Lawyers For Civil Rights Honors Ropes & Gray’s Leadership on COVID-19 and Racial Justice Work

Rankings & Awards
June 29, 2020

On June 25, a team of Ropes & Gray attorneys were honored during a Lawyers for Civil Rights virtual gala for collaborating with the organization on two critical projects: the COVID Relief Coalition and the landmark federal Voting Rights Act case Huot v. City of Lowell.

The COVID Relief Coalition is an alliance of Massachusetts law firms, nonprofits and government agencies, established in late March, to help small businesses and nonprofits statewide access emergency loans and other sources of relief during the coronavirus pandemic. Our attorneys continue to provide advice across a number of areas including on the Paycheck Protection Program, commercial real estate guidance and reopening issues. Read more about the COVID Relief Coalition here, and find resources on the coalition website. Attorneys Christian Westra, Jonathan Hempton, Laurie Nelson and Alison McLaughlin are part of the team recognized for their work on the project.

In a separate matter, Ropes & Gray lawyers worked alongside Lawyers for Civil Rights in litigating Huot v. City of Lowell, a landmark federal Voting Rights Act case. The team argued on behalf of residents from Lowell’s Asian-American and Hispanic/Latino communities, alleging that Lowell’s at-large government voting system suppressed the representation of the city’s minority populations. The parties reached a favorable resolution in May 2019, with the City of Lowell agreeing to change its system to ensure a fairer and more equitable election process. Ropes & Gray subsequently created the Ropes & Gray Justice Fellowship at Lawyers for Civil Rights. The fellowship provides recent law school graduates with a paid, full-time position to pursue advocacy in racial justice and immigrant rights, and is funded by attorneys’ fees awarded in Huot. Robert Jones, Scott Taylor, Daniel Fine, and Ioana Moldovan were the key attorneys on the Huot team.