Pro bono activities

Locke Lord has a rich and long-standing tradition of giving back to our communities through pro bono projects. We consider it an obligation and part of our responsibility as lawyers and as human beings to provide legal services to people who cannot afford them.

From complex political asylum cases that seek safety for people persecuted in their native countries to simple tax matters that make huge differences in the lives of everyday people, we attack each case with commitment and high-quality legal counsel. The American Bar Association Code of Professional Responsibility, Ethical Consideration EC 2-25, says: “Every lawyer, regardless of professional prominence or professional workload, should find time to participate in serving the disadvantaged.” At Locke Lord, these are more than just words and, to our lawyers, pro bono truly matters.

The American Bar Association recognized Locke Lord as an ABA Free Legal Answers 2021 Pro Bono Leader for the Firm’s tremendous contribution to the program, which offers a free virtual legal advice clinic for low-income individuals. Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas recognized Locke Lord in both 2016 and 2018 as a Pro Bono Champion, which celebrates firms and volunteers that have devoted an extraordinary amount of financial support and time helping low-income clients access the justice system by providing legal advice and representation.

Our lawyers are actively engaged in pro bono work on behalf of many organizations, including:

  • ABA Free Legal Answers
  • Advocates for Community Transformation
  • Arts & Business Council Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
  • Bridge Over Troubled Waters
  • Brown University
  • Cabrini Green Legal Aid
  • Casa Esperanza
  • CelloBello Inc.
  • Center for Disability and Elder Law
  • Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind
  • Chicago Volunteer Legal Services
  • Children’s Law Center
  • Community Preparatory School (Providence)
  • Connecticut Legal Services
  • Connecticut Veterans Legal Center
  • Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children
  • Dallas Housing Crisis Center
  • Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program
  • Dorcas Place
  • Equip for Equality
  • First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood
  • French American School (Providence)
  • Greater Boston Legal Services
  • Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program
  • Just the Beginning – A Pipeline Organization
  • Keep the Power On
  • Kids in Need of Defense
  • Ladder Up
  • Law Firm Antiracism Alliance
  • Lawyers for the Creative Arts
  • Lawyers’ for Civil Rights
  • Legal Aid of Northwest Texas
  • Legal Food Hub
  • LegalLine
  • Massachusetts Advocates for Children
  • Museum of Contemporary Art
  • National Immigrant Justice Center
  • New Orleans Boys Club
  • New York City Family Court’s Self-Represented Litigants Project
  • New York Legal Assistance Group
  • Northern District of Texas (Civil Division) Pro Bono Civil Case Panel
  • Roger Williams University Pro Bono Collaborative
  • Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities
  • San Miguel School (Providence)
  • Southern California Counseling Center
  • Texas Community Building With Attorney Resources
  • Texas State Bar Appellate Section Pro Bono Pilot Program
  • TransCultural Exchange
  • Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association
  • Urban Collaborative
  • Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas

A sampling of some of our notable pro bono cases includes:

New York Locke Lord Lawyers Secure Permanent Residency for Unaccompanied Child After Seven Years of Advocacy Through Pro Bono Efforts: Locke Lord New York lawyers, in partnership with Kids in Need of Defense, secured permanent residency for an unaccompanied child who initially entered the U.S. immigration system alone. Read more about the case here.

Chicago Locke Lord Lawyers Assist Pro Bono Client in Excessive Force Case Under Prison Litigation Reform Act: Locke Lord lawyers obtained a jury verdict from the Northern District of Illinois in favor of their pro bono court-appointed client’s excessive force claims under the Prison Litigation Reform Act. Read more about the case here.

Re-Sentencing Hearing for Juvenile Mandatory Life Sentence Inmate: Locke Lord lawyers served as pro bono legal counsel to a Chicago-area man previously sentenced to life without parole for a crime committed as a juvenile. Read more about the case here.

Locke Lord Provides Bro Bono Support to Families and School Districts in Lawsuit: Locke Lord lawyers provided pro bono support to families and school districts as a state court in New Mexico ruled that New Mexico’s education system violated the state constitution. Read more about the case here.

Representation of Client in Landmark Civil Case Doe v. Sheikh: In what is the most significant civil case to date in the United States involving sexual abuse by a Muslim cleric, a Locke Lord team received a judgment of $2.5 million in damages on behalf of pro bono client Jane Doe. Read more about the case here.

New York Office Hosts Pro Bono Clinic: Attorneys in Locke Lord’s New York office teamed up with clients to host a pro bono clinic in conjunction with the New York Legal Assistance Group to provide legal services to Ukrainian and Afghan nationals seeking temporary protective status and/or work authorization.

Houston Locke Lord Lawyers Assist Client in Pro Bono Custody Case: Locke Lord obtained a decision from the 315th Juvenile District Court in Harris County granting a motion for default judgment on behalf of their pro bono client Jane Doe as well as sole managing conservatorship of her granddaughter.

Firm’s Work Leads to Landmark Reform of the Criminal Justice System in Texas: A team of nearly 40 Locke Lord lawyers interviewed prosecutors across Texas, analyzing their criminal discovery practices and finding systemic inconsistencies from county to county regarding what information was provided to defendants during discovery. This research led to the passage of the Michael Morton Act, a state law requiring prosecutors turn over all evidence to defense lawyers in criminal cases.

Providence Team Represents Ronald McDonald House of Providence Pro Bono in Merger Creating Ronald McDonald House of New England: Locke Lord provided pro bono assistance to Ronald McDonald House of Providence in its merger with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern New England. Read more about the matter here.

Locke Lord Represents National Immigrant Justice Center Client in Pro Bono Case: Our political asylum clients are persecuted for religious, ethnic or political reasons and flee to the United States to save their lives. We represent clients from around the world, including from Darfur, the Central African Republic, Chad, Guatemala, Mali, Sierra Leone, Tibet and Zimbabwe, to name just a few. Read about one of our latest cases here.

Chicago Team Serves as Pro Bono Representation of Consumers in Lawsuit Against Furry Babies Pet Store Chain: Locke Lord, along with co-counsel from the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the Humane Society of the United States, reached a settlement in a pro bono consumer lawsuit against Furry Babies, Inc., a Chicago-area pet store chain. Read more about the case here.