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Ropes & Gray Receives BBA Honor for Commitment to Pro Bono Work

Accepting the Thurgood Marshall Award for Ropes & Gray were pro bono
committee chair Jeff Katz, senior pro bono manager Roz Nasdor and
managing partner John Montgomery.

Ropes & Gray has been awarded the Thurgood Marshall Award by the Boston Bar Association (BBA) for the firm’s unwavering commitment to pro bono matters.

The Thurgood Marshall Award, established in 1991, recognizes private attorneys or firms in the greater Boston area for outstanding work in enhancing the human dignity of others through improving, developing, or delivering civil or criminal legal services to low-income clients in Massachusetts. Ropes & Gray received the award during the BBA’s Annual Meeting Luncheon on Sept. 21.

“It is an honor to receive the Thurgood Marshall Award,” said Ropes & Gray managing partner John Montgomery. “Community and public service are deeply embedded in the Ropes & Gray culture. We are committed to providing first-rate legal services to our pro bono clients, and grateful to the legal services agencies in Massachusetts and the many communities we serve for identifying the communities’ most pressing needs for us so that we can maximize our impact.”

In 2011, more than 1,000 Ropes & Gray attorneys, paralegals, summer associates and other professionals donated 98,000 hours of legal services.

The firm’s projects ranged from transactional work for non-profits and small businesses to cases for individuals referred by not-for-profit legal service providers, including:

  • Giving more than 25,000 hours of service through a Medical-Legal Partnership launched in collaboration with the Dorchester House Multi-Service Center in 2009 and with a new legal clinic at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in 2011.
  • Providing public interest fellows to public service agencies around the world, including the support of more than 40 one-year fellowships at Greater Boston Legal Services, the Volunteer Lawyers Project, the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights.
  • Helping local small business owners in Boston’s Chinatown with legal issues through the Lawyers’ Committee For Civil Rights’ Economic Justice Project.
  • Assisting students with immigration legal services through a Steppingstone Foundation legal project. 

Ropes & Gray has received other accolades for its pro bono work this year:

  • Law360 profiled Ropes & Gray in its “Pro Bono Firms of 2012” rankings, which recognized a handful of firms for their commitment to pro bono work and willingness to take on challenging assignments.
  • Human Rights First awarded Ropes & Gray with the Marvin E. Frankel Award, which recognizes the work of Ropes & Gray attorneys who have been working with the organization on asylum and immigration cases since the early 1990s.
  • The National Law Journal named Ropes & Gray one of the 10 law firms in the country on its 2011 Pro Bono Hot List. The ranking honored firms that “haven’t forgotten their professional obligations even – especially – during hard times.”
  • 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.

Ropes & Gray is a leading global law firm with offices in New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul. The firm demonstrates its ongoing commitment to public service by actively encouraging its lawyers and staff to engage in pro bono work and by valuing this work equally for the purposes of associate reviews and compensation. To learn more about the firm’s pro bono work, we encourage you to view Ropes & Gray's 2011 Pro Bono and Community Service Annual Report.

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