Our attorneys are involved in numerous pro bono initiatives to advance our Firm's commitment and dedication to pro bono service in both our local and national communities.
Death Penalty Litigation
Blank Rome began representing a client on Pennsylvania’s death row in 2005. After several years of litigation, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania conceded that our client did not deserve the death penalty and agreed to vacate his capital sentence. In 2008, our client was re-sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, and was removed from death row. The Commonwealth also agreed that our client’s appeal of his conviction could go forward. Our Blank Rome team has continued to fight for a new trial on our client’s conviction and guilt, presenting evidence in a Post-Conviction Relief Act evidentiary hearing, and appealing the lower court’s decision to the Pennsylvania Superior Court, and then to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Our Blank Rome team expects an answer about whether the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will hear our client’s appeal in 2018.
Life Planning Pro Bono Legal Partnership with the SeniorLAW Center
Since 2010, Blank Rome has partnered with the SeniorLAW Center to help low-income seniors prepare and execute advance planning documents—living wills, healthcare, and financial powers of attorney, to name a few—at senior center legal clinics in Philadelphia.
Blank Rome, together with our corporate client, Lincoln Financial Group, has “adopted” a legal clinic at a homeless shelter in Philadelphia. Attorneys attend regular clinics for homeless women and their children and advise clients on issues relating to housing, public benefits, and family law.
Working in partnership with the Support Center for Child Advocates in Philadelphia, the Children’s Law Center in Washington, D.C., the Children’s Alliance in Los Angeles, and the Office of the Child Advocate in Delaware, Blank Rome's attorneys represent abused and neglected children. Our attorneys give these children a voice and act as their advocate in the child welfare system.
Community Economic Development
In partnership with Philadelphia LawWorks, the Neighborhood Entrepreneur Legal Project of the City Bar Justice Center of New York, and the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program’s Community Economic Development project, Blank Rome's attorneys assist qualifying small businesses and nonprofit organizations with issues relating to corporate law, tax, and real estate.
Holocaust Reparations Pro Bono Project
Blank Rome's attorneys represent Holocaust survivors seeking reparations payments from the German government.
Working with Philadelphia VIP, Blank Rome's attorneys represent homeowners located in one area of West Philadelphia with homeownership and tangled title issues. By assisting these homeowners with getting clear title, our attorneys provide clients with the freedom to sell or mortgage the house, and to seek assistance with repairs through various city programs that are available only to owners holding a clear title to the property. In addition, by ensuring that the title is clear and the houses are habitable, this project seeks to combat the problem of abandoned houses and urban blight.
D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program’s Legal Clinics
Through the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program, Blank Rome's attorneys volunteer at the Consumer Law Resource Center at D.C. Superior Court. Our attorneys provide advice on a variety of small claims court issues—usually related to legal procedures, such as filing a complaint or serving discovery. In addition, our attorneys attend small business clinics and also staff the Advocacy and Justice Clinic of the D.C. Bar.
Immigration and Asylum
Blank Rome's attorneys regularly represent clients seeking asylum from countries throughout the world, including Colombia, Togo, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Jordan, and Jamaica. Our attorneys represent immigrant victims of domestic violence who are seeking protection and immigration relief under the Violence Against Women Act. In Los Angeles, our attorneys work with the Coalition Against Slavery and Trafficking to assist victims of human trafficking.