What We Do

The firm handles a broad range of pro bono matters, but we have a strong concentration in certain issue areas, including Children’s Rights/Family Law, Immigration, and Criminal Justice. Crowell & Moring also handles countless other types of pro bono matters referred by local non-profit organizations and, on occasion, our own attorneys. In recent years, these have included employment disputes, tax advice and assistance, including in obtaining 501(c)(3) status, contract and consumer rights issues, benefits, rights for the homeless, civil rights litigation, staffing intake centers and hotlines, and much, much more. At Crowell & Moring, we pride ourselves on our wide commitment to public service and we continually seek out new areas where we can make a difference.

Children comprise one of our society’s most vulnerable populations, yet often find themselves at the center of legal proceedings without the legal representation that is critical to protecting their rights. The firm believes that giving children a voice in legal matters impacting their lives is essential and thus, provides representation to children in a broad swath of matters ranging from special education advocacy to immigration proceedings.
  • Guardian ad litem matters
  • Special Immigrant Juvenile Status cases
  • Special Education Advocacy
  • U Visas
  • Abuse and Neglect Termination of Parental Rights cases
  • Adoption proceedings
  • Custody proceedings
  • Civil Protection orders and appeals


Representative Matters

  • Guardian ad litem matters: Representation as guardian ad litem in contested custody cases in D.C. Superior Court on referral of the Children’s Law Center.
  • Special Immigrant Juvenile Status cases: Representation of unaccompanied minor children who are not citizens in obtaining Special Immigrant Juvenile Status through Kids in Need of Defense (KIND).
  • U Visas: Representation of minors who have been victims of sexual assault or violence in seeking U visas that provide for temporary legal immigration status for victims of crime. Referred by Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services, KIND, and the Tahirih Justice Center.
  • Special Education Matters: Representation of students and their parents in seeking essential educational support services necessary for the students to succeed.
  • Abuse and Neglect Termination of Parental Rights cases: Representation of the District of Columbia Family Services Division in termination of parental rights trials to free children in the abuse and neglect system for adoption.
  • Adoption proceedings: Representation of foster parents in adoption proceedings to provide a home for a child in the abuse and neglect system.
  • Custody proceedings: Representation of parents or grandparents in custody proceedings.
  • Civil Protection orders and appeals: Representation of domestic violence victims seeking civil protection orders in the local courts and on appeal. Referred by the D.C. Volunteer Lawyers Project, Lawyers in Motion, and Sanctuary for Families.
Our nation has prospered on the talents and hard work of immigrants, yet government-funded legal services entities are largely prohibited from representing them, leading retired Supreme Court Justice, John Paul Stevens, to conclude that “The need for legal representation for immigrants is really acute.” At Crowell & Moring, our response to this deficiency in the effective administration of justice has been to expand our representation in immigration-related areas of the law, ranging from asylum to wage and hour claims.
  • Asylum proceedings
  • Human Trafficking T Visa applications
  • U Visas
  • Human Trafficking Wage and Hour claims
  • Habeas requests after prolonged detention
  • FLSA claims
  • VAWA petitions
  • Amicus filings in impact litigation
  • Asylum appeals – administrative and judicial

Case Study

David v. Signal
Largest Human Trafficking
Case in U.S. History


Representative Matters

  • Asylum proceedings: Representation of immigrants in filing affirmative applications for political asylum or defending deportation proceedings based on asylum. Cases referred by Capital Area Immigrants Rights Coalition, Tahirih Justice Center, Human Rights First, Ayuda, Public Counsel in LA, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, and Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services.
  • Human Trafficking Temporary Visa applications: Representation of victims of human trafficking in filing applications for T Visas that provide for temporary legal immigration status. Referred by the Tahirih Justice Center and Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles.
  • U Visas: Representation of victims of domestic violence or other crimes in seeking U visas that provide for temporary legal immigration status for victims of crime. Referred by Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services, KIND, Public Counsel, and the Tahirih Justice Center.
  • Human Trafficking Wage and Hour claims: Representation of individual victims of human trafficking in seeking monetary relief under the state and federal wage and hour laws. Referred by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
  • Deportation habeas requests: Representation in habeas proceedings of undocumented individuals awaiting deportation who have been held in detention for longer than six months.
  • Adoption proceedings: Representation of foster parents in adoption proceedings to provide a home for a child in the abuse and neglect system.
  • FLSA claims: Representation of undocumented wage earners on Fair Labor Standards Act claims for back wages and overtime pay. Referred by the D.C. Employment Justice Center, the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center, the Legal Aid Society of New York City, and the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs.
  • VAWA petitions: Representation of domestic violence victims in filing petitions for legal status under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA); referred by the National Immigrant Women’s Program, Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services, Public Counsel, and the Tahirih Justice Center.
  • Amicus filings in impact litigation: Drafting friend of the court briefs on behalf of immigrants with the Board of Immigration Appeals or a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on a broad range of issues impacting immigrants, including interpretation of the Violence Against Women Act and the constitutionality of state anti-immigrant laws.
  • Asylum appeals: Representation of asylum applicants who have been denied asylum to the Board of Immigration appeals or a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The U.S. Constitution guarantees every person accused of a crime the right to counsel for his defense regardless of ability to pay. The firm’s pro bono program helps to insure this constitutional right by providing representation to the indigent in a variety of criminal justice matters – representing individual defendants at trial and on appeal, handling death penalty cases, and pursuing clemency for prisoners with inordinately severe “mandatory minimum” sentences.
  • Federal criminal defense
  • Montgomery County criminal defense
  • Criminal appeals
  • Commutation / Pardon proceedings
  • Death Penalty appeals
  • Criminal Justice policy work
  • Expungement assistance
  • Prisoner’s Conditions challenges
  • Parole Revocation hearings

Case Study

Pro Bono Client
Eugenia Jennings

President Obama's First
Sentence Commutation


Representative Matters

  • Federal criminal defense: Representation of indigent criminal defendants in pending criminal defense cases in the Eastern District of Virginia as co-counsel with the Federal Public Defender of the Eastern District of Virginia.
  • Montgomery County criminal defense: Representation of indigent criminal defendants in Montgomery County Circuit Court on referral of the Public Defender for Montgomery County.
  • Criminal appeals: Representation of indigent criminal defendants on appeal before the Maryland Court of Special Appeals on referral of the Maryland Office of Public Defender.
  • Commutation / Pardon proceedings: Representation of prisoners in filing for commutation or pardon on state and federal levels. Referred by Families Against Mandatory Minimums and the Federal Public Defender of the Eastern District of Virginia.
  • Death Penalty appeals: Representation of death row inmates in seeking relief from the death penalty through habeas filings and in resentencing hearings on referral of the ABA Death Penalty Project.
  • Criminal Justice policy work: Provision of assistance to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) in compiling multi-state research on the collateral consequences of convictions, paths to re-entry for offenders and restoration of basic rights.
  • Expungement assistance: Participation in expungement day projects sponsored by various local organizations, such as the Fortune Society in New York.
  • Prisoner’s Conditions challenges: Representation of prisoners in civil cases challenging prison conditions or Board of Prison policies; referred by the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs Prisoner’s Project and Public Counsel in Los Angeles.
  • Parole Revocation hearings: Representation of individuals in administrative parole revocation hearings on referral of the Public Defender Service of D.C.
  • Bankruptcy
  • Civil Rights Litigation
  • Community Economic Development
  • Disability benefits
  • Education law
  • Elder law
  • Employment law
  • Eviction defense
  • Fair housing / tenants’ rights
  • First Amendment and constitutional issues
  • HIV/AIDS advocacy
  • Homeless advocacy
  • International Human Rights
  • Nonprofit corporate law
  • Nonprofit incorporation/tax exemptions
  • Nonprofit intellectual property
  • Social security law
  • Public benefits law
  • The arts and historic preservation
  • Veterans’ benefits and appeals
  • Voting rights


Case Study

Class of 35,000+
Black Farmers

Resolving Decades
of Discrimination