Steven H. Schulman has handled dozens of asylum and other immigration cases, with a particular emphasis on complex matters, such as those involving the application of terrorism-related grounds of inadmissibility. He joined the firm in 2006 as its first full-time pro bono partner, and he has seen participation in the pro bono practice increase substantially in every office and across every practice group.
The firm’s lawyers now devote an average of more than 100 hours annually to pro bono client matters.Under Steven’s leadership, the firm has built strong relationships with local and national legal services organizations and has developed experience in several areas of pro bono practice, such as representing charter schools, working with refugees and victims of human rights abuses, and providing legal counsel to military personnel and their families.
Steven leads and supervises the firm’s Pro Bono Scholars Program. Started in Washington in 2008, this two-summer program, now in Dallas, Los Angeles, Washington, New York and Houston, identifies and develops top law students to become the next generation of Akin Gump lawyers committed to building the firm’s pro bono practice.
Before joining the firm, Steven led the pro bono practice at another large international firm as its first pro bono counsel. He developed and implemented that firm’s signature Child Refugee Project, assisting unaccompanied alien children in the United States through individual representation, legislative advocacy and systemic reform. As a result of this project, thousands of children were moved from detention to foster care.
Steven is an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law Center and the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, where he teaches seminars on law firm economics and pro bono practice. He has also taught at Stanford Law School and The George Washington University Law School.Steven frequently lectures on the role of pro bono in the legal profession, both in the United States and the United Kingdom.
- Maintains a substantive practice in many areas of public interest law, including human rights, immigration, assistance to military personnel and poverty law matters.
- Leads our pro bono practice worldwide.
- Assisted in securing asylum grants for academics and activists from Syria, Malaysia, Iraq, Ethiopia, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Central African Republic and El Salvador.
- Organized a multi-firm project in London to represent stateless persons seeking immigration status in the United Kingdom.
- Led a team in the first case to bring a former head of state (Bolivia) to trial in the United States for human rights abuses. The jury awarded $10 million to our clients in April 2018.
- Co-chair, Board of Directors and Executive Committee, Appleseed, a nonprofit network of 18 public interest justice centers in the United States and Mexico.
- Member, Board of Directors and Executive Committee, International Senior Lawyers Project.
- Board member, Association of Pro Bono
- Inaugural member, Board of Advocates, Human Rights First.
- J.D., Northwestern University School of Law, cum laude, 1994
- B.A., Brandeis University, cum laude, 1989
- District of Columbia
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