NALP Directory of Legal Employers

Directory Year: 2022

Stinson LLP - Firm-wide

Pro Bono/Public Interest

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Pro Bono Contact

Pro Bono Contact Name Theresa Hughes
Pro Bono Contact Title Pro Bono Director
Pro Bono Contact Phone 612-335-1954
Pro Bono Contact Email [email protected]
Is the pro bono information indicated here firm-wide or specific to one office? Firm-wide
% Firm Billable Hours last year 3.18%
Average Hours per Attorney last year 58.8

Pro Bono Participation

Percent of associates participating last year 100%
Percent of partners participating last year 75%
Percent of other lawyers participating last year 72%

Average hours

Average hours per associate last year 53.32
Average hours per partner last year 54.95
Average hours per other lawyer last year 93.28
What percentage of attorneys performed more than 20 hours? 60%
What was the number of actual pro bono hours contributed by the organization in the prior calendar year? 22,405
Does the organization maintain a written pro bono policy that sets forth the organization's commitment to pro bono? Yes
How does the organization define what constitutes pro bono legal work?

Pro bono service refers to activities of the firm undertaken normally without expectation of fee and not in the course of ordinary commercial practice and consisting of: (i) the delivery of legal services to persons of limited means or to charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental and educational organizations in matters which are designed primarily to address the needs of persons of limited means; (ii) the provision of legal assistance to individuals, groups or organizations seeking to secure or protect civil rights, civil liberties or public rights; and (iii) the provision of legal assistance to charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental or educational organizations in matters in furtherance of their organizational purposes, where the payment of standard legal fees would significantly deplete the organization's economic resources or would otherwise be inappropriate.

Organization pro bono hours goals

Does the organization set annual goals regarding the minimum number of pro bono hours to be contributed by the organization? Yes
If yes, what is that annual goal? 3% of the firm's total billable hours or 60 hours per attorney (consistent with the expectations of a signatory to Pro Bono Institute’s Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge)

Attorney pro bono goals

Does the organization set individual attorney goals regarding the minimum number of pro bono hours to be contributed? Yes
If yes, what is that annual goal? 60 hours per attorney

Advancement/compensation

Is an attorney's commitment to pro bono activity considered a favorable factor in advancement and compensation decisions? Yes
If yes, to what extent? Each Associate may count up to 50 hours on credible pro bono projects per year towards the credit hours target. The total number of pro bono hours is a factor in discretionary bonuses.

Pro bono support services

Are full-time support services (word processing, online research Lexis/Westlaw, out of pocket costs) available for pro bono representation? Yes
If so, are there any limitations?

None

Are associates provided written evaluations of their work on pro bono matters? Yes
Does the organization employ one or more of the following structures to manage its pro bono program and to provide training and guidance to participating attorneys? (Check all that apply): Full-time attorney in a dedicated pro bono coordination/oversight role
Pro Bono Committee
Other: Two full-time attorneys in a dedicated pro bono coordination/oversight role & a part-time Pro Bono Specialist to help manage and distribute pro bono training resources for participating attorneys
How is pro bono work assigned/distributed?

Our Pro Bono Director and Pro Bono Senior Manager assign work from the firm's legal clinic and community economic development partnerships in Kansas City, MO, Minneapolis, MN, and St. Louis. MO. Other work comes to various offices and is administered by the pro bono staff and Pro Bono Committee.

If an attorney is permitted to bring a pro bono case for possible consideration by the firm, who makes decisions about whether the firm will handle the matter? (check all that apply) Other: The Pro Bono Director or Pro Bono Senior Manager pursuant to the firm's Pro Bono Policy. Members of the firm's Pro Bono Committee are consulted in some cases as well. Final determinations as to a large impact case or matters of high community visibility are made by firm leadership.

Enabling pro bono or public interest work

Does the organization provide any of the following to enable its attorneys to participate in pro bono activities or work in a public interest setting? (Check all that apply): Other
If so please describe

Associates in the Minneapolis office can participate in an Eviction Representation Project (ERP) with the Volunteer Lawyers Network (VLN) in housing court twice a month. Associates in the Kansas City and St. Louis offices are handling Missouri Public Defender cases.

Summer associate pro bono opportunities

Are pro bono opportunities available for summer associates? Yes
Additional comments (Please use this space to provide any additional information about your organization's pro bono program including any special recognition or awards the organization has received for its pro bono work.)

Stinson has a historic and longstanding commitment to pro bono legal service to our communities. In June 2020, Stinson was an inaugural signatory to the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance (LFAA) and has 17 partners serving on 16 LFAA working groups to identify structural racism in the law.  The firm is currently involved in a number of large antiracism legal cases. Additionally, we have numerous pro bono partnerships in place, including a 29-year medical/legal partnership with the Deinard Legal Clinic in the Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis, a community redevelopment partnership with the Marlborough neighborhood of Kansas City for over 13 years and a three-year community development and housing partnership with Legal Services of Eastern Missouri in the Hyde Park neighborhood of St. Louis. Firm attorneys serve low-income clients with a variety of legal needs: family law, immigration, housing, government benefits, consumer and other issues. Firm attorneys also volunteer legal services to organizations such as the Volunteer Lawyers Network, Advocates for Human Rights, The Minnesota Disability Law Center, the Children's Law Center of Minnesota, Volunteer Lawyers & Accountants for the Arts, Legal Aid, Midwest Innocence Project, Kansas Legal Services, D.C. Bar's Advocacy & Justice Clinic, Great Circle, Arizona Volunteer Attorney Program and ACLU programs in Arizona, Kansas, Minnesota and Missouri.

2021 Awards and Recognitions

  • North Star Lawyers–48 Minnesota lawyers made the Minnesota State Bar Association North Star Lawyer list by donating 50 or more hours in 2021. 
  • Missouri Pro Bono Wall of Fame–51 Stinson attorneys will be eligible for the Missouri Bar Association's Pro Bono Wall of Fame in 2021, which recognizes those attorneys who contribute 40 hours or more to pro bono each year. 
  • Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll–11 Washington, D.C. attorneys will be named to the D.C. Bar's Capital Honor Roll for 2021, which recognizes attorneys who donate 50 or more hours with Honors and those who donate 100 or more hours with High Honors.
  • Other Offices–An additional 23 lawyers in other Stinson offices contributed 50 hours or more to pro bono in 2021.
  • Throughout 2021, the firm and its billers received ongoing recognition and awards for its pro bono work:
  • Karl Phares and Sam Butler (KCM) were recognized as "Pro Bono Champions" by the KC Counselor for their representation that helped secure T Visas and later legal permanent residence for two survivors of labor trafficking.
  • Sean Colligan (KCM) was recognized during National Volunteer Appreciation Week by the KC Metropolitan Bar Foundation for his many years of pro bono legal work on behalf of military veterans.
  • Six Stinson lawyers, including Dennis Lane, Harvey Reiter (WDC) and Bill Greene (MPL), dubbed the "Stinson Rapid Response Regulation Team," received The Advocates for Human Right's Annual Volunteer Award in June of 2021 for their work responding to immigration and asylum regulation initiatives that, if enacted, would have dramatically limited relief available to asylees and other types of immigrants. The regulations were not enacted by the subsequent administration.
  • Stinson was recognized by the National Legal Aid & Defender Association as a Beacon of Justice for its antiracism pro bono legal work (19.5% of all legal work in 2020 involved antiracism initiatives).
  • Partners Andy Davis and Tim Griffin (MPL) received a Hennepin County Excellence Award for their groundbreaking legal work on behalf of a transgender student regarding use of locker room and bathroom facilities that aligned with the student's gender.
  • Laura Higgins Tyler (KCM) received the National Counsel of Juvenile and Family Court Judges' "Impact of the Year Award" in July of 2021 for her years of work representing low-income parents in dependency and neglect cases in Jackson County.
  • Jenna Hueneger (STL) received the Honorable John R. Essner Young Lawyer of the Year Award for her transactional pro bono work on behalf of low-income entrepreneurs and nonprofits through Legal Services of Eastern Missouri's Community Economic Development Microenterprise Program.
  • Roddy Stieger (formerly of Denver) received a Colorado Lawyers Committee "Pandemic Hero Award" for his pro bono work on behalf of small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Roddy provided his legal guidance to more than three non-profit groups during the pandemic.
What are some of the areas in which your organization has performed pro bono work in the past year?

Stinson's pro bono work spans the entire spectrum of litigation and transactional legal work. In 2021, Stinson attorneys and summer associates worked on the following types of pro bono matters: criminal expungements, guardianships, family law, asylum and immigration, housing and real estate work, civil liberties work, innocence projects in three states, gender-based violence research for a human rights group, employment law issues, survivor reentry work, patent pro bono (for those interested in IP practice), legislative reports and background papers on a broad array of issues, nonprofit formation and work for minority-owned businesses.

  1. 2021 summer associates also had evidentiary hearing and other court appearance opportunities (via Zoom) and worked on cases from Stinson's 29-year-old medical/legal partnership, the Deinard Legal Clinic, based in Minneapolis. Additionally, the summer associates were engaged in banking and real estate pro bono work through Stinson's neighborhood development projects in partnership with local legal aid groups and community development organizations in the Marlborough neighborhood of Kansas City, the Willard Hay and Near North neighborhoods of Minneapolis and the Hyde Park neighborhood of St. Louis.

Stinson's pro bono work breaks down as follows:

13%    women and children, and family stability issues

19%    asylum and immigration work

4%       probate, advanced care planning and tax

4%       consumer

1%       other (arbitration, children's law and education)

3%       public benefits, ID documents and veteran's benefits

5%       community economic development

8%       civil liberties

3%       housing (this will increase in 2022 once the eviction moratoriums related to COVID are lifted)

20%    nonprofit/small business operations, IP and employment (transactional work)

20%    criminal defense, expungement and innocence work

Fellowship sponsorship

Does your organization sponsor split public interest summer and/or post-graduate fellowships? Case-by-case
Public Interest Fellowship Comments