“I always wanted to be a lawyer so that I could that help people... We’re really privileged to be at this firm where we are able to do systemic change work throughout the state and throughout the country around accessing justice for low-income litigants.”
“I’m focused now on making sure that survivors and nonprofits that work most closely with survivors are aware of the change in the law and that they can use it to remove some of those barriers that are holding them back.”
“I think one of the great aspects of the Pro Bono Program is that it enables attorneys, sometimes even at more junior levels, to take a real leadership role in their cases.”
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.
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.
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.
For nearly 30 years, Mintz attorneys have provided legal services to domestic violence survivors in communities from Boston to San Diego. Our representation has helped dozens of nonprofit organizations assist individuals and combat domestic violence and sexual assault. In addition, the firm has helped draft laws and lobby at the state and federal levels for reforms that are making a profound difference in the lives of survivors and their children.
In 1982, Guatemalan forces entered a village and massacred nearly all of its indigenous inhabitants. The atrocity was concealed. But when DNA confirmed that a young boy who’d been spared that day and had since moved to the United States was a survivor, the truth came to light. Working with the Political Asylum / Immigration Research Project (PAIR), we helped the young man and his wife gain asylum. And his story has helped bring the killers to justice.
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.
Attorneys and professionals across our firm’s eight offices stand with hundreds of pro bono clients each year to help them bridge the distance between often dire circumstances and a better future.
2015 – 2016 Journal
We're proud to provide our pro bono clients with legal services that help them open doors and move forward with their lives.
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 — training 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 Chapter, and Lawyers Clearinghouse. Over the course of eight years, Mintz has hosted almost 300 in-house lawyers during 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’s Martha Koster and Finegan, this innovative program pairs retired lawyers and judges with legal services organizations, nonprofits, and the courts. To date, 94 retired and retiring lawyers have devoted over 75,000 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 Civil Appellate Pro Bono Program. 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 February 2018, over 200 attorneys from 20 different law firms have helped over 400 low-income litigants navigate the civil appellate process.