In The News

Ropes & Gray’s Washington, D.C. Office and Attorneys Honored for Pro Bono Work

In a week of public and judicial recognition for the Ropes & Gray Washington, D.C. office, antitrust associate David Young (Washington, D.C.) was honored with the Klepper Prize for Volunteer Excellence by the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia at its annual Servant of Justice Awards Dinner on April 25. Mr. Young was honored for his efforts over several years to serve Washington, D.C.’s neediest residents; other honorees included former Solicitor General of the United States Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. and former Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Vanita Gupta. In his address to attendees, Mr. Young stressed the importance of representing individuals wrongly denied public benefits, a denial which can often mean the difference between abject poverty and a life of dignity.

Ropes & Gray also received special honors at the 2017 40 at 50 Judicial Pro Bono Recognition Breakfast on April 27. The ceremony, held at Washington D.C.’s E. Barrett Prettyman courthouse, featured Chief Judge Merrick Garland, Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell and other federal judges who specifically honored the pro bono commitment of Ropes & Gray as the only Washington, D.C. firm with 75 percent of attorneys contributing 50 hours or more of pro bono service in 2016.

A few highlights of Ropes & Gray’s significant Washington, D.C. pro bono work:

  • Ropes & Gray continues its nearly 30-year representation of Mr. John Huffington, who has steadfastly maintained his innocence following a double homicide conviction in 1983. Ropes & Gray attorneys are currently preparing for a new trial in Maryland v. Huffington, granted based on flaws in the forensic science used to convict Mr. Huffington in 1983.
  • On behalf of the American Bar Association (ABA), Ropes & Gray filed a December 2016 complaint in the well-publicized case of American Bar Association v. United States Department of Education, alleging that the Department of Education (Department) had violated the Administrative Procedure Act and due process under the Fifth Amendment. The lawsuit involves the Department’s sudden change in administration of its Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSFL) program, denying students the ability to earn educational loan forgiveness after working in certain government and non-profit jobs for 10 years. The ABA, a non-profit 501(c)(6) organization, had been certified by the Department as a qualifying employer.
  • As part of our ongoing commitment to provide legal representation to the underserved in Washington, D.C., the firm participates in the D.C. Bar Landlord Tenant Resource Center and the D.C. Bar Advocacy & Justice Clinic, where Ropes & Gray attorneys assist low income clients in landlord-tenant, social security, and child support and custody matters.