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.
We have been involved in many consequential recent matters involving reproductive choice, access to family planning, and other restrictions on personal autonomy around child birth and child rearing.
Below are some recent highlights:
- As co-counsel with the Center for Reproductive Rights, we won an important ruling in the Fifth Circuit upholding a Mississippi district court decision striking down the state’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The challenge was brought on behalf of Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the last remaining abortion clinic in the state. The Supreme Court recently granted certiorari on the issue of whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.
- Paul, Weiss and co-counsel Planned Parenthood and the ACLU secured a major victory against Missouri’s most recent abortion bans, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit upheld a preliminary injunction that we and our co-counsel secured nearly two years ago. The laws, which would have gone into effect on August 28, 2019, prohibited abortions at or after 8, 14, 18, and 20 weeks into a pregnancy, and any abortions based on a Down syndrome diagnosis.
- In September 2021, we helped secure an important victory for family defense advocates in Elisa W. v. City of New York. Our clients, who collectively represent a majority of parents with children in the NYC foster care system, argued in an amicus submission that plaintiffs were improperly attempting to use a class action to supplant the express and considered policy choices of defendants New York State and New York City, which favor family reunification, with plaintiffs’ own preferred policy of early adoption. The Southern District denied class certification in a decision that repeatedly cited our amicus brief and relied heavily on our expert’s declaration.
- We submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of 368 lawyers and law students who have exercised their constitutional right to abortion. Paul, Weiss filed a similar brief three years earlier, in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, on behalf of 113 women in the legal profession. The brief “tower[ed] above the rest,” Slate noted.
- We assist international organizations focused on family planning, access to contraception and reproductive health products and services in the developing world with corporate structuring and complying with local regulations and reporting obligations.
- We secured an important victory for family defense advocates and pro bono clients Brooklyn Defender Services, The Bronx Defenders, Center for Family Representation Inc. and Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem when Judge Kimba Wood denied a motion to certify a putative class in an action that, if successful, would have the effect of aggressively speeding up adoptions of children in foster care in contravention of New York’s express policy preference for children to be reunified with their families. Judge Wood denied class certification on commonality and typicality grounds, repeatedly citing our amicus brief and relying heavily on our expert’s declaration.
- We drafted legislation, in coordination with the Correctional Association of New York, that led to a New York State law that significantly curtailed the use of shackles on pregnant women incarcerated in New York State.
- We prevailed in multiple litigations challenging the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision’s unlawful denial of incarcerated mothers’ right to live with their newborn children in the Bedford Hills Correction Facility prison nursery.