ABA's Business Law Section Honors Ropes & Gray with National Public Service Award for Pro Bono Work

Rankings & Awards
March 3, 2012

The American Bar Association’s Business Law Section has honored Ropes & Gray with a 2012 National Public Service Award in recognition of the firm’s ongoing contribution to  providing free business legal services to individuals and organizations that cannot afford counsel.

The award recognizes significant pro bono contributions to the poor in a business context by law firms, corporate law departments and business law individuals. Honorees are dedicated to providing pro bono business legal services, developing innovative approaches to providing free business legal services and delivering sustained volunteer business counsel that aids community development. In announcing the award, the ABA Business Law Section’s Pro Bono Committee noted Ropes & Gray’s "sustained commitment to pro bono, its collaboration with other organizations, and its leadership role in the pro bono community."

The Lawyers Clearinghouse on Affordable Housing and Homelessness, founded in 1988 by the bar associations of Boston and Massachusetts, nominated Ropes & Gray for the award based on the firm’s extensive and ongoing work with pro bono clients on behalf of a variety of individuals and nonprofit groups. "Ropes & Gray’s contribution to the success of these programs cannot be overstated," Maribeth Perry, executive director of Lawyers Clearinghouse, wrote in her nomination letter to the ABA. "Ropes & Gray truly recognizes the value of providing nonprofit groups with quality legal advice and representation." A number of pro bono organizations and nonprofit clients, with whom Ropes & Gray works through its offices around the United States, supported the nomination. 

The award will be presented on March 23 in Las Vegas at the ABA Business Law Section’s spring meeting section luncheon. Ropes & Gray partners Jeff Katz and Bill Sussman, co-chairs of the firm’s pro bono committee, will accept the award on the firm’s behalf.

"We are honored to receive this award from the ABA’s Business Law Section and are proud of our commitment to providing free legal advice to those who need it most and can least afford to pay," Mr. Katz said. "We also want to thank Lawyers Clearinghouse for nominating us and for the hard work they have done on behalf of citizens and communities throughout Boston and Massachusetts."

Said Mr. Sussman: "This is a great honor for Ropes & Gray. It is gratifying to receive this award on behalf of all of our lawyers and staff around the country who work so hard on behalf of our many pro bono clients nationwide."

In 2011, 1,079 Ropes & Gray lawyers and staff devoted almost 98,000 hours to pro bono efforts throughout the year.