Robert E. Borton
Robert Borton has been a leader in the development of pro bono services to the poor for the past three decades, both through his management of his firm's pro bono practice and his individual representation of low income clients. Working with a number of legal services organizations, Mr. Borton has paired many teams of pro bono attorneys from his firm with public interest attorneys bringing civil rights cases and class actions on behalf of immigrants, children and families, women prisoners, and other groups. He has assisted in setting up pro bono legal clinics and has himself contributed hundreds of hours of his own time to representing indigent people in class action lawsuits and individual cases.
Mr. Borton has also been extremely generous with his firm's resources. He has invited young attorneys from legal services agencies to attend his firm's in-house litigation training program, providing them with comprehensive training free of charge. He has also marshaled attorney involvement in activities ranging from research support for policy impact cases to organizing of a team of 13 attorneys in his firm to teach 120 Oakland high school students about civil rights.
In addition to his own handling of pro bono cases, Mr. Borton has made taking pro bono cases an integral part of his firm's training and culture. Mr. Borton is particularly committed to encouraging pro bono involvement among newer associates and engaging his and other law firms to staff clinics and provide resources to legal services agencies. Because of his many years of pro bono service, Mr. Borton has won a number of pro bono awards, including the State Bar of California's President's Pro Bono Service Award, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Robert Sproul Pro Bono Award, the San Francisco Bar Association Award of Merit and the San Francisco Legal Aid Society's Roll Call for Justice Award.