Ballard Spahr attorneys are taking a central role in a national pro bono campaign, Clemency Project 2014, to help federal drug offenders win early release from prison, a campaign that involves litigators and lawyers from a full range of practices.

Marjorie Peerce, a partner at Ballard Spahr whose practice focuses on white collar criminal defense, regulatory matters, and complex civil litigation, said she and her colleagues are learning about federal drug sentencing guidelines so they can help people they don’t know through the campaign.

"I’ve had 70-year-old partners come up to me and say, 'This is unbelievable,'" she said. "The bar has stepped up, not just the big firms, but your small firms and your solos. To me, it is the largest pro bono initiative in the history of American jurisprudence. You have thousands of pro bono lawyers across the country who are participating, many who have never touched a criminal case before."

After the U.S. Department of Justice announced an initiative in January that would allow some inmates serving long sentences for drug possession to seek clemency, the Clemency Project 2014 was established.


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