Pro Bono

Read our pro bono bulletin, Pro Bono Matters: Summer 2018 >

Pro bono work is a core responsibility of Davis Polk. We are committed to serving the public good and providing legal services to those who cannot otherwise obtain legal representation. Our lawyers work on pro bono matters throughout their careers at the firm, and we champion pro bono work through partner mentoring, training opportunities and the commitment of resources. We consider pro bono work to be of equal stature to billable matters, and our lawyers offer the same caliber of service to our pro bono clients as we do to our paying clients.

Read more about our Pro Bono Practices »

We do not accept direct inquiries for pro bono representation. Our program partners with legal service and other non-profit organizations that refer pro bono clients to us.

If you are in need of a pro bono lawyer, one of the following resources may be of help:

Community Service

Many of our lawyers volunteer their time and talents to community organizations of all types – from bar associations to educational and religious organizations. We are proud to have lawyers who support civic and charitable matters that reflect our culture and commitment to the community.

We strive to involve our people in community engagement activities that make a positive impact on the communities where we work and live. For example, every year our lawyers act as mentors to high school students. We have mentored hundreds of students since the program began in 1993. Several members of the firm participate in the CARE (Credit Abuse Resistance Education) Program, a volunteer opportunity to go into New York City public high schools and teach a 50-minute course on personal financial responsibility and the dangers of credit and credit cards.

In addition, several of our partners and associates serve or have served on the boards of public service organizations, including:

  • Advocates for Children
  • Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A
  • City Bar Justice Center
  • GMHC
  • Hour Children
  • Her Justice
  • Lawyers Alliance for New York
  • Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
  • The Legal Aid Society
  • New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
  • probono.net
  • Sanctuary for Families’ Center for Battered Women’s Legal Services
  • Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund
  • Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
  • Volunteers of Legal Service
  • Wingspan Arts

Pro Bono Recognition

Our pro bono program and lawyers are frequently recognized for their efforts in serving the public good and providing legal services to those who cannot otherwise obtain legal representation. 

Recently, the New York State Bar Association honored Davis Polk with its Gold Supporter of the 2015 Empire State Counsel Program, awarded to the firm at the New York State Bar Association’s 15th Annual Justice for All Luncheon.

In addition, in the past several years, the following organizations have honored Davis Polk and its lawyers publicly for our pro bono work: 

  • The American Lawyer
  • Bar Association of San Francisco
  • Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project
  • Brooklyn Defender Service Family Defense Practice
  • The City Bar Justice Center
  • Common Cause
  • Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto
  • Community Service Society
  • Death Penalty Focus
  • Her Justice
  • Hudson Link
  • Innocence Project
  • Lawyers Alliance for New York
  • Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
  • Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law of the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Legal Aid Society of New York City
  • Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County
  • Legal Service New York City
  • National Legal Aid & Defender Association
  • New York Bankruptcy Assistance Project
  • New York Immigration Coalition
  • New York Law Journal
  • New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Sanctuary for Families’ Center for Battered Women’s Legal Services
  • Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund