The National Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (YLD) recognized Ballard Spahr last weekend for its work on the Clemency Project, a program launched by U.S. Department of Justice to address inmates serving prison sentences that are disproportionately harsh, considering their history and offenses.

The YLD honored Ballard Spahr at a Civil Rights Luncheon on Saturday. The firm’s Las Vegas Managing Partner, Robert C. Kim, accepted the award.

Nationally, 88 Ballard Spahr lawyers have volunteered to help nonviolent, long-term federal prisoners petition for clemency—commutation of the remainder of their term of incarceration. Ballard Spahr lawyers have already filed several formal clemency petitions and undertaken screening for nearly 75 other applicants.

The long prison terms were part of the mandatory sentencing laws of the late 20th century and contributed to rapid prison population growth. More than 1,500 attorneys across the country have volunteered to screen applicants and prepare clemency petitions for inmates who met criteria established by the Department of Justice, out of approximately 35,000 inmates who applied.

Ballard Spahr has a long-standing commitment to providing pro bono legal services. Each year, firm attorneys contribute more than 40,000 hours of pro bono legal services to a range of recipients including nonprofit organizations, low-income individuals, and arts groups.

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