About Us

Impacting Lives and Communities

Since the firm’s founding in 1931, our pro bono work has been central to our culture. We have focused on helping underserved and vulnerable communities tackle social problems and solve complex legal issues. Through our pro bono efforts, we fight in court to ensure laws are evenly applied. We provide our experience—both as lawyers and as members of our communities—to social service organizations working to create positive change for marginalized groups. We forge alliances with global corporations who share our dedication to increasing equality and opportunity for all. And we come to the aid of individuals who need legal assistance to overcome hurdles and start new lives. We are deeply committed to continuing the tangible progress our pro bono work has made in strengthening our communities.



Debevoise Video Highlights Firm’s Pro Bono Work 2023
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has produced a new video highlighting the firm’s pro bono program in 2023, including the work that it has done in collaboration with its longstanding legal services partners, clients and non-profit organizations. In 2023, Debevoise lawyers in the U.S. provided over 99,000 hours of free legal services to individuals, nonprofit organizations and low-income entrepreneurs across more than 1,000 matters.



Debevoise Video Highlights Firm’s Commitment to Its Pro Bono Program (2022)

Learn more about the firm’s pro bono program in this video, including the work that it has done in collaboration with its longstanding legal services partners, clients and non-profit organizations.



Debevoise Video Highlights the Firm’s Significant First Amendment Victory (2022)

Earlier this year, a Debevoise team led by litigation partner David O’Neil secured a preliminary injunction against the University of Florida for six professors after the university barred them from offering expert testimony against new policies enacted by the state of Florida. The firm has created a video highlighting this critical First Amendment case and the steps it took to stop the university from suppressing faculty speech.


Debevoise Video Highlights Debevoise Fight for Criminal Justice Reform and Against Racial Inequality (2021)

Debevoise has created a short documentary about The Holloway Project, the firm’s pro bono initiative to fight for criminal justice reform and against racial inequality. The video, “Leveraging The First Step Act to Reduce Excessive Prison Sentences,” highlights the stories of two of 24 incarcerated men for whom Debevoise has obtained reduced sentences. Todd Ellerby and Kevin Haynes were both first-time offenders when over-zealous prosecutors inappropriately charged each man under the § 924(c), which resulted in stacked sentences of over 45 years. In the past 18 months, 181 Debevoise lawyers, led by litigation partner John Gleeson, former U.S. District Court judge, have spent nearly 16,000 hours working with Holloway Project clients. To date, the firm has won 30 cases, and has reduced our clients’ prison sentences by over 1,025 years.


Firm Recognition

Others have taken note of our deep and longstanding commitment to pro bono legal service.

Our Pro Bono Work in Focus

Debevoise Partner Winston Paes Featured in the New York Times and CBS New York

Debevoise partner Winston Paes was highlighted in the New York Times and CBS New York for the firm’s win on behalf of pro bono client Shamel Capers, which overturned his wrongful conviction for second degree murder, and freed him after eight years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Learn more.

Debevoise Pro Bono Victory for Tysheem McGregor Featured in The American Lawyer

Debevoise Partner David O’Neil Named The American Lawyer’s “Litigator of the Week” for First Amendment Victory

Debevoise’s Efforts to Assist a Family Fleeing Afghanistan Highlighted on CBS News


Debevoise & Plimpton LLP was highlighted in a CBS News segment for its work assisting a vulnerable family that fled Afghanistan to another country in the Middle East in early October. The family members include the firm’s client “Angela” and her 12 year old son, who are both U.S. citizens, and Angela’s mother and two siblings.

Shannon Selden Discusses the Fight for Reproductive Rights with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell

Debevoise partner Shannon Rose Selden appeared on MSNBC’s “The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell” to discuss the US DOJ’s challenge to Texas’s abortion ban, and our work opposing the law on behalf of 19 of the nation’s leading medical organizations. In the segment, Ms. Selden discusses some of the many ways the law threatens the health and well-being of women and girls throughout Texas. Watch the full segment here.

Debevoise Honored With CJA “Partner in Justice” Award

Debevoise was honored with the “Partner in Justice” award by the Center for Justice and Accountability for our work towards ensuring perpetrators of atrocity crimes are held accountable. In this video, on behalf of the Debevoise team, partner Catherine Amirfar thanks CJA for the recognition.

Debevoise Pro Bono Counsel Jennifer Cowan Discusses Supreme Court Case Tanzin v. Tanvir

In a Legal Talk Today podcast, Debevoise pro bono counsel Jennifer Cowan discusses the importance of the Tanzin v. Tanvir victory in the Supreme Court, in which Debevoise was co-counsel with CUNY School of Law CLEAR Project and the Center for Constitutional Rights, and what it means for religious liberty.