We seek out high-impact pro bono cases that effect change.
And we see these cases through, taking them to trial, even to the U.S. Supreme Court. For example, Munger, Tolles & Olson attorneys:
- Won a landmark trial victory asserting that the State of New Mexico’s inadequate education system deprives children of the educational opportunities necessary to be ready for college, career and civic life.
- Obtained a class-wide preliminary injunction barring the City of Los Angeles from enforcing “gang injunctions.”
- Won an appellate victory on behalf of all California tenants granting them the right to trial by jury in the defense to an eviction action.
- Achieved a victory before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of a death row inmate who argued that he had been sentenced without adequate expert mental health assistance.
- Partnered with the ACLU to successfully exonerate a man who spent 23 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.
- Won several cases that allowed immigrants fleeing from violence in their native countries to remain in the United States.
- Achieved a victory in the Ninth Circuit on behalf of a client who fled her home country of El Salvador to escape gang members who threatened her life and was initially denied asylum by the Immigration Court.
- Achieved significant victories challenging law enforcement’s response to COVID-19 in jails across the country, including a temporary restraining order in Tulare County, California, and a preliminary injunction in Washington, D.C., both requiring social distancing, masking and other improved conditions; and a ground-breaking order in Orange County, California, requiring the sheriff to reduce the jail’s population to 50% of the pre-pandemic population.
- Represented the United States House of Representatives before the U.S. Supreme Court in California v. Texas, an extremely consequential case in which Texas and other states are seeking to invalidate the Affordable Care Act on constitutional grounds. After intervening in the Court of Appeals to defend the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, the House of Representatives succeeded in convincing the Supreme Court to grant certiorari and hear the case, which was argued by Donald Verrilli in November 2020. As Solicitor General in the Obama administration, Mr. Verrilli successfully defended the Affordable Care Act before the Supreme Court in March 2012.
All attorneys enjoy tremendous latitude in the kinds of pro bono cases they take on and are encouraged to find matters that are meaningful to them. The firm treats pro bono hours the same as billable time, and there is no cap on hours that an attorney may devote to pro bono work.
Key pro bono headlines include:
Our lawyers are also actively involved with nonprofit boards and civic work, including the RAND Civil Justice Institute, Mayo Clinic, the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation (JNE) of the California Bar, California Fair Political Practices Commission, the California Women’s Law Center and anti-poverty non-profit LIFT-LA. We encourage and support all attorneys to find ways to become involved in the community.