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 Join us at our 2021 William O. Douglas Award Dinner! Click HERE for info.


Virtual Run for Justice

Run for Justice 2021 Virtual Run/Walk Banner

Thank You for Joining Us at

Public Counsel's William O. Douglas

50th Anniversary Virtual Celebration

October 6, 2020

Click here to view 50 Years of Justice - Anniversary Livestream Special

Public Counsel Livestream Special Graphic

2019 William O. Douglas Award Dinner


Thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate Public Counsel’s remarkable accomplishments and distinguished honorees at our 2019 William O. Douglas Award Dinner on Thursday, October 24, 2019, at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.

It was our priviledge to honor Governor Gavin Newsom with the William O. Douglas Award , Toyota with our Corporate Achievement Award, and Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP with our Law Firm Pro Bono Award.


2018 William O. Douglas Dinner

Mike Farrell & Jason George

Jason George presents the 2018 William O. Douglas Award to Mike Farrell.

On Wednesday, October 3, more than 1000 friends of Public Counsel gathered at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills to celebrate the year's work, pay tribute to the evening's remarkable honorees, and help raise over $2.2 million in support of Public Counsel's work bringing equal access to justice.

Our William O. Douglas Award recipient, actor and activist Mike Farrell, gave a powerful speech which captivated the entire room and brought the crowd to a standing ovation.  He told a gut-wrenchingly personal story about his journey into activism ending with a quote from his mentor, Rabbi Leonard Beerman: "To be most deeply human is to be among the resisters, to resist whatever demeans life.  And that will lead us to become aware of what one huiman being owes to another, can mean to another and to have compassion for all people - all of us - in our terrible fragility."

The evening's other honorees included Participant Media, recipient of the Corporate Achievement Award, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, recipient of the Law Firm Pro Bono Award, and Audrey Irmas, recipient of the inaugural Audrey Irmas Social Justice Impact Award.  Guests were also treated to a wonderful performance by world renowned artist, Aloe Blacc.


2017 William O. Douglas Dinner

Rev. James Lawson Accepts William O. Douglas Award

On Thursday, June 29th, Public Counsel staff, friends and supporters gathered at the annual William O. Douglas Award Dinner.  In addition to celebrating the work of Public Counsel, the event honored civil rights hero Rev. James M. Lawson, Jr. with the William O. Douglas Award, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP with the Law Firm Pro Bono Award, and The Walt Disney Company with the Corporate Achievement Award.  The event raised nearly $2.2 million to support the important work of Public Counsel.


2016 William O. Douglas Dinner

DD 2016 pics

The 2016 William O. Douglas Award Dinner was a wonderful success.  More than 1,200 supporters joined us in honoring Bryan Stevenson, Sidley Austin LLP and Panda Restaurant Group, Inc. for their commitment to ensuring equal access to justice for all.

Bryan Stevenson said it best when he received the Douglas Award, "I really think that hopelessness is the enemy of justice.  Injustice prevails where hopelessness persists.  And the work of Public Counsel is rooted in hope.  They believe that if they stand next to disabled children, if they stand next to homeless people, if they stand next to people coming out of jails and prisons, they can make a difference in their lives."  Watch Bryan's full speech here.

Other special guests included Michael B. Jordan, Tanya Acker, Mike Farrell, and two very special performances by John Legend. (Click here to watch John Legend's performance, or here to watch his encore performance).

View more photos from the evening here.


2015 William O. Douglas Dinner

"Who's got the power?  We've got the power!
What kind of power?  People power!
What kind of power?  Legal power!
Que viva Public Counsel!"
- 2015 William O. Douglas Award recipient Dolores Huerta


On Wednesday, June 17th, more than 1,000 Los Angeles leaders raised over $2.1 million to support the work of Public Counsel at our 39th annual William O. Douglas Award Dinner.

We were even lucky enough to join along as civil rights icon Dolores Huerta, this year’s Douglas Award honoree, lead the room in a resounding and inspiring chant.

Each year, Public Counsel annually assists more than 30,000 families, children, immigrants, veterans, and nonprofit organizations and addresses systemic poverty and civil rights issues through impact litigation and policy advocacy. Your support continues to make that possible.

If you missed the event, please GIVE NOW to help us continue our important work.

In the words of our interim President & CEO Rand April, “Please don’t let the business of law make you forget why the practice of law, and the pursuit of justice, appealed to you in the first place.”

Thank you for your continued support of equal justice for all. Que viva Public Counsel, indeed!



2014 William O. Douglas Dinner


Click here to see more photos from the 2014 William O. Douglas Dinner at our Flickr page.


Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton Receives William O. Douglas Award

Public Counsel honored former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the 2014 William O. Douglas Dinner on June 19.

“I'm here to applaud the contributions that Public Counsel makes to our communities and our values,” Secretary Clinton said as she accepted the William O. Douglas Award.

"Secretary Clinton embodies the very highest American values of civic engagement and public service,” said Public Counsel President and CEO Hernán D. Vera.

Our annual event also recognized corporate champion Qualcomm, law firm Arnold & Porter LLP, and leading attorneys Roman Silberfeld and Rand April for supporting a more equal society.

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Mary Steenburgen

More than 1,500 people attended the William O. Douglas Dinner, an annual event that recognizes leaders who have helped make Public Counsel the nation’s largest not-for-profit law firm of its kind. Public Counsel puts the power of law to work for a better community and represents more than 30,000 children, families, immigrants, veterans, and victims of fraud and injustice every year.

Past recipients of Public Counsel’s William O. Douglas Award include Sen. Elizabeth Dole, Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, President Bill Clinton, and Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright.

Qualcomm received the Corporate Achievement Award in recognition of its work to create educated, healthy, sustainable and culturally vibrant communities through its innovative philanthropy. Donald Rosenberg, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Qualcomm Incorporated, accepted the award.

Arnold & Porter LLP received the Law Firm Pro Bono Award in recognition of its work with Public Counsel to support litigation for California students and legal service projects that help nonprofit and community-based organizations grow and thrive. Thomas Milch, Chair of Arnold & Porter LLP, accepted the award.

Renowned attorneys and former Public Counsel board chairpersons Rand April of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Roman Silberfeld of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi receive the Founders Award for their commitment to justice for all. Only five others have received Public Counsel’s Founders Award.

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Hillary Rodham Clinton at William Douglas Dinner


Thank you to all of our 2020 Run for Justice Participants!!




Thank you to everyone who came out to enjoy an evening of Jazz benefitting Public Counsel!

Catalina Jazz Club Event

It was another FUN evening at Hamburger Mary's!  Thank you to the Leadership Council and everyone who came and supported the event!

Hamburger Mary's 2019 Roxy

Hamburger Mary's 2019


THANK YOU to Everyone Who Participated and Supported our

2018 "Run for Justice!"


Click here to read more

Run for Justice


Support Public Counsel through our online shops!

eBay for Charity

Public Counsel is now part of the eBay for Charity Program.  Click here to see our charity profile and browse the items we are currently selling!  For more information or to inquire about other ways to benefit Public Counsel through your eBay transactions, contact Erin Farrell at


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Visit our Shopify Store to find a wide variety of designer clothing, memorabilia, furniture, Waterford crystal, housewares, etc.  Click here to visit the store.



2013 William O. Douglas Dinner

Public Counsel honored Elizabeth Dole with our William O. Douglas Award on September 12, 2013, and announced a new partnership to give legal support to caregivers supporting wounded warriors and military veterans.

Click hre to read more about the 2013 William O. Douglas Dinner.


2012 William O. Douglas Dinner


It was a night of history and hope as Public Counsel honored Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel with the 2012 William O. Douglas Award.

Click here to view more photos from our 2012 William O. Douglas Dinner.


2011 William O. Douglas Dinner


President Bill Clinton told a packed house of 1,200 people that Public Counsel's work gave people hope and opportunity. "You are doing a noble thing," said the 42nd president.

Click here to view more photos from our 2011 William O. Douglas Dinner.