Paul Hastings Supports Associate’s Pro Bono Service Benefiting Low-Income San Franciscans

The Justice & Diversity Center (JDC) is pleased to recognize David Lyons and his firm Paul Hastings in this month’s Volunteer Spotlight for their work on Medical-Legal Project cases. The firm has been a consistent supporter of JDC’s Medical-Legal Project including taking pro bono administrative law cases for the project’s clients.

Lyons David


Lyons assumed the lead on one such case placed with Paul Hastings last fall, which is still ongoing. Several associates, including Elisabeth Dorsi and Sophie Sung, also have worked on the case. The low-income elderly client came to the project at St. Mary’s Sister Mary Philippa Health Clinic because she had received a Social Security Administration (SSA) notice claiming she owed more than $20,000 in allegedly overpaid benefits which she cannot afford to pay. The client applied for Social Security Disability Benefits when she had to temporarily stop working due to a cancer diagnosis. When she returned to work, the SSA mistakenly continued her benefits even though she had notified them. Now the SSA is trying to recover those benefits and an administrative hearing was scheduled for December 21, 2016.

Lyons is an associate in Paul Hastings’s Environmental and Energy Practice Group focusing on regulatory counseling and litigation. Paul Hastings is deeply committed to pro bono work and fully supports associates who do pro bono work, allowing Lyons and other associates to take on JDC cases.

Lyons “deeply believes that one of the responsibilities of attorneys is to make sure the legal system is responsive to everyone, and pro bono representation is a meaningful way to fulfill this responsibility.” He finds “pro bono cases are an excellent way to improve” as an attorney, including using skills he doesn’t use regularly in his practice, such as interviewing or oral advocacy. Lyons likes JDC’s cases because it gives him an opportunity to help fellow San Francisco residents.

JDC is appreciative of associates like David Lyons and for Paul Hastings’ continued support of JDC pro bono. They help to make a big difference in our clients’ lives.

If you’d like to become involved with JDC’s Medical Legal Project, email for more information.