The firm was nominated by Magistrate Judge Maureen P. Kelly of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, in recognition of its work on an inmate’s civil rights case, as well as for other substantive pro bono accomplishments in Western Pennsylvania.
“The Pittsburgh office is honored to be recognized for our work in advancing access to justice and equality,” said Jeffrey Weimer, who heads the pro bono effort in the firm’s Pittsburgh office. “We appreciate Judge Kelly and the Bar Foundation’s acknowledgement of the numerous commitments our lawyers make to those whose interests otherwise would not be represented.”
The Allegheny County Bar Foundation’s Pro Bono Achievement Awards recognize groups of individuals who collectively or as an institution show exemplary commitment to or make substantial achievements in the delivery of pro bono legal services.
As Judge Kelley wrote in a letter of appreciation to Reed Smith for its work on behalf of inmate Charles Jackson, “As acknowledged by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, lawyers who act pro bono fulfill the highest service that members of the bar can offer to indigent parties and to the legal profession.”
In addition to their successful efforts representing Jackson in his quest to redress the assault he suffered while incarcerated, Reed Smith lawyers in Pittsburgh also represented other prisoners in trials of their claims for civil rights violations during incarceration.
They assisted with obtaining legal name changes for transgender individuals in partnership with BNY Mellon, PNC, and the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund; and provided legal counseling to small businesses and entrepreneurs in Homewood and the Hill District seeking financial assistance from Urban Innovation21 and the Riverside Center for Innovation, a nonprofit community development corporation.