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Paul, Weiss is committed to providing impactful pro bono legal assistance to individuals and organizations in need. Our program is all-encompassing, spanning the core issues facing our society.

Civil Rights & Racial Justice

For decades, Paul, Weiss has been at the forefront of legal efforts to promote civil rights and equal justice.

Assisting Thurgood Marshall in the seminal U.S. Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education, the firm’s lawyers were instrumental in the effort to end racial segregation. Today, we are a leader in nationwide efforts to secure equal rights for the LGBTQ community, advance racial justice, challenge restrictive voting laws, and protect the rights of prisoners and Americans with disabilities.

Below are some highlights:

Racial Justice:

We have been involved in several high-impact efforts to promote racial justice.

For example, we partnered with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and The Legal Aid Society in a successful lawsuit against New York City and the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). The suit, Davis, et al. v. City of New York, filed on behalf of more than 400,000 NYCHA residents and invited guests, challenged the New York City Police Department’s racially discriminatory policy and practice of routinely stopping and arresting NYCHA residents and guests without reasonable suspicion or probable cause. Following two major rulings in our clients’ favor, we helped negotiate a settlement that significantly revises police practice and NYCHA house rules.

Additionally, following shootings by and of police officers that exacerbated relations between law enforcement and communities of color, we were tapped to lead the ABA’s Task Force on Building Public Trust in the American Justice System. We released a report in 2017 outlining best practices for community policing and building consensus for needed reforms.

Disability Rights:

We handle high-impact disability rights cases, including, most notably, an ongoing, decade-long litigation with the state of New York on behalf of thousands of mentally disabled adults confined in segregated, unsuitable and often abusive “adult homes” — state-licensed for-profit residential care facilities. U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis has noted Paul, Weiss’s “outstanding and comprehensive advocacy.”

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