NALP Directory of Legal Employers

Directory Year: 2023

Robins Kaplan LLP - Boston, Massachusetts

Pro Bono/Public Interest

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Pro Bono Contact

Pro Bono Contact Name Lindsey Hanson
Pro Bono Contact Title Pro Bono Counsel
Pro Bono Contact Phone (612) 349-8526
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 4.9%
Average Hours per Attorney last year 84.4

Pro Bono Participation

Percent of associates participating last year 100%
Percent of partners participating last year 89%
Percent of other lawyers participating last year 71%

Average hours

Average hours per associate last year 73.16
Average hours per partner last year 59.68
Average hours per other lawyer last year 196.08
What percentage of attorneys performed more than 20 hours? 61.1
What was the number of actual pro bono hours contributed by the organization in the prior calendar year? 16,595
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?

We define pro bono work as legal services donated to persons of limited means; to individuals or groups seeking to protect civil rights, civil liberties, or public rights; or to charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental, and educational organizations in matters that are designed primarily to address the needs of persons of limited means. We also adhere to the pro bono definitions of the MN, CA, MA, and NY State rules of Professional Conduct, the American Bar Association, and the Pro Bono Institute.

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 billable hours.

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? 50 hours


Is an attorney's commitment to pro bono activity considered a favorable factor in advancement and compensation decisions? Yes
If yes, to what extent? Pro bono work is considered in our formal evaluations along with all other work performed by associates. Evaluations are taken into account in determining advancement. As a part of the formal evaluation process, an associate also completes a self-evaluation that inquires as to whether the associate met their pro bono goals, and if not, why not. The firm’s associate bonus policy encourages pro bono work by counting 100 hours of pro bono service automatically (and additional hours with approval) toward associate bonus eligibility.

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?


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
An attorney who coordinates pro bono projects as an ancillary duty to other work
Pro Bono Committee
Other: Full-time attorney in a dedicated pro bono coordination/oversight role An attorney who coordinates pro bono projects as an ancillary duty to other work Pro Bono Committee.
How is pro bono work assigned/distributed?

The Pro Bono Chair, Pro Bono Counsel, and internal pro bono liaisons to community legal service providers coordinate with all attorneys. Many attorneys seek and find their own pro bono cases – often from the various resources and partnerships the firm has developed.

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: We have few restrictions on the Pro Bono matters we will accept. If necessary, the Pro Bono Chair, Ethics Partner and Managing Partner decide.

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): Fellowships
If so please describe

The firm sponsors three legal fellows at two legal services organizations. These fellows are firm members whose work is solely dedicating to serving those with limited means.

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.)

Since 2008 around 5% of our total attorney time has been contributed to pro bono work. We have a Pro Bono Counsel, who oversees and manages the pro bono program and maintains a pro bono practice. We also have a Pro Bono Committee, which oversees pro bono matters at the firm and ensures that resources and training are available to attorneys. To help attorneys identify pro bono opportunities that will fit their interests, the Pro Bono Committee has established pro bono partnerships with more than 60 nonprofit legal service providers offering a wide range of practice areas and communities served. Our pro bono policy sets forth the expectation that each attorney in our firm provide 50 hours of pro bono work each year.

Some of our recent Pro Bono recognitions include:

  • The American Lawyer Magazine has ranked Robins Kaplan LLP among the top 30 firms for pro bono in the nation every year since 2009. The ranking is based on the average number of pro bono hours per lawyer and the percentage of lawyers who performed at least 20 hours of pro bono.
  • Robins Kaplan was named one of Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota’s 2018 Pro Bono Partners of the Year.
  • Patrick Arenz, former Pro Bono Chair, received the 2018 ABA Pro Bono Publico award.
  • In 2019, Robins Kaplan partner Jim Menton received a Pro Bono Star Award from Human Rights First for his extraordinary commitment to providing pro bono representation in asylum cases.
  • Robins Kaplan was named to The National Law Journal's 2016, 2017 and 2019 Pro Bono Hot List.
  • In 2021 Vault ranked the firm #14 in its “Best Law Firms for Pro Bono” list. These rankings are based on surveys of associates at the firm.
  • Robins Kaplan received the 2017 “Law Firm of the Year” award from Tubman Family Alliance for providing pro bono legal services on behalf of survivors of domestic violence.
  • Robins Kaplan received the 2016 Distinguished Service Award from the Children's Law Center of Minnesota.
What are some of the areas in which your organization has performed pro bono work in the past year?

Some of the areas in which our firm has performed pro bono work include family law, asylum, naturalization, environmental law, treaty rights enforcement for American Indian tribes, police brutality, LGBTQ+ rights, gun safety, immigration, domestic violence, human trafficking, child advocacy, criminal appeals, criminal defense, consumer rights, protective orders, expungements, housing issues, representing guardians ad litem, and veterans and military law.

Fellowship sponsorship

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

The firm sponsors a summer public interest fellowship for a law school student through the Minnesota Justice Foundation.