Committing to the Cause

Pro Bono

Ropes & Gray has a long, proud tradition of pro bono service—an important element of the firm’s commitment to practice with purpose. Our pro bono efforts address critical issues such as pursuing racial and social justice, protecting voting and human rights, and assisting immigrants and refugees. We also do important pro bono work with a connection to cancer, from handling formation, regulatory and governance matters for a cancer-focused start-up to helping improve global clinical trials.

Our Work with Clients

Leadership on Clinical Research through the MRCT Center

The Multi-Regional Clinical Trials Center of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard is a longtime pro bono client of the firm, co-founded in 2009 by health care partner Mark Barnes and Dr. Barbara Bierer, the faculty director of the MRCT center and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical. The MRCT Center functions as an independent study and applied policy center that convenes collaborative academic medicine, industry and government teams to address critical issues in the conduct and oversight of clinical trials, including in the research for cancer treatments. Its work has included addressing diversity, inclusion, and equity in clinical research; providing resources for patients and participants in clinical trials; advising on issues of quality and transparency, including around data sharing; analyzing the impact of emerging global data privacy laws on clinical research, and helping the research community build capacity for clinical trials by harmonizing competencies for clinical research professionals. Barnes, with health care partner David Peloquin, leads Ropes & Gray’s relationship with the MRCT Center.

Ropes & Gray has developed tremendous expertise for our clients in regulatory science regarding clinical trials, human research, precision medicine, and genomics. Through our partnership with MRCT Center, we are able to feed our knowledge of the research enterprise into policy making designed to help clinical trials operate more quickly, more safely, and more ethically. All of Ropes & Gray’s work for the MRCT Center is pro bono, all of it we are proud to do, and all of it serves our client base, and ultimately the world’s health. 

Launching Cancer Patient Lab

Cancer Patient Lab brings patients, researchers, providers and bioinformaticians together to analyze complex cases of individual cancer patients and suggest next treatment steps. It also assists start-up ventures that address challenges facing cancer patients. Working pro bono, Ropes & Gray advised Cancer Patient Lab on its formation and has counseled on tax registration, regulatory compliance and general corporate matters. Health care partner Michael Lampert discusses the Cancer Patient Lab with its founder, Brad Power.

The Cancer Advocacy Project

Ropes & Gray has partnered with the New York Legal Assistance Group Cancer Advocacy Project to provide crucial pro bono legal assistance to cancer patients facing specific legal challenges that profoundly impact their lives. Our lawyers will be working with cancer patients to secure visa extensions for continued treatment.