Corporate lawyers at Paul Weiss, a prestigious Manhattan law firm, often spend their days scouring the fine print of client documents and government regulations. But for the past few months, they have been on a different search.
In the firm’s Midtown offices, about 75 lawyers have been trying to find more than 400 parents who were separated from their families at the southern border this year and then deported without their children.
Paul Weiss, where partners charge more than $1,000 an hour and clients include the National Football League and Citigroup, is looking for these parents, pro bono, as part of a federal American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against the Trump administration over its family separation policy.
Big Law — a nexus of power where partners are often plucked for top government posts — has emerged as a fierce, and perhaps unexpected, antagonist to President Trump’s immigration agenda. While pro bono work is nothing new, over the past two years, major law firms have become more vocal and visible in pushing back against the administration’s policies.