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Lisa Dewey

Lisa Dewey

Pro Bono Partner

Lisa Dewey became DLA Piper's first full-time Pro Bono Partner over 20 years ago. Lisa cultivates DLA Piper's strategic thinking on pro bono, including the vision for DLA Piper's US program, which encompasses more than 1,400 lawyers. She works extensively with the firm's clients as well as legal aid providers, nonprofits and academic institutions to develop and deliver collaborative and impactful pro bono projects. Lisa leads the US pro bono team to inspire and facilitate pro bono participation across the firm and helps firm lawyers establish pro bono practices that complement and expand their billable practices.

From July 2011 until December 2021, Lisa was the director of New Perimeter, DLA Piper's nonprofit affiliate that provides long-term pro bono legal assistance in under-served regions around the world to support access to justice, social and economic development and sound legal institutions with an overarching focus on women’s advancement.

As director of New Perimeter, Lisa led the strategic direction and vision of the program to engage DLA Piper lawyers around the globe to work for a more just world for all. She worked with the Advisory Board and also developed and worked on New Perimeter projects and managed global teams of DLA Piper lawyers. Lisa has led and contributed to projects focused on legal education, access to justice and women's advancement in Latin America, SE Asia and the Balkans. She has developed partnerships with NGOs, government agencies, in-house departments and other joint venture partners.

As part of her practice, Lisa has advised and represented individuals and public interest organizations on a pro bono basis. She has worked on a range of pro bono initiatives and cases, including representing a man on death row in Alabama, refugees seeking asylum in the US and individuals in family law, domestic violence, juvenile, veterans and housing matters. Lisa's experience also includes federal criminal appeals, and civil rights work, including representing a class of plaintiffs who filed suit for sexual harassment and retaliation under Title VII.

Before becoming the firm's Pro Bono Partner, Lisa represented and counseled corporations and individuals in criminal investigations and federal jury trials in the areas of public corruption, mail fraud, money laundering, and healthcare fraud. She has argued cases before the US Courts of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the District of Columbia, and the US District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. Lisa has also counseled clients regarding development of corporate ethics and compliance programs.

Lisa frequently presents on pro bono and access to justice. She has been a regular speaker at the Pro Bono Institute Annual Conference and has presented at the Equal Justice Conference, the International Bar Association annual meeting, Canadian National Pro Bono Conference, Pyxera's International Corporate Volunteerism Conference, DC Bar Pro Bono Center sessions and at various law schools. She has also co-taught practica on tackling the access to justice crisis and co-taught a seminar on pro bono in large law firms at Georgetown Law Center. Lisa currently serves as a Commissioner on the DC Access to Justice Commission and on the board of the DC Affordable Law Firm.

Bar admissionsDistrict of ColumbiaMaryland
CourtsUnited States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia CircuitUnited States District Court for the District of ColumbiaUnited States District Court for the District of MarylandUnited States Court of Appeals for MarylandUnited States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • Spanish
  • Harvard Leadership Program 2006
  • J.D., American University, Washington College of Law 1993
    Founder and Editorial board member, The Journal of Gender and the Law
    summa cum laude
  • B.A., University of Tulsa 1990
    Phi Beta Kappa
    Mortar Board
    magna cum laude


  • 2017 Women and the Law Leadership Awardee, Washington College of Law at The American University ("The Women and the Law Leadership Award recognizes the extraordinary accomplishments of alumnae who made significant contributions to the field of law and their service to the law school. This year, the program honored Lisa Dewey '93 and her commitment to pro bono work and access to justice.")
  • Ayuda − Hall of Fame Award (2016)
  • Financial Times − named an Innovative Individual in the Responsible Business category on the paper's list of US Innovative Lawyers. Only 10 US lawyers nationwide were designated Innovative Individuals (December 2010)
  • Washington SmartCEO magazine − named one of Greater Washington's Legal Elite (2005)
  • Washington Business Journal − Co-Winner of the Young Gun Award in the "Top Washington Lawyers" edition (September 2004)


  • Chapter co-author, "Pro bono post-pandemic - our evolving commitment to serving others," Accelerating Trends in Law Firms, Globe Law and Business (December 1, 2021)
  • Co-author, "Big Law’s Bid to Improve Access to Justice Through Pro Bono (Perspective)," Bloomberg Law (August 3, 2017)
  • Co-author, "Pro Bono Goes Global," Stanford Social Innovation Review (Winter 2016)
  • Co-Author, "Integrating Pro Bono Activities with the Law Firm’s Business," book chapter in, Beyond Elite Law: Access to Civil Justice for Americans of Average Means (2016)
  • Contributor, Pro Bono Institute’s Global Due Diligence Pro Bono Manual (2016)
  • Co-author, "Expanding the Perimeters of Pro Bono," The Maryland Bar Journal (July 2014)
  • Contributor, Legal Services Corporation, Report of the Pro Bono Task Force (2012)

Media Mentions

Clerk Experience

  • The Honorable Noel Anketell Kramer, District of Columbia Superior Court


  • Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, practicum: tackling the access to justice crisis
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, seminar: law firm economics and pro bono practice
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, Universidad Panamericana, Mexico City, seminar: pro bono practice and the public interest
  • Lecturer, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo De Mexico (ITAM), Mexico City, short seminar: pro bono, social change and public policy
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, Washington College of Law, The American University, Externship Seminar: government, pro bono and public interest
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, Washington College of Law, The American University, Legal Methods Instructor: legal writing for first-year law 

Memberships And Affiliations

  • Law360 - Access to Justice Editorial Advisory Board (2021)
  • District of Columbia Access to Justice Commission - Commissioner
  • District of Columbia Bar Board of Governors (2017-2020)
  • Legal Services Corporation, Disaster Task Force Member (2018-2019)
  • American Bar Association
  • Appleseed − Board Member
  • Association of Pro Bono Counsel
  • District of Columbia Affordable Law Firm − Board Member
  • District of Columbia Pro Bono Center − Pro Bono Committee, Housing Committee, and Nonprofit and Small Business Legal Assistance Subcommittee
  • District of Columbia Women's Bar Association
  • AYUDA, Inc.− Honorary Board of Directors
  • District of Columbia Bar − Civility Implementation Committee (2002)
  • Legal Services Corporation − Pro Bono Task Force
  • National Legal Aid and Defender Association − Blue Ribbon Task Force on Pro Bono
  • PILnet − Pro Bono Council
  • Public Interest Law Institute − Pro Bono Council