Pro Bono

Venable has long recognized the importance of providing first-rate legal representation to those unable to afford a lawyer. We are proud to be among the signatories to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge.

The firm expects its attorneys to devote their time and diverse talents, on a pro bono basis, to improving their communities and the lives of others. For the past decade, Venable attorneys have collectively logged, on average, approximately 23,000 hours per year firm-wide representing a wide range of pro bono clients, including:

  • Public school children with special education needs
  • Women and children immigrants fleeing violence and seeking legal status in the United States
  • Nonprofit entities with organizational, transactional, tax, and operational needs
  • Veterans and persons with disabilities wrongly denied benefits
  • Victims of domestic violence seeking restraining orders against their abusers
  • Low-income seniors with estate planning needs
  • Low-income children who are the subjects of custody disputes between caregivers
  • Prisoners wrongfully convicted or improperly sentenced
  • Low-income tenants seeking to maintain their housing and correct substandard living conditions
  • Victims of police misconduct, including racial profiling and the use of excessive force
  • Individuals and organizations seeking to protect intellectual property rights in developing countries

Clinic Support

We regularly staff walk-in clinics for low-income individuals with pressing legal needs, including the DC Bar Pro Bono Program's Advice and Referral Clinic, the DC Bar Pro Bono Program's Consumer Law Clinic, and various clinics in DC and Baltimore to assist low-income individuals with income tax preparation.

Gerry Treanor Pro Bono Fellowship

In 2015, we launched the Gerry Treanor Pro Bono Fellowship, named after our partner who headed the pro bono program for many years. Each fellow is placed with either Bread for the City in Washington or Maryland Legal Aid in Baltimore, and works full-time for six months representing low-income clients.

pro bono

“Human beings, who are in terrible trouble, turn to this firm for relief, for some friendship, some support.”

Pro Bono Engagements

  • Representing an Alabama death row prisoner and a federal death row prisoner
  • Forming and counseling Warrior Canine Connection, which uses service dogs to rehabilitate service members returning from combat
  • Requiring the Maryland State Police to disclose records showing whether it meaningfully investigates complaints of racial profiling
  • Challenging Virginia regulations that impose certain non-medically necessary requirements on women’s healthcare facilities that perform first-trimester abortions
  • Securing recognition of the right to counsel at initial bail hearings for criminal defendants throughout Maryland
  • Handling long-term litigation to reform the foster care system in Baltimore
  • Obtaining post-conviction relief in three different cases for men wrongfully imprisoned for murder in DC for approximately 20 years apiece
  • Accomplishing the merger of Maryland's two largest food banks

Pro Bono Partners

  • Archdiocesan Legal Network of Catholic Charities
  • American Bar Association Death Penalty Representation Project
  • American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland
  • Bread for the City
  • Children's Law Center
  • Coalition of Asylum & Immigration Rights
  • Community Law Center
  • D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program
  • Equal Justice Initiative
  • Federal Public Defender – Eastern District of Virginia
  • Kids in Need of Defense
  • Lawyers' Coalition for the Homeless
  • Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
  • Lawyers' Committee for Human Rights
  • Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles
  • Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia
  • Legal Aid Society of New York
  • Legal Counsel for the Elderly
  • Maryland Disability Law Center
  • Maryland Legal Aid
  • Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service
  • Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project
  • Neighborhood Legal Services
  • New York City Bar Justice Center
  • New York Legal Assistance Group
  • Northern Virginia Legal Services
  • Public Interest Intellectual Property Advocates
  • Pro Bono Institute
  • Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland, Inc.
  • Southern Center for Human Rights
  • Tahirih Justice Center
  • Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program
  • Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts
  • Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs
  • Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless
  • Whitman-Walker Legal Services Program



Venable is committed to giving back to better the communities in which its professionals live and work. Learn more about the Venable Foundation.