M.C. Sungaila, Marco Pulido Featured in ABA Newsletter


The American Bar Association’s (ABA) Section of Litigation featured articles by Haynes and Boone, LLP Partner M.C. Sungaila and Associate Marco Pulido in the section’s October 2018 newsletter. The articles discuss the impact of pro bono on the careers of Sungaila and Pulido.

Here is an excerpt from Sungaila’s article:

Lawyers do pro bono work for many reasons. Young associates may seek courtroom or case-management experience through pro bono litigation. Attorneys at all levels may wish to give back and serve the underserved. But few expect to find their calling or to find the area of practice they want to focus on. I did.

I was a midlevel associate at a large Los Angeles-based law firm. I had just completed a successful federal criminal trial where I had served as a key member of the defense team, arguing and preparing motions and jury instructions, crafting witness outlines, and preparing witnesses. This level of experience was nearly unheard of for a litigation associate at a big firm, much less at my level. I was grateful for the experience. I enjoyed arguing and preparing the motions and jury instructions and discussing legal issues with the judge, but I cringed when witnesses endured withering cross examination from the senior members of my team. We were working more than 300 hours a month and were in trial far from home. I yearned for the “jazz,” the payoff for all this personal sacrifice. My team members got it when they extracted a key concession from a witness or had a particularly combative day in court. But those things were not fulfilling to me. I wondered what would be. …

To read the full article, click here. (Subscription required)

The newsletter also referenced a pro bono handbook she co-authored that lists the pro bono appeals programs available for attorneys in each circuit court of appeals.

The following is an excerpt of Pulido’s article:

In 2017, “86% of the civil legal problems reported by low-income Americans received inadequate or no legal help.” Legal Services Corporation, The Justice Gap: Measuring the Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-Income Americans 6 (June 2017). Prior studies of low-income groups similarly have found “that well over three-quarters of their legal problems remain unaddressed.” Many of these legal issues concern some of the most basic needs that someone can have: shelter, income, and physical protection.

Pro bono legal work is one avenue for filling this access-to-justice gap. It is also a terrific way for law students and newer lawyers to get invaluable legal training. More and more opportunities to participate in appellate pro bono are emerging for those newer lawyers who seek to gain appellate experience. …

To read the full article, click here. (Subscription required)

To view the full ABA newsletter, click here.

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