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Pro Bono

Pro Bono

AFC provides free individual case representation where legal action is necessary. However, AFC legal staff only has the capacity to provide free representation to a limited number of families. Our Pro Bono Partners Program was created to allow AFC attorneys to partner with law firms throughout New York City, so that more children can get the legal help they need – and hence the education they deserve. The ultimate goal of these partnerships is not only to serve our current families, but to develop a growing cadre of attorneys trained in education law and procedure, and to increase the number of trained, effective advocates available to protect the right to learn for New York City’s most vulnerable children. Learn more about our pro bono model.

Advocates for Children selects private firm partnerships based on attorney interest and availability, staff capacity, and potential for a long-term relationship.  AFC’s policy is to work with firms that demonstrate a commitment to the issues as well as to building internal capacity. At present, AFC is partnered with over twenty law firms representing students and families to secure the educational support to which they are entitled by law, but for some reason have been denied. 

Our Flagship Firms

AFC is proud of our Pro Bono Flagship Firm Program; Flagship firms provide a dedicated partner and coordinator and take on additional cases. As these firms develop expertise and expand their pro bono capacity, AFC is able to represent more families.  

Arnold & Porter
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Morrison & Foerster LLP
O’Melveny & Myers LLP
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP 
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Our Pro Bono Partners

Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Cozen O'Connor LLP
Dechert LLP
DLA Piper LLP (US)
Foley & Lardner LLP
Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy LLP
Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP
Milbank LLP
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
Proskauer Rose LLP
Reed Smith LLP
Ropes & Gray LLP
Sedgwick LLP
Sidley Austin LLP
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Wilkinson Stekloff LLP
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

caroline with a young client

"A child with an education has the capacity to fulfill his or her dreams. To help a child have that opportunity makes this among the most meaningful legal work I have ever done."
Caroline Heller, pro bono volunteer for AFC and Shareholder at Greenberg Traurig, LLP

If you or your firm have questions about pro bono opportunities, please contact Allison Guttu at aguttu@advocatesforchildren.org or 212-822-9541. Please be aware there is currently a waiting list for pro bono opportunities.