At McGuireWoods, our lawyers have chosen careers in the law for two reasons: We are passionate about making sure justice is served and passionate about our clients.

From death penalty cases and housing law to transactions for nonprofit organizations and immigration, our lawyers strive to meet the legal needs of marginalized people. But to make the most powerful impact on our communities, we collaborate where possible with firm clients, legal aid organizations, and other groups to better serve those in need and develop innovative avenues for pro bono assistance. Our collaborations have transformed legal services and serve as models for increased access to justice nationwide.

A justice system is far more powerful when lawyers are willing to provide pro bono service to the eight in 10 low-income Americans who don’t have access to counsel for their civil legal needs. Be it through dedication, partnership or innovation, McGuireWoods’ lawyers focus on helping pro bono clients in matters that impact their lives.

Scott Oostdyk, global pro bono partner
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PRO BONO PARTNERSHIPS

More than a decade ago, McGuireWoods began cultivating pro bono partnerships with clients across the country. The result? Today, there are more than a dozen pro bono collaborations firmwide.

Working together to serve under-resourced people strengthens client relationships and McGuireWoods is committed to such pro bono partnerships.

Pro bono partnerships chart 

 

PRO BONO INNOVATION

In addition to representing pro bono clients successfully and partnering with existing organizations, McGuireWoods develops groundbreaking ways to achieve pro bono goals and expand access to legal services.

2010 JusticeServer - The firm partnered with clients and pro bono groups to create JusticeServer, a groundbreaking case management and referral tool that provides private-practice lawyers with direct electronic access to pro bono case files from legal aid organizations. The system has expedited the handling of 20,000-plus legal aid cases involving more than 50,000 clients.

2016 The Triage Project - We partnered with the Greater Richmond Bar Foundation to launch the Triage Project, a first-of-its kind pro bono initiative that expands legal aid in Virginia and serves as a model nationwide. The plan made Richmond the first U.S. city to outsource legal aid matters in 12 practices to private-practice lawyers, allowing legal aid groups to focus on other core areas.

2018 Charlotte Triage & the Eviction Project - We expanded our novel pro bono initiative to North Carolina, with Charlotte Triage focusing on three areas of law: evictions, expunctions and healthcare benefits. The Eviction Project, a core focus of Charlotte Triage, specifically seeks to increase intake of housing law matters by raising awareness of legal aid services among impoverished persons.

RECOGNITION

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REAL-LIFE IMPACT

 

LARGEST SINGLE-PLAINTIFF HUMAN TRAFFICKING AWARD IN U.S. HISTORY

McGuireWoods won nearly $8 million in damages for a human traffcking survivor in a federal lawsuit against a “regimented cult” and the group’s leader, who forced our client to work since she was a child without pay, benefits or breaks for a decade. Our team argued for a novel prevailing wages formula and won a federal civil suit for our pro bono client that now serves as a model in this developing area of law.

FOURTH AMENDMENT WIN FOR PRO BONO CLIENT AT U.S. SUPREME COURT

The U.S. Supreme Court sided with our client and ruled decisively that police offcers without a warrant cannot use the automobile exception to enter a home’s curtilage to access a vehicle. The ruling, which provided needed clarity to the scope of the automobile exception, will now become part of police training across the country, and the case will stand as a major bulwark protecting the sanctity of the home from creeping exceptions.

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