The National Law Journal has honored McGuireWoods on its “2021 Pro Bono Hot List,” which recognizes law firms for their leadership expanding access to justice. Honorees were feted at an awards reception on Oct. 20, 2021, in Washington, D.C.
“Community is one of our core values, and we are honored to be recognized for our pro bono work,” said McGuireWoods managing partner J. Tracy Walker IV. “Our mission is to help our communities in matters that have the biggest impact on people’s lives. We are proud of our professionals who give their time to help advance access to justice.”
Over the past year, the firm played major roles in high-impact pro bono matters and initiatives, including Triage partnerships in Richmond, Virginia, and Charlotte, North Carolina. Charlotte Triage, co-led by firm pro bono director and counsel Angie Zimmern, was created by McGuireWoods, corporate legal departments and other law firms to build a “second ring” around legal aid providers in Charlotte, handling matters outsourced for external management by legal aid. Charlotte Triage’s core partners include Bank of America, Duke Energy, Wells Fargo, Husquvarna, Moore & Van Allen, the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy and Legal Aid of North Carolina.
Charlotte Triage received the 2020 Corporate Pro Bono Award from the Pro Bono Institute for satisfying unmet legal needs in the community and vastly increasing pro bono volunteerism.
In addition to Triage, McGuireWoods collaborated with clients and legal aid organizations to host multiple pro bono clinics in which lawyers assisted veterans and other low-income clients with legal needs such as benefits concerns, landlord-tenant disputes, wills, expungements, mortgage matters and foreclosure issues. The firm won the award for Veterans Program of the Year in Chambers and Partners’ Diversity & Inclusion Awards: North America 2021 for its innovative initiatives to support military veterans.
McGuireWoods has developed a pro bono medical-legal partnership (MLP) with Dominion Energy and VCU Health to help patients in Richmond with the legal issues impacting their health and well-being. Along with educational advocacy, the MLP focuses on referred matters involving housing, family law, immigration, and wills and powers of attorney.
The firm also recently launched the Appellate Justice Initiative, which is dedicated to protecting the rights of criminal defendants and effecting real change in the criminal justice arena.
McGuireWoods has a long history of providing pro bono legal services. From death penalty cases and housing law to transactions for nonprofit organizations and immigration, the firm’s lawyers strive to meet the legal needs of marginalized people. McGuireWoods’ collaborations with firm clients, legal aid organizations and other groups to better serve those in need have transformed legal services and serve as models for increased access to justice nationwide.