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The National Law Journal Names Crowell & Moring to Pro Bono Hot List for Second Consecutive Year

Washington – October 27, 2021: The National Law Journal named Crowell & Moring to the 2021 Pro Bono Hot List for the second consecutive year. This honor recognizes firms and lawyers that “have taken on some of the biggest issues of our time.” Crowell & Moring is one of only ten law firms across the United States selected for this recognition.

The firm was honored for the breadth of its pro bono efforts, especially its deep commitment to ensuring equal access to justice. In the aftermath of the George Floyd murder during the summer of 2020, Crowell & Moring launched a Racial Justice Pro Bono Task Force and committed to provide $1 million in pro bono legal services to advance the cause of racial equity and justice. As part of this initiative, the firm dramatically increased its efforts in the areas of voting rights, police misconduct and criminal justice. 

When asked what is the most satisfying aspect of the pro bono work done by the firm, public service partner Susan M. Hoffman responded that it is being able “to engage our legal skills to address the effects of systemic racism and to be a small part of a movement to reverse the impact of years of discrimination.”

Working with the Advancement Project and Voice of the Experienced, the firm threatened a lawsuit against the Louisiana Secretary of State challenging a Louisiana statute that effectively suspended voting rights for individuals with felony convictions sentenced only to probation. The state eventually instituted a legislative fix under which the voting rights of 40,000+ individuals in Louisiana were restored.

Crowell & Moring also successfully represented residents of Baltimore’s Harlem Park, an historic Black neighborhood, in reaching a settlement and obtaining a public apology in a federal court lawsuit against the Baltimore City Police Department and former Police Commissioner Kevin Davis. The residents’ lawsuit charged that their state and federal constitutional rights were violated during a six-day, multi-block lockdown of their neighborhood following the shooting death of a police detective.

As part of the “Ending Mass Incarceration” goal of the firm’s Racial Justice Pro Bono Task Force, the firm increased the number of criminal prisoners for whom it is seeking compassionate release and/or parole, logging victories for multiple clients over the past year. A Crowell & Moring team successfully represented a 77-year-old client seeking compassionate release from federal court after 51 years in prison. After two oral arguments and three rounds of briefing on the motion, the judge granted the motion over strong opposition from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Only two other individuals convicted of homicide had been granted COVID-related compassionate release by federal courts—out of dozens of petitions filed. 

In April 2021, Crowell & Moring client Crosley Green was liberated from prison after 32 years of wrongful incarceration—much of it on death row—for a murder he did not commit. Since 2008, a team of firm lawyers and professional staff worked tirelessly to secure justice for Mr. Green. After reviewing the petition for compassionate relief filed by the Crowell team, U.S. District Court Judge Roy B. Dalton granted the motion to release Mr. Green, citing health risks stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that Mr. Green's conviction in the 1989 shooting death of Charles "Chip" Flynn was overturned nearly three years ago by the same court—a decision that the state appealed to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in 2018.

The firm was also honored for lawyers in the Orange County office helping compel the Southern California beach city of San Clemente to repeal ordinances targeting people experiencing homelessness. Serving as co-counsel to the Western Center on Law and Poverty and the Elder Law and Disability Rights Center, challenged the ordinances through California’s environmental regulations, including regulations that uniquely apply to coastal zones. The case involved a combination of administrative law, environmental law, and open government law. Faced with increasing pressure from the lawsuit, San Clemente yielded and permanently repealed the ordinances.

To see the full 2021 Pro Bono Hot List, please visit here


Andrew Loeb
Communications Specialist