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Patricia O'Connell
Senior Communications Manager

Wiley Rein Names Theodore Howard Pro Bono Partner of the Firm

May 13, 2014

Washington, DC — Wiley Rein is pleased to announce that Theodore A. Howard, a partner in the Insurance Practice, has been named the first full-time Pro Bono Partner of the firm.  In his new capacity, Mr. Howard will oversee and build upon the firm’s current pro bono programs and initiatives, further strengthening Wiley Rein’s already significant commitment to public service.

“Wiley Rein has a strong track record as a pro bono leader and we’re proud to be able to serve the vital needs of both individuals and public interest legal services organizations,” said managing partner Peter D. Shields.  “Ted’s impressive achievements have enhanced the firm’s premier reputation and his service as Pro Bono Partner will help to guide and expand our community involvement and service to clients.”

“I am honored and privileged to be given the opportunity to further the firm’s efforts in providing high-quality legal services to those of limited means and to serve as a resource among the legal services providers that seek assistance from the private bar,” said Mr. Howard.  “There’s a tremendous need for legal assistance given today’s economic environment, and we have the opportunity to really make a difference.”

Mr. Howard has a national reputation as a litigator, both in insurance law and within the pro bono community.  He was recognized by the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia with the Servant of Justice Award, in honor of his numerous pro bono contributions.  Mr. Howard’s pro bono practice has included death penalty cases, housing and family law matters, and important impact litigation involving prisoners’ rights issues.  He is the lead lawyer in Wiley Rein’s major ongoing representation of plaintiffs in a constitutional challenge to the medical care provided at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women, a Virginia state prison.  Mr. Howard serves as Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, and previously served as President and Chairman of the Board of Directors for the District of Columbia Prisoners’ Legal Services Project.  He also serves on the Advisory Council of the Legal Aid Justice Center in Virginia.

Wiley Rein and its lawyers have been recognized numerous times over the firm’s 30-year history for their pro bono contributions, and the firm prides itself on a strong tradition of pro bono service to both local and global communities.  The firm has been honored for exceptional volunteer work by the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, an organization Wiley Rein has served for more than 12 years.  The firm also was the recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs for its pro bono representation of the NAACP and several individuals in a federal lawsuit alleging a widespread pattern and practice of race discrimination against restaurant patrons throughout the South. 

Wiley Rein’s representations over the past decade include noteworthy cases with sweeping potential ramifications, as well as matters handled on behalf of individuals referred through legal service providers with whom the firm has developed close relationships.  In one of the firm’s signature pro bono cases, Wiley Rein—along with the Washington Lawyers’ Committee, and on behalf of The Equal Rights Center—helped to secure a groundbreaking, multi-million dollar settlement of a class action lawsuit brought against MetroAccess, alleging that Metro had violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act by failing to provide adequate service to customers with disabilities.

In 2013 alone, Wiley Rein supported more than 35 organizations related to public service efforts, and its lawyers contributed well in excess of 12,000 hours to pro bono projects.  Recent successes include reaching a landmark settlement in March 2014—in collaboration with the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland—with the Baltimore City Police Department in a right to record police action case; obtaining a significant victory for a disabled pro bono client by having their Social Security benefits reinstated dating back to 2005; and securing a remand in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on behalf of a Chinese immigrant seeking asylum based on her fears of forced sterilization if she returned to China. 

Wiley Rein also highlighted the outstanding contributions of 20 individuals at the firm for their pro bono work last November in its first annual awards program, which was organized under the leadership of long-time pro bono committee chair Paul Khoury.