Steven Schulman to Lead Akin Gump’s Pro Bono Practice

(Washington, D.C.) – Steven H. Schulman has been named as Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP’s first full-time pro bono partner, the firm announced today. Mr. Schulman will lead Akin Gump’s pro bono practice.

Mr. Schulman joins Akin Gump from Latham & Watkins, where as that firm’s first pro bono counsel he led what became the largest law firm pro bono practice in the world during his tenure (2001-2004). In addition to maintaining a substantive practice in many areas of public interest law – including human rights, landlord-tenant and predatory lending matters – he developed and implemented that firm’s signature Child Refugee Project, assisting unaccompanied alien children in the United States through individual representation, legislative counseling and systemic reform. Under Mr. Schulman’s leadership, Latham’s pro bono practice achieved significant national recognition.

Mr. Schulman is a member of the Washington Council of Human Rights First and the legal advisory board of the Capital Area Immigrant Rights Coalition. He served as co-chair of the ABA Section of Litigation Pro Bono and Public Interest Litigation Committee (2002-2005) and on the ABA Commission on Immigration (2004-2005). A cum laude graduate of the Northwestern University School of Law, he is an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law Center.

Akin Gump has a long history of pro bono representation, and is currently engaged in significant pro bono matters in each of its 10 U.S. offices, from New York to California. Most recently, the firm filed an amicus brief on behalf of international humanitarian and journalist organizations in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, the 2005 Supreme Court case establishing a right of due process review for enemy combatants detained in the war on terror, and filed an amicus brief on behalf of the New York City Bar Association in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the 2006 Supreme Court case striking down the military tribunals that had been established to try and punish enemy combatants on grounds that the tribunals violate U.S. domestic law and the Geneva Conventions. The firm has also represented indigent defendants in death penalty cases, aided victims of human trafficking, handled political asylum cases and assisted the families of deployed troops in addressing legal issues. Akin Gump has earned recognition from numerous nonprofit organizations for its work in this arena, including—

  • 2006 Frank W. Newton Award (State Bar of Texas) for its assistance in providing legal advice to victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
  • 2006 Exemplar Award (National Legal Aid and Defender Association) for litigation partner Mark MacDougall’s pro bono trial representation of indigent defendants facing the death penalty
  • 2006 Rubicon Honors Award (Rubicon Programs of San Francisco) for its commitment to Rubicon and the community it serves
  • 2005 Law Firm of the Year Award (Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program) for providing extraordinary pro bono services
  • 2005 Community Service Award (National Association of Counsel for Children) for its work on a juvenile death penalty case and commitment to the Children’s Law Center of Los Angeles.

In total, Akin Gump lawyers dedicated more than 42,000 hours to pro bono service in 2005. (For more information about Akin Gump’s pro bono practice, please click here.)

R. Bruce McLean, Akin Gump’s chairman, stated, “Our commitment to pro bono representation is unequivocal. Providing high-quality legal services to those who are unable to pay is critically important to our community, the firm and the legal profession. Steven is a well-known champion of pro bono representation with a proven track record in managing a successful firmwide program. We are very pleased to have him focusing on pro bono on a full-time basis.”

Mr. Schulman added, “The opportunity to join Akin Gump’s partnership to lead its pro bono practice on a full-time basis is a dream come true for me. The firm has a long and distinguished history of public service, and it is an honor to join my new colleagues at Akin Gump to grow and further strengthen the firm’s active and impressive pro bono practice.”

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, a leading international law firm, numbers more than 900 lawyers with offices in Austin, Brussels, Dallas, Dubai, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, New York, Philadelphia, San Antonio, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Taipei and Washington. The firm has a diversified practice and represents regional, national and international clients in a wide range of areas, including antitrust; appellate; banking and finance; capital markets; communications and information technology; corporate and securities; corporate governance; employee benefits; energy; entertainment and media; environmental; estate planning, wealth transfer and probate; financial restructuring; global security; government contracts; health; insurance; intellectual property; international trade; investment funds; labor and employment; land use; litigation; mergers and acquisitions; private equity; privatization; project development and finance; public law and policy; real estate development and finance; Russia/CIS; tax; and technology. 

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