Challenge

Dedicated to providing education, advocacy and support, Autism Speaks is increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism spectrum disorder, advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions, and in providing resources to help support those affected by autism. Goodwin partners, associates and staff have stepped up to provide guidance to help Autism Speaks fulfill its mission.

Approach

Beginning with a relationship initiated by Goodwin partners John LeClaire and John Ferguson in 2010, over the past seven years, more than 70 Goodwin attorneys and professional staff members have devoted more than 1,550 hours of service to Autism Speaks. The work has ranged from preparing the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Guide (one of Autism Speaks’ core free tool-kits), to negotiating the relationship with Google for the cloud-based MSSNG genome sequencing program (the world’s largest open-access genomic database for autism research), to countless corporate sponsorships and relationships, to labor, employment, real estate, transactional, life sciences and litigation matters.

Outcome

Since its founding in 2005, Autism Speaks has since merged with three leading autism groups and grown into a powerful advocacy organization with nearly 300 employees, half a million volunteers and partnerships in more than 70 countries. “It’s been a great opportunity to bring the resources of a firm like this to bear for a client that’s really doing great work on a number of different fronts,” Ferguson said.