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Pro Bono

53,298* hours for the (public) good. It’s about time.

Pro bono work is one of the cornerstones of our firm. That’s why our attorneys, summer associates and paralegals work on a wide range of pro bono matters. Last year we dedicated more than 53,000 hours to 522 matters allowing Goodwin Procter to meet the Pro Bono Institute’s Law Firm Challenge. We believe pro bono work is time very well spent.

Our pro bono work not only affects the local communities in which we work and live, but also improves the lives of people in other parts of the world. Our lawyers assist low-income individuals on issues such as housing, immigration, criminal defense, and small business development. In addition, we assist national and international nonprofit organizations on governance issues, intellectual property, real estate, tax, employment and environmental matters. In addition, our attorneys have been very involved in the area of microfinance, helping nonprofit organizations in the sector to make complex cross-border investments in emerging markets and to solve sophisticated regulatory issues.

We work on a range of challenging and topical issues including rights to education, death penalty challenges, immigration, microfinance, constitutional law, and civil rights matters. And the Pro Bono Initiative actively works with the members of the Committee for Racial and Ethnic Diversity and the Women's Initiative to provide programming and pro bono opportunities that are responsive to the individual interests of each group. Our pro bono annual report offers more information and insights on some of our recent projects.

The firm also facilitates several externship opportunities through which associates work full-time (and at full Goodwin Procter salary) at public service or government organizations. For example, the firm has ongoing commitments to the Brooklyn (NY) DA’s Office and the Middlesex County (MA) DA’s office, and the Center for Women and Enterprise (CWE). Summer associates who work in the Washington office have the opportunity to apply for a unique public interest experience within their summer experience at Goodwin Procter. Under our Public Interest Fellowship Program, selected summer associates spend a minimum of seven weeks at our Washington office, and then work at a public interest organization of their choice for the second half of the summer. We continue to pay the full summer associate salary throughout the program.

Goodwin Procter and our attorneys have been widely recognized by clients and legal services partners for our pro bono achievements. These achievements are emblematic of our lawyers’ generosity of spirit and a desire to help those in need.

Within the firm we recognize the achievements and leadership of selected Goodwin Procter attorneys with the annual Robert B. Fraser Pro Bono Award. This award reflects outstanding contributions in performing pro bono work on behalf of the firm, and acknowledges special contributions to the expansion of pro bono programs within the firm.

No matter how big or small, how monumental the issues or how routine, every pro bono matter receives the same level of dedication, professionalism, and care. The firm greatly appreciates the energy, commitment, and creativity that all of the attorneys and other legal professionals involved bring to our Pro Bono Initiative. For more information on Goodwin Procter’s current pro bono initiatives, contact Carolyn Rosenthal, Pro Bono Manager.

*Includes time dedicated by attorneys, paraprofessionals, and law students during calendar year 2013