January 27, 2021
The Pro Bono Committee is thrilled to announce the winners of this year’s Frank Wheat Memorial Awards. This year’s winners demonstrated an unfailing dedication to pro bono, a commitment to excellence, and a passion for service, exemplifying the very best of Gibson Dunn. As in previous years, this year’s winners and nominees worked on a wide variety of matters—including both high-stakes individual pro bono representations and large-scale projects with far-reaching impacts—that reflect the breadth of Gibson Dunn’s pro bono practice.
Frank Wheat, a former Los Angeles partner, was a superb transactional lawyer, SEC commissioner, and president of the Los Angeles County Bar. He was also a giant in the nonprofit community, having founded the Alliance for Children’s Rights in addition to serving as a leader of the Sierra Club and as a founding director of the Center for Law in the Public Interest. He exemplified the commitment to the community and to pro bono service that has always been a core tenet of the Gibson Dunn culture. The Frank Wheat Award is given annually to individual lawyers and teams that have demonstrated leadership and initiative in their pro bono work, obtained significant results for their pro bono clients, and served as a source of inspiration to others. Recipients of the Frank Wheat Memorial Award each receive a $2,500 prize to be donated to pro bono organizations designated by the recipients.
In 2021, a year that presented countless challenges, Gibson Dunn remained committed to pro bono work, devoting more than 140,000 pro bono hours valued at approximately $128 million to hundreds of projects firmwide. Our attorneys averaged more than 90 pro bono hours per attorney in the United States and more than 80 pro bono hours per attorney worldwide.