hours to the commission, including helping draft a report that ultimately recommended closing the facilities on Rikers Island.
It is now the public policy of the City and State of New York to close Rikers. Latham continues to serve as pro bono counsel to the commission as it works to implement its multipronged plan. In honoring the firm’s work, The National Law Journal noted Latham’s “Herculean efforts” to “create a roadmap to improve [New York’s] ailing criminal justice system.”
Last year the firm was recognized by The National Law Journal for its work on behalf of deported and banished veterans.