McGuireWoods is helping expand a pro bono program that gives small news organizations, nonprofit newsrooms, documentary filmmakers and freelancers no-cost legal help with pre-publication review and public records access, Law360 reported in an Oct. 3, 2022, story.
McGuireWoods is one of several law firms that joined The Protecting Journalists Pro Bono Program, or ProJourn, this year. Impactful local journalism often requires counsel from lawyers, but newsrooms sometimes can’t afford to hire their own attorneys. ProJourn’s partners ensure that access to lawyers isn’t an obstacle to that investigative work.
“Local news organizations are doing vital work to keep their communities informed and engaged, and it is important for them to have access to legal assistance to fulfill their mission,” McGuireWoods partner Brad Kutrow told Law360. “We are proud to be part of the ProJourn program and to support local journalism.”
Kutrow — McGuireWoods’ lead lawyer in the ProJourn program — has represented news organizations throughout his career. Counsel and pro bono director Angie Zimmern coordinates the firm’s partnership with ProJourn.
ProJourn began in 2019 as a pilot program launched by Davis Wright Tremaine and Microsoft, and now includes The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as partners. The goal is for ProJourn to grow into a network of law firms and corporate legal departments that could handle up to 300 legal matters each year, with an estimated annual value of $3.5 million in pro bono services by the end of 2024, Law360 reported.