The law firms honored have all devoted considerable time and resources to delivering on the mandate of Gideon v Wainwright, which fifty years ago established the right to counsel for people accused of a crime and facing a loss of liberty.
Each winner has been chosen for their accomplishments in advancing Gideon's principles through law reform or individual representation.
A small sample of these successes include the exoneration of innocent people; landmark appellate victories that promote effective representation; pardons or commutations that ameliorate the impact of unnecessarily harsh and disparate sentences; and the dedication of tens of thousands of pro bono hours that ensured that individuals received competent counsel and fair treatment under the law.
NLADA President and CEO Jo-Ann Wallace said, "These firms truly serve as beacons of justice. Their achievements in advancing the cause of equal justice through pro bono generosity provide the entire legal community with a powerful example. I am so proud to have private partners that consistently demonstrate exactly what we can achieve when we work together to secure justice under the law."
In selecting Cook Yancey, the review committee was impressed by the depth and impact of Cook Yancey's work to advance policies and practices that provide pathways to justice and opportunity.
Last month Cook Yancey was honored at the NLADA Exemplar Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C. The firm also attended the 2014 Leadership Appreciation Luncheon where former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens will present the Justice John Paul Stevens Lifetime Achievement Award to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
President of Cook Yancey Bernard Johnson said, "Every lawyer takes an oath to assist the defenseless and oppressed. Shreveport is blessed to have many lawyers, including a number at Cook Yancey, who have taken that part of our oath to heart, and their efforts have made Shreveport a better place to live."
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