Jesse Medlong Named Bill Brockett Pro Bono Attorney of the Year

Jesse Medlong, a litigation associate at DLA Piper, has been named the Bill Brockett Pro Bono Attorney of the Year. The annual award is presented to a volunteer attorney for their outstanding dedication to supporting Swords to Plowshares’ Veterans Legal Pro Bono Program. The award is named in memory of William “Bill” Brockett Jr., co-founder of Keker, Van Nest & Peters LLP along with John Keker.

San Francisco, CA, Oct. 16, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Jesse served in the U.S. Navy as a fire control technician and biomedical equipment technician from 2000-2010. Jesse had joined the Navy for its educational opportunities, and with bachelor’s and master’s degrees already completed during his time in service, he decided to use the GI Bill to go for a juris doctorate at the University of Michigan Law School. 

After finishing law school, Jesse began at DLA Piper as a Krantz Fellow, which allowed him to spend his first year as an associate working exclusively on pro bono matters. He had done some pro bono work with veterans before starting at DLA Piper and wanted to continue as he began his legal career in the San Francisco Bay Area. Jesse soon learned of the firm’s existing relationship with Swords to Plowshares and he quickly inquired into how he could get involved.

Early on, Jesse was asked to take on an ambitious project that was extremely important to Swords to Plowshares. He represented the San Francisco Posts of the American Legion and other veteran service organizations that sought to lease space in the War Memorial Veterans’ Building.  The building was established by the trust as a space dedicated to veterans and those serving veterans, and yet these veteran service organizations were being denied access. Jesse was the lead associate from DLA Piper who litigated the case on behalf of these organizations in San Francisco Probate Court and successfully secured the rights for Swords to Plowshares and others to occupy space in the building.

As a result, the administrative staff of Swords to Plowshares moved into the third floor of the War Memorial Veterans’ Building earlier this year. This has allowed Swords to Plowshares to expand its office space and enter a long-term lease at a very affordable rate compared to other office spaces in the city. The benefits of this arrangement will have lasting impacts on Swords to Plowshares’ ability to continue to fight for homeless and low-income San Francisco veterans. Jesse has also made contributions to fellow veterans by providing full representation for those needing help fighting for their VA benefits.

“Swords to Plowshares’ Pro Bono Program provides a meaningful outlet for my legal expertise and desire for civic engagement,” said Jesse. “When you assist individual clients like veterans and help them successfully navigate a complex administrative system, you can see your impact immediately.”

“We are delighted to honor Jesse with the 2019 Bill Brockett Pro Bono Attorney of the Year award,” said Swords to Plowshares’ Legal Director Maureen “Mo” Siedor. “Jesse has been a dedicated volunteer since he started with the program several years ago. In addition to successfully litigating the case to occupy the War Memorial Veterans Building, he has staffed multiple legal clinics, taken on individual cases, and is a very engaged member of our Pro Bono Advisory Board. We are grateful for Jesse’s ongoing commitment to supporting the mission of Swords to Plowshares.”

About Swords to Plowshares:

Founded in 1974, Swords to Plowshares is a community-based not-for-profit organization that provides counseling and case management, rapid re-housing and eviction prevention services, employment and training, supportive housing, and legal benefits assistance for low-income, homeless and at-risk veterans in the San Francisco Bay Area. Swords to Plowshares promotes and protects the rights of veterans through advocacy, public education, and partnerships with local, state and national entities. Learn more about the work of Swords to Plowshares, and ways in which you can help, by visiting our website at

About DLA Piper: 

DLA Piper is a global law firm that is deeply committed to pro bono. Around the world, DLA Piper lawyers use pro bono to promote the Rule of Law by strengthening civil society and building capacity, and to support Access to Justice, particularly for children and asylum seekers. Through its “Pro Bono Signature Projects,” DLA Piper provides direct service to individuals and organizations that could not otherwise afford counsel, while helping to build a pro bono culture in the legal profession around the world. One such signature project in the Americas is “Serving Those Who Serve Our Country,” through which DLA Piper has committed to providing legal and community engagement services to veterans and active duty military personnel across the United States.


Jesse Medlong, DLA Piper, accepting the 2019 Bill Brockett Pro Bono Attorney of the Year award from Swords to Plowshares Legal Director, Maureen "Mo" Siedor. John Keker of Keker, Van Nest & Peters (far left), Jesse Medlong of DLA Paper (2nd from the left), Maureen "Mo" Siedor, Swords to Plowshares Legal Director (2nd from the right), and Michael Blecker, Swords to Plowshares Executive Director.

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