Helping Others Together While We Are Apart: A Pro Bono Response to COVID-19

May 15, 2020

For many of our communities, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has imposed new challenges and compounded existing ones. It has also provided us with more opportunities to serve each other. At Morgan Lewis, we have doubled down on our commitment to supporting our pro bono clients. Here’s a snapshot of some of the work we’re doing on their behalf.

  • Protecting Civil Liberties: Morgan Lewis is advocating for the health and welfare of detainees housed in US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities who are unable to practice safety measures like social distancing due to overcrowding. Recently a team of our lawyers working with Human Rights First secured the release of five at-risk detainees from the Adelanto ICE Processing Center whose underlying health conditions made them more susceptible to contracting the virus while confined.

    In coordination with RAICES, Aldea – the People’s Justice Center, the Rapid Defense Network, and Amy Maldonado of the Law Office of Amy Maldonado, Morgan Lewis also secured an order that required three detention facilities in Texas and Pennsylvania to apply the same COVID-19 safety protocols and procedures to adults as previously ordered for children, including US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-compliant protocols and protections for congregate settings.

Read more about our efforts in Law360, the Los Angeles Times, and The National Law Journal. Subscription may be required.

  • Supporting Nonprofits: Our lawyers assisted a group of former and current Morgan Lewis clients in establishing ProCure Hope as a 501(c)(3) organization. ProCure Hope comprises a small team of professionals across the United States and Asia who are volunteering their time to identify, source, and transport much needed personal protective equipment (PPE) to frontline responders. The counsel provided by the firm has helped ProCure Hope get off the ground and into communities with more than 145,000 N95 and KN95 masks, gowns, face shields, and show covers in just a few weeks of the group coming together.

    While many nonprofits serve populations that are among the most adversely affected by the   pandemic, they too are struggling to operate in the current economic climate. Morgan Lewis is assisting a number of nonprofit organizations, including UK-based LawWorks and Dara Charity Foundation in Kazakhstan, to help them or the organizations they serve to better understand or  access aid provided by their governments. We’re doing what we can to assist them to serve their clients at this difficult time.

  • Adapting Existing Services: We participated in a pilot virtual “clinic” with Immigrant Legal Defense to help process Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewals for program participants. The renewals could help protect DACA status holders from deportation for a period of time if the US Supreme Court overturns the program. Many DACA program participants are healthcare workers caring for American citizens on the front lines of the pandemic. Others may have recently lost their employment due to its economic ramifications. Because of this, the firm covered the renewal costs for the clients we counseled.

Read more about our work in Bloomberg Law and Law360. Subscription may be required.

Our lawyers and pro bono partners, including many clients, have joined the rest of the world in finding creative and critical solutions to some of the issues this great challenge presents. Learn more about our innovative and award winning pro bono program.