Hughes Hubbard & Reed was among 20 firms selected for Law360's annual list of top pro bono firms.
In an Oct. 8, 2014 profile, Law360 reported that the firm spent an average of 124 hours on pro bono matters last year, one of the highest totals in the industry. It also noted that 91.5 percent of the firm's US lawyers had at least 20 pro bono hours.
"For more than 20 years, we've had various initiatives, and all our summer associates have done pro bono work," said Vilia Hayes, co-chair of the firm's pro bono committee.
Sarah Cave, the other co-chair, added that incoming first-year associates take on two pro bono cases when they begin working at the firm. "Even though they're junior lawyers, there's still a lot of good they can do with the support of the firm," she said.
The profile highlighted the firm's work with Immigration Equality, including a pair of historic immigration victories for Jamaican gay couples, and the firm's Criminal Trial Program, overseen by Marc Weinstein and Ed Little.
"We're there just in case, but it's really the associates who handle it," Weinstein said. "They carry the ball quickly, with a lot of dedication. The associates who work these cases often give these clients a lot more attention than their court-assigned attorneys would."
The profile also mentioned the firm's work for Riverside Language Program, a matter led by Neil Oxford with assistance from Meredith Stead, Sara Echenique, and former associate Susan Vignola.
According to the profile, the firm is looking into several new areas to expand its pro bono practice, including more hours on immigration rights for minors and housing accessibility. Hayes said the firm's commitment to pro bono work will remain strong.
"I think most people are open to doing pro bono work when you give them the opportunity to do it," she said. "In a relatively short period of time, they can make a dramatic change in people's lives."