Pro Bono

More than 65,000 hours for the (public) good.

Very often those who most need legal representation can least afford to pay for it. Whether it’s guidance on housing, immigration, criminal defense or small business development, free and reliable legal counsel can make real and lasting changes in people’s lives and livelihoods. That’s why pro bono work is one of the cornerstones of our firm. Our attorneys, summer associates and paralegals work on a wide range of pro bono matters. Last year, we dedicated more than 65,000 hours to over 650 matters.

Goodwin’s pro bono work not only affects the local communities in which we work and live, but also improves the lives of people in other parts of the world. Our lawyers assist low-income individuals with poverty law issues, and we also assist national and international nonprofit organizations on governance issues, intellectual property, real estate, tax, employment and environmental matters. In addition, our attorneys have been very involved in the area of microfinance, helping nonprofit organizations in the sector to make complex cross-border investments in emerging markets and to solve sophisticated regulatory issues.

Goodwin has been widely recognized by clients and legal services partners for our pro bono achievements. These achievements are emblematic of our lawyers’ generosity of spirit and a desire to help those in need.

No matter how big or small, how monumental the issues or how routine, every pro bono matter receives the same level of dedication, professionalism, and care. The firm greatly appreciates the energy, commitment, and creativity that all of the attorneys and other legal professionals involved bring to our Pro Bono Initiative.

Pro Bono Highlights

Neighborhood Business Initiative

The Neighborhood Business Initiative (NBI) is a program founded and run by Goodwin to bring business and legal services to entrepreneurs and small-business owners in Greater Boston, New York and California, who are members of under-served communities, or whose businesses positively impact under-served neighborhoods.

The Initiative's primary activities are to provide, on a pro bono basis, legal resources, workshops and clinics in under-served urban neighborhoods, as well as one-on-one direct pro bono representation.

NBI is led by a committee of Goodwin partners, associates and professional staff.

Learn more

Neighborhood Business Initiative

The Gift Of Representation

Goodwin recently partnered with Gillette on a pro bono immigration case for a ten-year-old girl escaping gang violence in El Salvador. Kids In Need of Defense (KIND), which matches pro bono lawyers with unaccompanied minors in immigration proceedings across the country, made this success possible.

Read the full story in the Pro Bono Attorneys of the Month feature on KIND’s website





  • Kevin DeJong received special recognition for all of his support of KIND at the Volunteer Appreciation Celebration on September 10, 2019.
  • Goodwin was selected to receive an Outstanding Achievement Award by the Washington Lawyer's Committee for its tenacious and successful litigation in the Mengiste and York cases, which sent a strong message to housing providers that discrimination against persons based on national origin and on sexual identity will not go unpunished.
  • The Pereira Litigation Team was the recipient of the 2019 AILA Jack Wasserman Memorial Award for Excellence in Litigation in the Field of Immigration Law. 
  • Goodwin's Senior Manager, Gia Casale, was recognized with the Award for Pro Bono and Community Service at the annual Civil Rights Reception for her leadership with FoodBiz.
  • David Zimmer received the Mass Lawyers Weekly Excellence in the Law Pro Bono Award. 


  • David Hashmall accepted the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice award for services provided at their 50th Anniversary Event.  Samuel Hoar (Goodwin attorney) was one of the 14 founders of the Boston Lawyers Committee in 1968 and Goodwin has played an important role in the founding and flourishing of this outstanding organization. 
  • Justin Pierce, Andrew Kim, Andrew Bastnagel, Thomas Hefferon, Joeseph Yenouskas, Tierney Smith, Adam Chud, William Jay and Brian Burgess were presented with an Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of great work with the DC Parole Project. 
  • The Califonria Innocense Project Recognized for the firm's Case Screening Program. 
  • Buzzard's Bay Coalition honored Greg Bibler for his work on a host of Coalition advocacy issues, beginning in 2011, to help expedite the release of Massachusetts Estuaries Project reports that form the foundation of Bay cleanup plans called TMDLs. Bibler has also represented the Coalition in its appeal of Falmouth’s wastewater treatment plant permit in 2015 and in a recent case involving a Mattapoisett homeowner who converted nearly a half-acre of sensitive wetlands on Eel Pond to lawn.
  • The International Municipal Lawyers Association recognized Brett Schuman, Brian Burgess and Neel Chatterjee with the distinguished Amicus Service Award for their work in San Francisco v. Trump. 
  • Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto (CLSEPA) honors Goodwin with the “Firm of the Year” Award for its work on behalf of DACA applicants.


  • Elaine Blais honored for her commitment to community and pro bono work with the Boston Bar Association’s Thurgood Marshall Award, presented annually to a lawyer in Greater Boston for extraordinary efforts in enhancing the human dignity of others through improving or delivering services to Massachusetts’ low income population.
  • MA Supreme Judicial Court honors the firm with the Adams Pro Bono Publico Award for its for its extraordinary dedication to representing unaccompanied immigrant minors, and its innovative pro bono partnership with in-house lawyers at Gillette to serve the needs of these children.
  • The Legal Aid Society of New York recognized Goodwin with the Society's 2017 Pro Bono Publico Awards for outstanding service to The Legal Aid Society and its clients. Frederick Rein, Michael Cottler, Amanda Protess, Christopher Morten, Tiffany Mahmood, Jonathan Whitney, Tobias Schad were also recognized individually. 
  • Victim Rights Law Center selected the firm to receive its Champion Award.


  • The Legal Aid Society of NY honors the firm with its Pro Bono Publico Award recognizing our exceptional legal services delivered to low income New Yorkers; also honors Goodwin and IBM for its Naturalization Project.
  • Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) recognizes partner Marian Tse with the Dow-Gardner-Landrum award for her service on its Board and her long-term commitment to ensuring that poor people have access to justice.
  • The California State Bar recognized Teddy Manolova with its President’s Pro Bono Award.
  • Lawyers Alliance for NY recognizes Mark Schonberger with the 2016 Cornerstone Award for pro bono excellence
  • Rob Hale was recognized by pro bono client, Gosnold on Cape Cod.
  • Artisits for Humanity honored Goodwin for its outstanding support of the Center and the arts community.  


  • Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights & Urban Affairs honors the firm with the Outstanding Achievement Award
    KIND recognizes the firm with its Allegiance Award for work on behalf of unaccompanied minors.
  • Mass Service Alliance recognizes the firm for its work helping US residents become naturalized citizens.
  • Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly honors Doug Doskocil with Excellence in the Law Pro Bono Award.
  • San Francisco Bar Justice and Diversity Center honored Patrick Thompson with an Outstanding Volunteer in Public Service Certificate.  
  • BU Public Interest Program honored Pro Bono Manager, Carolyn Rosenthal with the Alumni Pro Bono Award.
  • Youth Advocacy Division of CPCS honored Bill Mayer and David Apfel.
  • Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Boston presented Jaime Santos with the “Associate Award” recognizing her demonstrated commitment to the civil rights mission of the Lawyers' Committee.

Robert B. Fraser Award

Established in 2000, the firm's Robert B. Fraser Pro Bono Award is given each year to a partner and associate who have done outstanding pro bono work. The award is named after retired Goodwin managing partner Bob Fraser and honors attorneys who devote significant time and effort on behalf of those unable to afford legal representation and who make a special contribution to the establishment or enhancement of pro bono programs at the firm.


2018  Minta KayAlicia Rubio Spring 
2017  Tiffiney Carney, John Ferguson 
2016  Jim McGarry, Rushank Shah 
2015  Bill Harrington, Danielle Geier
2014  Kevin Martin, Leann Walsh
2013  Robert Hale, David Freeburg
2012  Thomas Merriam, Eric Labbe, Teodora Manolova
2011  Rob Carroll, Pat Hurley, Kerry Owens
2010  Daryl Wiesen, Justin Silberberg
2009  Chris Davis and Alison Norris
2008  Bill Mayer and Breck Hancock
2007  David Apfel and Danielle Gipson
2006  Joseph Savage and Dana Breitman
2005  John Moustakas and Christine Genaitis
2004  Jeff Simes and Susan Abbott
2003  Ken Parsigian and Anna Dodson
2002  Al Solecki and Jackie Klosek
2001  Diane Currier and Sarah Walters
2000  Paul Nemser and Stephanie Pare


Robert B. Fraser

Pro Bono Committee

The Pro Bono Committee consists of partners from each of the regions where Goodwin has US offices, representing a diverse group of practice areas. Committee members guide implementation of the firm's pro bono policies and procedures, and recommend improvements. In addition, they monitor pro bono efforts, and provide support and leadership in the development of pro bono opportunities for the firm's lawyers, science advisors and paraprofessionals.

James Barrett, Co-Chair
William Harrington, Co-Chair
Luciana Aquino-Hagedorn
Jason Breen
An-Yen Hu
Nilda Isidro
Brian McPeake
Matt Pohlman 
Bruce Rader
Paul Verbesey

Carolyn D. Rosenthal, Pro Bono Director
Julia Holczer, Pro Bono Manager