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San Francisco

The firm encourages all attorneys to find a way to participate in pro bono projects and community service. DWT is a signatory to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge and commits to providing 3% of its annual hours to pro bono. Individual lawyers doing pro bono work can earn billable credit up to 8% of their annual billable-hours goal.

Davis Wright Tremaine Pursuing Public Records on Behalf of Human Rights Organizations, Investigative Reporters, Civil Liberties Advocates, and More 
Davis Wright Tremaine is widely recognized as a national leader in fighting for access to public documents and information. We do this work for some of the country’s top media companies as well as on behalf of many important organizations and individuals who need pro bono assistance.

City of San Francisco Ordered to Address Long-Neglected Tree Canopy 
Following five-plus years of litigation on behalf of the San Francisco Urban Forest Coalition, and over 1,500 hours of pro bono work by DWT lawyers, the city of San Francisco has been ordered to more consistently enforce its widely flouted laws designed to promote the urban forest.

Helping Trafficking Victims with Visa Adjustments
DWT lawyers have taken 12 cases from San Francisco-based Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach (APILO) in the past nearly two years, assisting more than 25 clients with the T-visa adjustments. Eight partners, counsels and associates from three different offices have spent more than 200 hours assisting with these cases thus far. So far we have been successful for about eight of those clients and have been able to physically hand them their green cards. The remaining clients have pending applications.

These cases all involve victims of human trafficking in the United States and include a number of victims who were sex trafficked, so these clients are particularly excited to know that they no longer have any further visa-related restrictions hanging over them.

Wells and Zankel Obtain Dismissal of Client’s Criminal Conviction 
Colin Wells and Zeb Zankel, associates in the San Francisco office, achieved victory in San Luis Obispo Superior Court, securing the court’s grant of a motion to dismiss a 25-year-old DUI felony for a homeless veteran.

Their client had gained certifications and licensing in an effort to secure long-term employment as a truck driver, but until he received Colin and Zeb’s help, his criminal record was an impediment to achieving his goal. They met through Second Chance Legal Clinic, where lawyers volunteer to assist clients who are working to overcome barriers to employment and housing due to past arrest and conviction records.

San Francisco Partner Secures Green Card for Trafficking Victim
Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach (APILO) in San Francisco routinely helps trafficking victims and their dependents receive T visas. Once trafficking victims have been in the U.S. for three years under T-1 visa status, they and their dependents are usually able to apply for adjustment so that they can become lawful permanent residents. DWT’s San Francisco office has developed a partnership with APILO to handle as many of these adjustment applications as possible. DWT partners Vid Prabhakaran, James Hsue and Phil Albert are helping.

Three years ago, APILO managed to secure a T visa for a woman who was being forced to work at a nightclub to pay off her debt for being brought into the country. She was sexually assaulted and nearly raped during her indentured servitude. Obtaining the visa enabled her to leave that job and seek employment elsewhere.

When she came back to APILO to apply for adjustment, she was matched with Prabhakaran. In mid-April of 2015 her green card came in. Prabhakaran was looking forward to giving it to her and seeing her happy reaction. He was not prepared for her to immediately ask with tears in her eyes: “Does this mean I can go see my mother? I haven’t seen her in 12 years.” Prabhakaran replied: “Words cannot express my joy in being able to say ‘Yes’ to that question.” Prabhakaran was also able to secure a green card for her husband.
Davis Wright Tremaine Repeats as Innovative Law Firm of the Year
Diversity & Inclusion – 2018 Report – Read more