International law firm Dorsey & Whitney LLP announced today that Eric Ruzicka, a partner in the Firm’s Trial Group, has been named the new Pro Bono Partner overseeing Dorsey's worldwide pro bono efforts. Mr. Ruzicka replaces Perry Wilson who retired last month to serve as an Administrative Law Judge with the State of Minnesota’s Office of Administrative Hearings.

“Community is a Dorsey core value, and pro bono work is one of the most important ways we give back to the community,” said Ken Cutler, Managing Partner of Dorsey & Whitney. “We are excited that Eric will continue our long-term commitment to serve the unmet legal needs of disadvantaged individuals and of organizations who cannot afford to pay for legal services.”

Upon graduation from Harvard Law School, Mr. Ruzicka joined Dorsey in 2001, becoming a prominent commercial litigator and building a practice focused on construction, commercial real estate, and business contract disputes. Over the years, his pro bono involvement has included representing pro se litigants in housing court and the NAACP in the Thomasville school desegregation litigation. He currently represents the ACLU in its efforts to obtain information from the Department of Defense, Department of Justice and CIA related to the targeted killing of U.S. citizens through the use of drone aircraft.

“I was fortunate to connect with two pillars of the pro bono community when I joined Dorsey,” said Ruzicka. “Mark Eastwood provided me my first client assignment when I started, but he told me I could only work on the paying client matter if I also took a pro bono case with him and promised to have at least one ongoing pro bono case at all times. In 2006, Bricker Lavik became one of my most important life mentors. He always led by example and engrained in me that being a Dorsey lawyer also meant devoting time and talent to those in need of pro bono services. It is an incredible honor to have this opportunity to lead Dorsey & Whitney’s pro bono efforts."

In addition to his law practice and pro bono work, Mr. Ruzicka continues to be active in numerous community organizations including serving as a board member of The Legal Rights Center, a non-profit organization devoted to providing criminal justice legal services to low-income people and people of color.

In 2013, Dorsey lawyers devoted more than 30,500 hours in total to pro bono projects. The Firm was an original signatory of the 1993 ABA Pro Bono Challenge and has met the Challenge every year since then by devoting more than three percent of billable hours to pro bono services.