In addition to our legal practice, we are dedicated to exposing and annihilating systematic injustices that are woven into the fabric of our society. Our Social Justice work and pro bono efforts are primarily focused on criminal justice system reform, racial equality, and LGBT equality.
The Criminal Justice System is in dire need of reform. Outsized prosecutorial discretion paired with mandatory minimum sentencing laws places undue pressure on defendants to take a plea and forgo their right to trial. This pressure applies to both the guilty and the innocent. These laws many of which are tied to the ineffective “War on Drugs” disproportionately impact people of color and the poor. Further, we seek to shed light on the extreme sentences often imposed on those who cannot afford defense counsel. For example, in some states such as Louisiana, judges often sentence defendants to outrageous prison terms for crimes where no one was hurt. This results in people unnecessarily locked up for most, if not all, of their lives.
Currently, the number of people incarcerated in our nation’s prisons and jails is around 2.2 million. This figure does not include the nearly 4 million people who are not incarcerated but who are on probation. In our prisons, the culture is not rehabilitative and is ripe for abuse. In most states prison officials are permitted to utilize solitary confinement- a form of torture- on a regular basis.
The current state of the system and its structural inequalities can not be tolerated.
The degree of civilization in a society is revealed by entering its prisons.
Every person has the right to express their sexual orientation and gender identity. We fight against discriminatory and narrow minded views that oppress and dehumanize LGBTQ individuals. While progress has been made including the implementation of valuable legal protections, there are places in the US and abroad where the equality, safety, and human dignity of LGBT people are not protected. Unbelievably, there are still states that deny our rights to become parents through same sex adoption and those that do not protect against workplace discrimination. Legal protections for the basic human right to one’s gender identity and expression are lacking in many localities nationwide. We take pride in representing LGBT individuals and encourage you to contact us if you believe you have been wronged for being who you are.
On occasion we will assist clients on a pro bono basis. Our past pro bono LGBT work included representing an HIV+ refugee from Central America who was fleeing persecution for his sexuality. The case required hundreds of hours of work, including research of country conditions for LGBT people and HIV+ people, significant client preparation in Spanish, and drafting legal arguments to support the claims. We are delighted that the hard work paid off and our client has won asylum in the United States.