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Foster Garvey attorneys and staff are deeply committed to engaging in pro bono legal and public service activities that help individuals and communities attain equal access to justice. Our work in this area assists individuals and organizations in cases involving criminal justice reform, including clemency cases; representing low-income individuals, refugees and immigrants; and helping veterans, among many others.

Below are a few notable examples of the firm’s recent pro bono work:

A “Juvenile Lifer” Comes Home: Pro Bono Team Secures Early Release of Man Imprisoned for Decades for a Crime He Committed as a Juvenile

Paul Heer, an attorney in the firm’s Investment Management group, and Microsoft pro bono volunteers Dan ConnollyBrianna Hinojosa-Smith and Matt Walker successfully represented a pro bono client before Washington’s Indeterminate Sentencing Review Board (ISRB), a quasi-judicial board of the Department of Corrections.

Their client had been incarcerated for 21 years – from the age of 17 – when the Seattle Clemency Project was made aware of his compelling plea for release. After nine months of intensive work, this team successfully advocated for their client’s release, consistent with U.S. Supreme Court jurisprudence that treats children as constitutionally different from adults for sentencing. Read more here.

Foster Garvey Provides Assistance to Virtual Celebration of Service to America Awards

For the first time in its 22-year history, the Celebration of Service to America Awards went virtual as a pre-recorded event that premiered on August 22, 2020. The awards, presented by the NAB Leadership Foundation, are some of the most prestigious in the broadcasting industry, and honor local radio and television stations for their dedication to community service and going above their expected role of news and entertainment providers.

Foster Garvey’s Communications, Telecom & Media group was honored to provide pro bono legal service for the virtual event, including assistance with issues related to the production and distribution of the program, advice with respect to releases and clearances for footage and materials included in the program, and advice with respect to broadcast television distribution. Read more here.

Foster Garvey Celebrates 25 Years as Pro Bono Challenge® Charter Signatory Firm; Continues Tradition of Pro Bono

Foster Garvey is pleased to celebrate the Pro Bono Institute’s 25th anniversary of the Charter Signatory law firms’ commitment to the Pro Bono Challenge®. The Pro Bono Challenge® is a unique, aspirational pro bono standard. Developed by law firm leaders and corporate general counsel, the Challenge articulates a voluntary, single standard for the world’s largest law firms. Read more here.

Educating Pro Se Litigants in Oregon

A hallmark of Foster Garvey’s Pro Bono program is finding opportunities to help people who would not normally have access to representation. Through the Free Federal Law Clinic, a new program run by the Oregon Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, lawyers have an opportunity to volunteer to meet for 30 minutes with pro se litigants to advise them on courtroom procedures, including how to file documents and manage their litigation, as well as to answer any questions they have about the process. The federal court provides malpractice coverage, a meeting space in Portland’s Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse, engagement letters and notice ahead of time to run conflict checks with the volunteer attorney’s law firm. Not only does this program help connect people in need with sought-after legal resources, the Court has made the process of providing and accessing pro bono counsel seamless for both attorneys and litigants. Read more here.

Asylum Hopes Held up by “Remain in Mexico” Program

After fleeing their home in Central America, 10-year-old Rosie* and her father arrived in the United States seeking asylum and were immediately placed in the Migrant Protection Protocols (“MPP”) program, often referred to as the “Remain in Mexico” program.

According to The Washington Post, approximately 60,000 people have been placed into MPP, despite the well-documented dangers that await migrants in Mexico. People in MPP have been kidnapped, raped, assaulted, tortured, starved, threatened with death and killed. The dangerous conditions and logistical complexities of arguing a U.S. court case from Mexico pose huge barriers for access to counsel. Fewer than one percent of people in MPP are represented by counsel. Read more here.

To read a complete list of the stories, view our 2019 Pro Bono Brochure.


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