O'Melveny & Myers

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Pro Bono Rank Firm
(Am Law 200 Rank)
Am Law
Pro Bono Score
Average Pro Bono
Hours Per Lawyer
% of Lawyers
With More Than 20 Hours
14
O'Melveny & Myers (24)
100.0
125.2
74.8

 

Seven years ago, when O'Melveny & Myers partner Peter Obstler helped settle a discrimination case involving a gay high school student in the Washoe County, Nevada, school district, he thought the district was on the right path. So when the ACLU of Nevada called Obstler in 2007 and asked if he would represent a Washoe County student of Egyptian descent who dropped out after being Am Law Pro Bono 100harassed, the San Francisco—based litigator says he was "not only surprised but very disappointed. . . . We had worked for days to put [an antidiscrimination] policy in place that was not followed." Obstler agreed to take on this latest case, which had already been filed by another firm.

The first order of business was to amend the complaint, and resuscitate claims that prior counsel allowed to be dismissed. In the complaint, O'Melveny lawyers argue that their client, Jana Elhifny, was discriminated against because she is an Egyptian American female and Muslim. "Jana's classmates routinely subjected her to severe and pervasive verbal and physical harassment on school grounds," the complaint says. This includes statements such as "you don't belong here" and "leave or we will kill you."

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