A Unique Dual Approach to Pro Bono Advocacy
The Gibbons pro bono platform comprises two highly regarded, active pro bono programs: a long-term pro bono endowment along with a traditional pro bono program. Through the John J. Gibbons Fellowship in Public Interest & Constitutional Law, firm attorneys handle, on a pro bono basis, matters of cutting-edge legal importance and broad significance. Meanwhile, the firm’s traditional program serves those who cannot afford legal services through numerous federal and state court appointments and other nonprofit organizations in criminal, immigration, probate, domestic violence, asylum, and virtually every other aspect of the law. This distinctive, two-pronged platform has garnered exceptional results. In 2013, Gibbons donated 16,475 hours (or about $5.5 million worth of time) to a variety of pro bono matters, a new record for the firm, with pro bono contributions from more than 70 percent of the firm’s attorneys throughout all offices. The firm’s 2013 pro bono numbers improved on the 2012 numbers by more than 3,000 hours.
Numerous organizations have recognized Gibbons for our commitment to the community. In its 2015 "Pro Bono Scorecard," The American Lawyer ranked Gibbons 44th for pro bono work among AmLaw 200 firms, scoring above more than 120 larger firms and demonstrating the most improved ranking for a New Jersey firm. Volunteer Lawyers for Justice bestowed the firm with a 2013 Pro Bono Service Award for our post-Hurricane Sandy work. In 2013, The Community Health Law Project honored Gibbons with its Ann Klein Advocate Award for the pro bono and charitable work the firm undertakes for healthcare related organizations and for its general advocacy in the areas of disability and health law. Law360 named Gibbons one of its “Pro Bono Firms of 2012” in its third annual listing of the nation’s top law firm pro bono programs, profiling 20 firms nationwide that committed a significant number of attorney hours and secured major victories in high-profile matters. Half of the firms on this list were among the largest 30 law firms in the nation. Similarly, the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) selected Gibbons to receive one of its 2012 Pro Bono Awards, highlighting the firm’s “unyielding commitment to pro bono service,” which “makes it a true asset to the legal profession.” In previous years, Gibbons was named NJBIZ magazine’s "Corporate Citizen of the Year" and highlighted among the New Jersey Business & Industry Association’s Awards for Excellence Winners in the area of Public Service.
Innovating Outreach by Partnering with Clients
Gibbons is committed to the philosophy of ‘doing good while doing well’ and is lucky enough to have clients who share that philosophy. Pro bono is an integral component of the firm’s client relations strategies, and in many cases, the firm’s long history of corporate social responsibility (CSR), institutional pro bono practice, and outreach infrastructure serve as models for clients developing their own CSR and pro bono programs. In fact, Gibbons has found that partnering with clients on pro bono projects enhances our own and clients’ programs, offering opportunities to develop and launch innovative new projects and cultivating our client relationships while strengthening our attorneys’ general morale and professional development.