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Pro Bono

Collaborating to Improve Lives and Communities

Pro bono service is at the heart of our culture and identity. For our founders, helping people in need was an essential part of doing business. More than 85 years later, we advise and represent in excess of 300 pro bono clients each year. Attorneys and staff members from every Mintz office participate. Our partners in this work include nonprofits, legal service organizations, in-house legal departments, and other law firms. Together, we provide individuals with life-changing assistance and support the nonprofit organizations that care for our communities.

Mintz Cares

Professional Cropped Popeo Mintz
There’s more to being an attorney than knowing the law. It’s participating in your community, and, to a large extent, giving back. We need to bring our services to those who can use them most.

Bob PopeoMintz Chairman

Changing the Narrative

Legal challenges can be life-changing. Having capable legal counsel can make the difference. Our pro bono team has stood with individuals, families, and communities throughout the United States in their pursuit of justice and a better life.

Everyone Counts Article Pro Bono Journal 2019

Everyone Counts

On behalf of Lawyers for Civil Rights, Mintz attorneys drafted an amicus brief arguing against the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 US census. Our brief made the case that Commerce Secretary Ross’s decision to include the question wasn’t supported by the reason he provided — that the resulting data would help enforce the Voting Rights Act — and therefore violated the Administrative Procedure Act, a law that requires Executive agencies to be transparent in their decision-making. On June 27, 2019, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of our position, upholding the lower court’s decision to exclude the citizenship question from the census. 

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Equality Wins Article Pro Bono Journal 2019

Equality Wins with Massachusetts Voters

When opponents of a Massachusetts bill protecting transgender people from discrimination in public places tried to overturn the law by adding a referendum question to the 2018 state ballot, transgender people and their allies approached the legal community for support in upholding their civil rights. With our assistance, their Yes on 3 campaign was successful – making the Commonwealth the first state in the nation to defend transgender rights by popular vote.

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Foundation for Future Success Pro Bono Journal 2019

A Foundation for Future Success

Realizing that rising commercial rents could limit their ability to provide new and nearly-new clothing, school supplies, and other essentials to disadvantaged children, leaders of the nonprofit Cradles to Crayons decided to search for their own home. A Mintz team negotiated a purchase and sale agreement, conducted due diligence, and reviewed the title and land survey for Cradles’ new headquarters in Newton, Massachusetts. Mintz attorneys also handled complex zoning issues and a tax-exempt bond financing. The firm has continued the engagement by reviewing Cradles’ construction contracts.

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Pro Bono Securing a Future for Human Trafficking Survivors

Securing a Future for Human Trafficking Survivors

Mintz played an integral role in a multiyear effort to secure passage of a Massachusetts law that streamlines the process for human trafficking victims seeking post-conviction relief for prostitution-related convictions and some drug offenses. The firm collaborated with the Immigrants’ Rights & Human Trafficking Program at the Boston University School of Law, Massachusetts State Representative Michael S. Day, and other stakeholders. The post-conviction language is included in an omnibus criminal justice reform law signed by Governor Charlie Baker in 2018. Since the signing of the law, the Mintz team has been raising awareness and planning trainings for interested Massachusetts attorneys.

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Pro Bono Travel Ban

Quick Teamwork on the Travel Ban

The day after President Trump signed his first travel ban, we learned that incoming travelers had been detained at Logan Airport. Pro Bono Chair Sue Finegan and a Mintz team including Immigration Practice Chair Susan Cohen responded immediately. They worked late into the night with the ACLU and immigrant advocates at Boston’s US District Courthouse to craft arguments for a temporary injunction. At 2 am, the judges ruled in their favor. The seven-day hold on the ban helped many travelers, and the team’s arguments were used across the country to extend restrictions on the ban.

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Pro Bono Katrina

Help for Katrina’s Most Vulnerable Survivors

Congress allotted $5.5 billion in emergency funds to Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina. Then the state decided wind-damaged properties, mainly in black low-income neighborhoods, didn’t qualify for assistance. Mintz filed a federal lawsuit against HUD that put pressure on Mississippi and eventually resulted in a settlement of $213 million for 5,253 families.

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Pro Bono Journals

Read our annual pro bono journals for more stories about our pro bono clients.  The courage they display in their pursuit of better lives — for themselves, their families, and our communities — inspires us to do our best on their behalf.

Pro Bono Journal Cover 2019

2019 Journal

Capable legal representation can alter the course of a life and affect many others in a client’s extended community. We witness the life-changing power of the law through the eyes and experiences of more than 300 pro bono clients each year.

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2018 Pro Bono Journal Cover

2018 Journal

Our pro bono clients seek refuge from troubles that few of us will ever experience. We are proud to share their stories and humbled to know that our support has helped them improve their lives.    

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General About-Us Landing Pro Bono Card Mintz

Previous Journals

2017 2012
2015 2011
2014 2010
2013 2009

 

Driving Innovative Programs and Solutions

Mintz has been instrumental in creating and promoting new collaborative partnerships to expand access to justice in our communities. These efforts are made possible through the firm’s long-standing pro bono partnerships.

Partnering with Our Clients 

Mintz has partnered with our clients on pro bono projects for over a decade. In one such initiative, Mintz has collaborated with a number of partners to host the Clinic in a Box® pro bono workshops that train in-house lawyers to provide day-of pro bono service to nonprofits. Our partners have included Corporate Pro Bono, the Association of Corporate Counsel–Northeast, and Lawyers Clearinghouse. Over the course of nine years, Mintz has hosted almost 300 in-house lawyers at the annual clinic.


Access to Justice Commission and Fellows Program

Mintz has been at the forefront of promoting access to justice in Massachusetts. For several years, Pro Bono Committee Chair Sue Finegan has served as the co-chair of the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission with the Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. The Commission provides leadership and vision on efforts to remove barriers to civil justice for low-income and disadvantaged people. As a notable example, the firm played a key role in launching the Access to Justice Fellows Program. Primarily the brainchild of Mintz Member Martha Koster and Sue, this innovative program pairs retired lawyers and judges with legal services organizations, nonprofits, and the courts. To date, 139 retired and retiring lawyers have devoted nearly 100,000 pro bono hours as part of the Fellows Program.


Appellate Assistance & Representation

In 2013, Mintz’s Sue Finegan co-chaired a Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission committee that eventually developed the Appellate Pro Bono Project. Mintz has worked closely with the Volunteer Lawyers Project to manage a weekly clinic for self-represented litigants at the Massachusetts Appeals Court, staffed by Mintz and other law firms. As of October 2019, over 300 attorneys from 20 different law firms have helped more than 700 low-income litigants navigate the civil appellate process.

Recent Honors

For information on recent pro bono honors, click here.

Pro Bono Publico Award

Mintz was honored to receive a Pro Bono Publico Award from the American Bar Association for its work on the Domestic Violence Project, which continues to develop and create means to address and eradicate domestic and sexual violence.

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