As a law firm, our lawyers have chosen careers in the law for a reason — they are passionate about making sure justice is served. A justice system is only as real and just as those who embody it: without lawyers willing to provide pro bono service, it’s merely an ideal.
Pro bono service — serving justice — is central to our professional responsibility to the greater community and represents just one way in which we demonstrate McGuireWoods’ Core Values.
As part of our commitment to client and community service, McGuireWoods’ lawyers are involved in significant pro bono work, including death penalty cases, child support enforcement prosecutions, housing law cases, battered spouse representations, wills and powers of attorney, court-appointed criminal defense, and general counseling for nonprofit groups.
We also provide services to community groups such as The Children’s Law Center; U-Turn, a sports performance academy dedicated to empowering young people through athletics; and pro bono services to veterans, among others. We are long-standing members of the Pro Bono Institute, and other legal aid organizations. Associates, counsel and staff lawyers are credited for up to 50 billable hours for approved pro bono service.
Recent McGuireWoods pro bono efforts:
Charlotte faces a legal aid crisis. Housing evictions are up, workers with criminal records and their families can be shut out of today's strong economy, and many Charlotte citizens struggle with healthcare enrollment forms or are denied coverage arbitrarily.
McGuireWoods represented pro bono client Kendra Ross, a human trafficking survivor awarded nearly $8 million in damages in a federal lawsuit in Kansas against a “regimented cult” and the group’s leader, who forced her to work without pay, benefits or breaks for a decade from the time she was 11. The win is the largest single-plaintiff trafficking award in U.S. history.
McGuireWoods won a Fourth Amendment case at the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled that police officers without a warrant cannot use the automobile exception to enter a home’s curtilage to access a vehicle. The opinion in Collins v. Virginia provides needed clarity regarding the scope of the automobile exception to the warrant requirement. McGuireWoods represented client Ryan Collins pro bono.
When an amateur basketball club sought to monopolize a charity-based sports training facility, McGuireWoods’ lawyers sidelined the attempt, freeing the gym to help hundreds of aspiring athletes.
Thanks to legal residency secured for her by McGuireWoods, a Virginia mother sleeps peacefully at night, safe with her thriving family in the United States — and a world away from the nightmares that pervaded her life in Nepal 10 years ago.
Thanks to the special immigrant status obtained for him by a McGuireWoods pro bono trial team, a Honduran teen can sling on his backpack, hold his head high and feel safe as he attends a local high school in Burlington, N.C.
In fall 2015, McGuireWoods partnered with in-house attorneys and paralegals from Citi to draft advance directives for low-income seniors in Jacksonville, Fla. Citi had approached McGuireWoods earlier in the year to develop pro bono partnerships with the firm’s Jacksonville office — an excellent opportunity to serve the community and develop deeper relationships with Citi, a McGuireWoods client.
A startup nonprofit organization that provides expressive arts programs for military veterans and their families gained tax-exempt status as a public charity, thanks to pro bono legal services provided by McGuireWoods.