Our Tradition of Pro Bono

Over the years, Sullivan & Cromwell has helped clients and nonprofit organizations in need, changing lives and making legal history. Today, our pro bono practice spans a wide range of issues and reflects the diversity of our lawyers' interests. We are helping asylum seekers, advocating for COVID-19 protections for prisoners and the homeless, fighting for transgender rights, and seeking reduced prison sentences for women who fought back against their abusers.

We also regularly partner with our corporate clients and legal services providers during one-on-one legal clinics focused on specific legal issues.

 Sullivan & Cromwell has an enduring commitment to“
providing outstanding legal representation
”.to those in need

 Jessica Klein, Head of Pro Bono Practice —

Recent Matters
  • In 2021, Sullivan & Cromwell received the Financial Times' top award for Innovation in Social Justice for obtaining reduced sentences for two pro bono clients under New York's Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act. In an interview with ABC's Nightline, partner Garrard Beeney discussed S&C's legal efforts for Nikki Addimando in her sentencing reduction and efforts to win clemency. 
  • We are representing an Afghani asylum seeker who served in a senior position at the Central Bank of Afghanistan, working to prevent terrorist financing and drug trafficking.  
  • For the National Homeless Law Center, we created a comprehensive resource center that captured best practices for communities serving the health needs of unhoused people during the COVID-19 pandemic. S&C received the Center's Pro Bono Counsel Award in 2021 for this work.
  • We brought successful litigation to enforce COVID-19 protections for jail inmates.
  • We successfully challenged a State Department policy that denied U.S. citizenship to the children of certain married same-sex couples unless both parents were biologically related to their child born abroad. We represented two couples in litigation, and the State Department changed the policy in 2021.
  • We are pursuing with the ACLU a lawsuit on behalf of four transgender youth in Arkansas challenging a proposed state law to prohibit medical professionals from providing or referring transgender youth for medically necessary health care. A federal judge stayed the bill's enactment in May 2021.
  • In collaboration with the New York Legal Assistance Group, we are pursuing a class action against the New York City Department of Education and New York State Education Department, seeking remedies for students with disabilities who have been denied special education or services. 
  • We obtained a “T Visa” for a victim of human trafficking by successfully appealing the denial of her initial application with the Administrative Appeals Office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.