Our commitment to pro bono legal work arises from our conviction that pro bono work is a professional obligation of our firm and our lawyers to the communities in which we practice. Pro bono work not only contributes to the public welfare but also develops our lawyers as leaders in law and in public service. Our pro bono service includes counseling and representation of clients who could not otherwise afford representation, as well as services in matters involving significant public policy issues.
Thompson Hine provides the same outstanding legal counseling and representation for our pro bono clients that all of our clients expect and deserve. The firm makes all of its resources available in pro bono matters no less than in matters of our other clients. We strongly encourage each of our lawyers and other professionals to participate in our pro bono program.
Recent Pro Bono Victories
- Working with the Office of the Federal Public Defender (FPD), the firm assisted in securing the commutation of the sentence of a severely mentally ill Ohio death row inmate who was convicted of murder in 1986. The case called into question Ohio’s constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, which at the time the man was sentenced did not apply to offenders suffering from severe mental illness. The Thompson Hine team worked with various amici around the state and country to seek to commute the inmate’s death sentence. Following a 2020 change in Ohio law that expanded the scope of the prohibition on executing the severely mentally ill, the FPD filed a successful motion seeking to have the death penalty vacated and the man’s sentence was commuted to life.
- The firm partnered with AIDS-Free World and Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network for the past nine years to challenge Jamaica’s Offences Against the Person Act which criminalized certain sexual acts by LGBTI persons. In 2020, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights issued a scathing report declaring that the Act violates several of the individual rights protected by the American Convention on Human Rights, which Jamaica signed in 1977.
- In collaboration with Lambda Legal, the ACLU and the ACLU of Ohio, the firm represented the plaintiffs in Ray v. McCloud, in which the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio struck down a discriminatory state policy that prevented transgender people born in Ohio from correcting the gender marker on their birth certificates.