NALP Directory of Legal Employers

Directory Year: 2022

Husch Blackwell - Firmwide

Pro Bono/Public Interest

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Pro Bono Contact

Pro Bono Contact Name Margaret Richards
Pro Bono Contact Title Director of Pro Bono Services
Pro Bono Contact Phone 816-983-8781
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 1.9%
Average Hours per Attorney last year 25

Pro Bono Participation

Percent of associates participating last year 89%
Percent of partners participating last year 49%
Percent of other lawyers participating last year 31%

Average hours

Average hours per associate last year 43
Average hours per partner last year 9
Average hours per other lawyer last year 25
What percentage of attorneys performed more than 20 hours? 26%
What was the number of actual pro bono hours contributed by the organization in the prior calendar year? 21,338
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?

While pro bono work is not mandatory, the firm encourages each attorney to perform at least 25 hours of pro bono legal services per attorney per year (this is a floor, not a ceiling, and applies to every office and every specialty).

Pro Bono services are defined generally to be legal services rendered without a fee or at a substantially reduced fee under any of the following categories:

a. Representation of individuals or groups of individuals of limited means.

b. Representation of individuals, groups or organizations wishing to secure or protect civil rights, civil liberties or public rights; matters involving significant issues of public policy.

c. Representation of not-for-profit organizations, e.g., charitable, community, religious, cultural or educational organizations, in furtherance of their organizational goals and purposes when the payment of standard legal fees would have a significantly deleterious impact on the organization's economic resources.

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? The Firm encourages every attorney to engage in some type of pro bono legal work to fulfill their ethical and professional obligations under the Rules of Professional Conduct. We follow the Pro Bono Institute’s Law Firm Challenge which is 3% of our total billable hours.
Does the organization set individual attorney goals regarding the minimum number of pro bono hours to be contributed? No

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? Our attorneys develop professional skills through pro bono opportunities and gain valuable experience as a result. Full billable hour credit is given to our attorneys for time spent on pro bono matters.

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?

No.

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
Other: More than one full-time attorney coordinating special pro bono initiatives
How is pro bono work assigned/distributed?

The Director of Pro Bono Services manages the firm’s pro bono workload. Typically, the Director distributes pro bono work to attorneys who have previously expressed an interest in the legal area involved in the case and who have the experience level that the case requires.

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 Director of Pro Bono Services and our Communities for Change Pro Bono Counsel

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

The Firm partners with a number of public interest agencies for pro bono opportunities for our attorneys.

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.)

Summer Associates are encouraged to work on pro bono matters with our attorneys.

Husch Blackwell partners with many legal service corporations in the cities where we have offices. We also offer transactional pro bono services to smaller non-profit agencies whose budgets generally do not allow for legal representation. In 2021, the Firm dedicated over 25,890 hours in pro bono service and the firm was recognized as a 2021 ABA Free Legal Answers Pro Bono Leader for the third straight year. A handful of our attorneys received various awards in 2021 for their pro bono work including: Javon Johnson, Tamar E. Hodges, Daniel Berezoski, and Christina Moore.

What are some of the areas in which your organization has performed pro bono work in the past year?

We have a long-standing commitment to providing pro bono legal services to individuals, public service groups and charitable organizations unable to pay for the legal representation they need.  We encourage our attorneys to provide pro bono legal services and engage in activities that improve access to justice for all.  Our pro bono work takes many forms, including partnering with various legal services entities; court appointments; adoptions; guardianships; representing nonprofits and entrepreneurs; and offering legal services through our anti-human trafficking clinic.  In 2020, we launched the Communities for Change initiative which expanded the firm's pro bono commitments to assist eligible low-revenue, high-potential minority-owned businesses and nonprofits in an effort to help minority companies create opportunities for other minorities in their communities.  The firm is also a member of the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance and has taken on pro bono projects through this alliance.  More information on our commitment to pro bono can be found on our website at huschblackwell.com.

Fellowship sponsorship

Does your organization sponsor split public interest summer and/or post-graduate fellowships? No
Public Interest Fellowship Comments

N/A