News Clips

October 13, 2009

Civil Rights Star Joins Public Counsel


Los Angeles - Public Counsel, the nation's largest pro bono public interest law firm, today announced the appointment of Catherine Lhamon as the organization's newly-created Director of Impact Litigation. Lhamon will develop and supervise office-wide impact litigation for the Los Angeles-based civil rights organization, whose 41 in-house attorneys provide free legal services, advocacy, and technical support to pro bono attorneys serving low-income families, children, immigrants, non-profits, and small businesses.

Lhamon moves to Public Counsel from the ACLU of Southern California, where she was the Assistant Legal Director and an attorney for the past 10 years. Lhamon is a 1996 graduate of Yale Law School and a Clerk with the Honorable William A. Norris of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She has been named one of the Top 75 Women Litigators in California (Daily Journal, 2007), one of the Top 20 California Attorneys Under Age 40, and a California Lawyer Attorney of the Year in Civil Rights (California Lawyer, 2004). She was one of the principal architects and litigators behind the groundbreaking Williams v. State of California class action that secured $1 billion in funding for California public schools. Lhamon's legal career also includes significant civil rights victories on behalf of communities of color in the area of police abuse, school desegregation, and racial profiling.

Public Counsel's President & CEO Hernán D. Vera explained, "Catherine is a phenomenally talented public interest lawyer who has been on the cutting edge nationally of efforts to use litigation to address systemic inequities afflicting low-income schools, neighborhoods and people of color. We are thrilled to have her onboard, and confident that Public Counsel will provide her with a broad platform upon which to address the important legal and social issues of tomorrow."

Catherine Lhamon is looking forward to the new possibilities at Public Counsel: "I am honored and delighted to join Public Counsel's effort to provide excellent lawyering to underserved
communities and to build on Public Counsel's historic expertise to further impact low-income persons in Los Angeles and California."

About Public Counsel
Public Counsel is the country's largest pro bono, public interest law firm. It is the public interest law office of the Los Angeles County and Beverly Hills Bar Associations, and is the Southern California affiliate of the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Public Counsel's 41 in-house attorneys provide free legal and social services to the most vulnerable, including abused and abandoned children, homeless families and veterans, senior citizens, immigrants fleeing persecution, victims of consumer fraud and nonprofit organizations serving low-income communities. In 2008, with the assistance of over 2,000 attorney volunteers from hundreds of different law firms, Public Counsel served over 27,000 individuals and entities, providing over $83 million in free services.

Nationally, Public Counsel has been a leader in developing model programs and assisting other pro bono public interest law firms to bring these programs to their communities. In addition to serving the vast Los Angeles metropolitan region, Public Counsel is actively helping to strengthen pro bono public interest law internationally. In 2000, Public Counsel was instrumental in creating the Instituto Pro bono in Brazil, that country's first public interest pro bono law firm. Since that time Public Counsel has played a central role in nurturing other pro bono programs in Brazil, Argentina, Europe, Africa and Australia.