Robins Kaplan Named to The National Law Journal’s Pro Bono Hot List for Third Time

May 7, 2019

Robins Kaplan LLP is pleased to announce that it has been named to The National Law Journal’s 2019 Pro Bono Hot List for its work representing a wide range of clients on a number of significant pro bono cases, including providing assistance to an immigrant seeking asylum, a transgender woman seeking treatment, and the State of Illinois seeking reform in the Chicago Police Department. This is the third year that the firm has been named to the list.

In 2018, the firm helped to secure asylum for Ms. N-A, a citizen of Cameroon who had endured arrest, torture, and rape for her support of the Southern Cameroons National Council (“SCNC”), a banned Anglophone political party. The court granted Ms. N-A asylum based upon the overwhelming evidence the firm submitted that she would have faced violence, rape, and possibly even death if she were forced to return to Cameroon. Attorney Jim Menton was honored with Human Rights First’s Pro Bono Star for his work on this case. 

The firm also helped secure a significant pro bono victory on behalf of Jessica Hicklin, a transgender woman incarcerated at the Potosi Correctional Center, who was allegedly denied necessary health care for the treatment of her gender dysphoria. Working with Lambda Legal, the firm helped secure a ruling that the Missouri Department of Corrections (MDOC) and its contracted healthcare provider, Corizon LLC, had to provide Ms. Hicklin with the medically necessary, doctor-recommended treatment. The ruling also barred MDOC and Corizon from enforcing Missouri’s “freeze-frame” policy—a blanket ban on providing hormone treatment to any transgender person who was not receiving such treatment prior to incarceration.

Most recently, the firm was involved in a pro bono case involving the Chicago Police Department. In February of this year, a judge approved a consent decree that will require wide-ranging and enforceable reforms of the Chicago Police Department (CPD). The consent decree is the result of a historic lawsuit brought by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office and Robins Kaplan against the City of Chicago, a suit which sought to implement reforms to CPD practices that were recommended by the U.S. Department of Justice following its civil rights investigation of the CPD. Robins Kaplan attorneys have represented the State of Illinois on a pro bono basis since the suit was filed in August 2017.

In 2016, the firm was named to the Pro Bono Hot List in part for its work securing a significant court ruling clarifying that the Affordable Care Act’s civil rights protections extend to transgender individuals seeking medical care. And in 2017, the firm made the list for it efforts on behalf of Tribal communities, including fighting for access to health care for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.

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