As Part of Comprehensive Diversity and Inclusion Plan, Mintz Donates to Three Nonprofits Focused on Civil Rights
In Addition to Charitable Contributions, Firm Plans to Strengthen its Volunteer and Pro Bono Partnerships with Lawyers for Civil Rights, Legal Outreach, and The Marshall Project
As part of Mintz’s previously announced multi-step diversity and inclusion plan to increase equity internally and in the legal community, the firm has donated a total of $150,000 between three nonprofit organizations focused on civil rights – Lawyers for Civil Rights, Legal Outreach, and The Marshall Project.
“We are privileged to be in a position to champion these three civil rights-focused nonprofits by giving much-needed financial support to progress their social justice work, and we are excited to expand our relationships with these organizations by providing pro bono representation for victims of racial discrimination, engaging in election protection efforts, serving as attorney mentors to minority and low-income students, and more,” said Mintz Managing Member Bob Bodian.
The most substantial of the three charitable contributions, Mintz has donated $100,000 to Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR) Boston, a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan legal organization that provides volunteer legal representation to victims of discrimination based on race or national origin. LCR handles major law reform cases, legal actions on behalf of individuals, and engages in public policy advocacy, community legal education, community economic development, and other legal services that further the cause of civil rights. The national organization, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, was founded in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy following a meeting of 250 lawyers at the White House to discuss the role lawyers could and should play in the deepening civil rights crisis.
LCR is one of Mintz’s longest standing pro bono partners, and the firm has collaborated with the legal services organization on strategic litigation including cases relating to police brutality and environmental racism; submitting amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court on racial justice issues; and providing minority, immigrant, and low-income entrepreneurs and small business owners with free legal assistance. LCR will utilize Mintz’s donation to provide free legal services to people of color, immigrants, and individuals in low-income communities in racial justice and anti-discrimination cases. The organization will also leverage the funds to open and expand its nonpartisan election protection work to ensure that every eligible voter can cast a meaningful vote.
“Mintz's gift will have a transformative impact on the ground by fueling our life-changing and law-changing work in the midst of concurrent and overlapping health, economic, and racial justice pandemics,” said Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal, Executive Director of Lawyers for Civil Rights. He added: “This powerful investment also creates a model for law firms nationally to support local, community-driven efforts to provide free legal support to people of color, immigrants, and low-income communities.”
Separately, Mintz has donated $25,000 to Legal Outreach, a New York-based pipeline to diversity organization that seeks to level the educational playing field for minority, low income, and first-generation students by implementing programs designed to fill the achievement, outlook, and matching gaps which prevent students from achieving their highest aspirations and reaching their professional goals. Legal Outreach’s unique student programming includes its Summer Law Institute, a five-week intensive summer program that includes a mock-trial competition, and College Bound, a four-year comprehensive college preparatory program, which consists of an attorney mentoring program, constitutional law debates, SAT preparation, and other academic enrichment and career exposure programs. Legal Outreach boasts impressive outcomes for its student participants, including a 100% high school graduation rate and 95% college graduation rate. Alumni have gone on to attend Ivy League schools, and many have attended law school and pursued professional careers in law and other industries. In addition to donating funds, the firm plans to deepen its ties with the organization by offering summer internships and through attorney participation as mentors and panelists.
Finally, Mintz has donated $25,000 to The Marshall Project, a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization that seeks to create and sustain a sense of national urgency about the U.S. criminal justice system. The news organization, which was named in honor of Thurgood Marshall and his work as a lawyer for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, including the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education decision, has received awards for its journalism and work to educate the public on the U.S. criminal justice system and its disproportionate impacts on communities of color. Mintz hopes that its partnership with The Marshall Project will help to build a bridge between the media and legal community, to shine a light on these critical issues and facilitate equal access to justice.
"We're honored to receive this generous donation from Mintz,” said Carroll Bogert, The Marshall Project's President. “The Marshall Project strives to reach the broadest possible audiences with our journalism. But we also hope that accurate information about criminal justice issues will prove especially useful to lawyers, advocates, criminal justice experts, and, very importantly, people who have been directly affected by the criminal justice system themselves."
Over the past six months in particular, Mintz has renewed its enduring commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion at the firm and in the legal community. In June, Mr. Bodian announced a multi-step diversity and inclusion plan that includes a firm goal of increasing the number of Black attorneys by 50% by June 30, 2022, and continuing to undertake social justice reform work on a pro bono basis, among several other actions. Notably, Mintz recently appointed Member Narges M. Kakalia as the firm’s first Director of Diversity and Inclusion, effective November 2. The firm also signed on as a charter member of the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance, a concerted effort to dismantle systemic racism in the law.
Learn more about Mintz’s dedication to diversity here.