Bank of America honored McGuireWoods with its annual Law Firm Pro Bono Award at a recent ceremony in Charlotte, North Carolina.
McGuireWoods and Bank of America have collaborated on pro bono programs to address the legal needs of vulnerable populations in communities across the United States. Over the past year, McGuireWoods, Bank of America, and other corporate and law firm attorneys have volunteered to assist understaffed legal aid organizations in areas such as housing, healthcare enrollment, domestic violence prevention, veterans benefits and estate planning.
“We are proud to collaborate with Bank of America’s legal department on innovative pro bono initiatives that help individuals and families,” said McGuireWoods partner Robert Muckenfuss, who manages the firm’s relationship with Bank of America. “It is an honor to be recognized for the volunteer efforts of our lawyers and staff.”
The collaborative initiatives include Charlotte Triage, a partnership involving McGuireWoods, Bank of America, Legal Aid of North Carolina, Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, and other law firms and companies to expand pro bono services for low-income residents and ease burdens on local legal aid organizations. Launched in September 2018, the pro bono program enables legal aid groups to outsource work to private-practice lawyers and in-house counsel in critical areas, such as housing evictions and healthcare enrollment. McGuireWoods and Bank of America lead efforts for the project’s eviction defense.
Lawyers and staff in the firm’s Charlotte and Raleigh offices also joined Bank of America and other partners in October 2018 for a pro bono legal clinic at Supportive Housing Communities, which provides permanent housing for adults and families overcoming chronic homelessness. The third annual clinic assisted clients with healthcare powers of attorney and driver’s license restorations. The program was recognized with the Mecklenburg County Bar’s “Collaborative Pro Bono Project Award.”
During Bank of America’s Domestic Violence Awareness Week in October 2018, the bank and several McGuireWoods offices collaborated for an intake clinic at Dallas-based nonprofit Mosaic Family Services. Last year, McGuireWoods’ San Francisco office joined with Bank of America and the San Francisco Justice & Diversity Center to launch a coordinated pro bono program to assist low-income individuals in the Bay Area. And in 2019, the firm and bank partnered on a life-planning documents clinic for LGBTQ+ veterans in New York as part of the Financial Institution Pro Bono Day of Service, with financial institutions across the country providing pro bono legal services to vulnerable communities.
“The success of these initiatives is a testament to the power of pro bono partnerships,” said Angela Zimmern, McGuireWoods’ pro bono director. “We are pleased to share a commitment with Bank of America toward service to our neighbors in need.”