Cravath makes $6m donation to civil rights causes following four-decade discrimination case

The company will donate any fees it has received from a longstanding pro bono process in Jefferson County

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham, Alabama will receive a portion of the Cravath donation Shutterstock

U.S. firm Cravath Swaine & Moore says it will donate $ 6 million to support a number of civil rights matters out of fees it was awarded in a longstanding employment discrimination lawsuit in Alabama in which they were African American and female Plaintiff represented free of charge basis.

The company received the fees after closing a nearly 40-year affair, initially sparked by discrimination against African American and female job applicants by local employers and later revolving around failure to comply with Jefferson County’s consent decrees to improve its recruitment processes. Cravath said it will donate the money to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), EJI’s Legacy Museum, Fisk University and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Faiza Saeed, presiding partner at Cravath, said: “As we ponder the culmination of our four decades of efforts to deliver on the promise of civil rights reform in Jefferson County, Alabama, we feel privileged to make this commitment by supporting the work of work each of these remarkable organizations. “

Since Cravath took over the case in 1983 – originally pending with the NAACP in 1974 – Cravath attorneys have volunteered more than 100,000 hours for “a better future for the people of Jefferson County.”

Former Cravath attorney Rowan Wilson, now assistant judge on the New York State Court of Appeals, said, “I was honored to be the Cravath Associate of this work for 25 years before I came to the bank, and it remains one of the most significant cases I worked as a practicing lawyer. It is extremely gratifying to see it ends with a measure of justice in Jefferson County, and testament to the company’s longstanding dedication to pro bono work and the difference it can make in progress and reform. “

The donation to Fisk University – one of the leading historically black colleges in the United States – is the company’s latest attempt to support the university as it launched the Cravath Scholars program in 2019 to help high-performing students through study support and a summer internship . to help the company’s New York office.

Earlier this year, US firm Morrison & Foerster launched a pro bono initiative to support black founders and business owners as part of the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and its response to racial injustice. Reed Smith also started an initiative to encourage his attorneys to do diversity and gender related work by rewarding them with 50 hours of credit towards their billable time goals.

Comments are closed.