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National Law Journal Names Covington to Pro Bono Hot List

1/8/2013

WASHINGTON, DC, January 8, 2013The National Law Journal has named Covington & Burling to its Pro Bono Hot List. The annual list recognizes firms that demonstrate a strong commitment to public service.

The NLJ profile of Covington featured the pro bono efforts of Martin Gold, Elizabeth Bell, and Erica Lai, who worked with the Chinese-American community in persuading Congress to agree to expressions of regret for a series of legislative measures passed between 1879 and 1904 that severely restricted the immigration of Chinese persons to the United States and violated the civil rights of Chinese immigrants already living in America.

Gold knew it wouldn’t be easy, the publication wrote, noting that “Congress has rarely voted to apologize for discrimination against racial or ethnic groups, and lawmakers were preoccupied with the troubled economy. An objection from a single legislator, for any reason, could derail the entire effort. But Covington came down strongly for the effort, contributing 3,000 hours of attorney and staff time, including 1,000 hours by Gold.” In pursuing relief from Congress, Covington teamed up with a coalition of Asian-American groups called the 1882 Project, after the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which imposed severe restrictions on Chinese immigration and denied naturalization to all Chinese immigrants. Resolutions of regret cleared the Senate in October 2011 and the House in June 2012.

The National Law Journal’s profile also noted that Covington “threw its skills into a wide range of pro bono efforts last year.” The firm has long encouraged its lawyers to participate in pro bono work, and devotes significant resources to finding pro bono projects that reflect the diverse interests of its lawyers. The American Lawyer magazine has ranked Covington’s pro bono practice among the top three firms for 17 of the past 21 years.

To read the complete NLJ profile, please click here.

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