Goodwin Procter

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Pro Bono Rank Firm
(Am Law 200 Rank)
Am Law
Pro Bono Score
Average Pro Bono
Hours Per Lawyer
% of Lawyers
With More Than 20 Hours
46
Goodwin Procter (38)
63.9
81.7
46.1

 

"An entrepreneur is an entrepreneur," says Goodwin Procter corporate partner Anna Dodson. "It doesn't matter if they're starting a private equity fund, or they're starting a dress shop in Roxbury." That's the philosophy behind Goodwin Procter's neighborhood business initiative. Corporate lawyers from the firm partner with neighborhood and community development agencies in Boston's Roxbury, The Am Law Pro Bono 100Dorchester, and Jamaica Plains neighborhoods to provide pro bono legal services to low-income people in those neighborhoods who are hoping to start up a small business.

The firm began offering corporate pro bono services to entrepreneurs in partnership with the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Economic Justice Project in 2001. The firm now offers at least nine workshops and three clinics each year for local entrepreneurs. In 2008 Goodwin Procter lawyers met with 140 people and from those meetings took on 15 small, locally owned businesses as pro bono clients. All told, 45 corporate lawyers at Goodwin put in a total of 945 hours meeting with clients and advising on real estate, transactional, labor and employment, and intellectual property matters. "Low-income entrepreneurs have to put family assets on the line," Dodson says. "We can't stop that, but we can help them understand it. . . . We can't make the terms of a loan better but we can help entrepreneurs ask the right questions [of lenders]."

—Ross Todd | July 1, 2009

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