Associate Life

Taylor Gooch

Taylor Gooch

June 22, 2012 9:44 AM | Permalink | Print

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that one of the things on my mind when I was choosing law firms was that there would be opportunities to do pro bono work. Well, I can truthfully say that the firm’s approach to pro bono is quite simple: do it. And, to be honest, I love that approach. Everyone here, time allowing, has their hands in a pro bono project. It seems like every other day we get an email regarding some recent pro bono success case. For someone that spent a lot of time doing pro bono during law school—I logged close to 200 hours in my first two years—the fact that the firm takes this so seriously means a lot to me, and I think is a major contributor as to what makes WilmerHale, WilmerHale.

The firm’s commitment towards pro bono has already trickled down to us summer associates and has become a major part of our own time here at the firm. The Palo Alto office participates in a program that aids illegal aliens, who are victims of domestic violence and who aid in the prosecution of their abuser, to obtain a visa to remain in the country legally. This visa (a U-Visa for those of you who want to Google it) can eventually turn into a green card, which can lead to full citizenship.

As summers here, we are teamed up with our officemates and an associate. Each team then gets assigned a case. It is a wonderful experience. While we are supervised by a lawyer, my officemate and I do all the prep and then perform the actual client interview. Currently, we are tasked with preparing the application and submitting it to the proper federal authorities.

Anyway, I know that this blog was a little more, well, serious, but I wanted to convey that the rumor out there in the legal world that WilmerHale takes pro bono seriously is true. Pro bono is engrained from the top of the pyramid all the way down to us summers.