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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 other important issue areas.

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

Summer Associates Team Up With the Truth, Hope & Justice Initiative to Drive Systemic Change

Foster Garvey attorneys, including a group of its summer associates, teamed up on a criminal justice reform project to create a new research database on settlements and verdicts in police brutality cases throughout the United States.

The firm partnered with the Truth, Hope & Justice Initiative on this timely pro bono project as a means of uniting its 2022 summer associates through a shared goal. This project provided opportunity for each one to gain meaningful hands-on experience and exercise their legal research skills to advance an important cause.

Read more here.

Providing Assistance to Catholic Charities of Oregon

Foster Garvey is proud of its longstanding relationship with Catholic Charities of Oregon (“Catholic Charities”), through which the firm assists on a variety of pro bono matters, both small and large. Catholic Charities provides essential, life-changing services to the most vulnerable Oregonians. These services include affordable and supportive housing, legal services, refugee resettlement and many others. The organization was founded in 1933 during the Great Depression and has been a steadfast ally of the poor and marginalized since its inception.

Recently, Foster Garvey’s involvement has been focused on working with Catholic Charities’ Immigration Legal Services division and furthering the development of the organization’s immigration strategy, which has included meeting with senior management and organizing pro bono consulting services from the former Executive Director of Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. The firm has also provided advice and representation to Catholic Charities and its dedicated housing entity, Caritas Housing, which has acquired, developed, rehabilitated and managed more than 1,200 affordable housing units across the state.  

Read more here.

Supporting Our Nation's Defenders Through The Veterans Consortium

Since 2017, Foster Garvey has assisted The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program (“TVC”), a national non-profit 501(c)(3) organization devoted to aiding veterans and family members who have been denied disability benefits by the Veterans Affairs (“VA”) system. For nearly three decades, TVC has provided pro bono legal service to veterans and their families, caregivers and survivors in federal venues. The organization also gives training and support to attorneys representing veteran claimants or family members before the Veterans Court.

In 2023, Foster Garvey worked on three cases with TVC. Some of these matters involved successfully ensuring veterans receive the benefits to which they are entitled—previously improperly denied by the VA—for their health issues.

Read more here.

The Road to Safety: Teaming With NWIRP to Defend the Rights of a Mother and Her Children Escaping a World of Violence

A cross-office Foster Garvey team diligently worked together to assist a family from El Salvador with obtaining administrative closure in a defensive asylum matter, after a more than six-year-long process.

In 2016, Maritza Carolina Ventura de Rivas came to the United States with her son Iker (12) and daughter Génesis (13) to flee the atrocities of the gang violence plaguing daily life in their home country. While living in El Salvador, Iker was heavily pressured by the local gangs to serve as a lookout. When he refused, his uncle was forced to clean a car covered with blood, and Iker received repeated threats on his journey to and from school, including threats to rape his family members.

Fearing that this type of abuse would escalate into something far worse, the family sought an escape but lacked the resources to make a move of any kind. Eventually, the family received funding from Iker and Génesis' father to come to the United States.

Read more here

Adrian Winder's Service to a Domestic Abuse Survivor

Attorney Adrian Urquhart Winder's significant pro bono contributions recently gained recognition in the Washington State Bar News. She played a pivotal role in assisting a domestic abuse survivor through the Family Violence Appellate Project (FVAP), as detailed in the feature article titled "The Family Violence Appellate Project: How Adrian Helped Janae."

The article outlines Adrian's crucial involvement in resolving a complex legal challenge faced by her client, Janae. In a contentious divorce marred by domestic abuse, Janae's ex-husband pursued multiple legal actions against her, her attorney, and the guardian ad litem. Adrian's extensive appellate experience shone through as she meticulously presented the case, shedding light on the ex-husband's abusive use of litigation. She argued that the tort action was primarily an act of retribution against Janae and all those associated with the court's findings in the divorce matter.

Read more here.

My Time Inc. – Creating Vital Support Systems for Special Needs Families Across New York City

Parents and caregivers of children diagnosed with autism and other developmental disabilities encounter numerous roadblocks to accessing resources for the complexities of raising a special needs child. Society often lacks adequate guidance and awareness that would help ease the strain these parents experience.

My Time Inc., a grassroots nonprofit based in Brooklyn, New York, understands the value of providing special needs parents access to instructional tools and emotional aid. The organization’s co-founder, Lucina Clarke, a former special needs educator, witnessed firsthand the emotional toll and despair that parents and caregivers can face.

Foster Garvey began representing My Time Inc. in 2021 after New York office receptionist Evelyn Thomas had learned of the organization through her local community service circles and connected Lucina with the firm’s Pro Bono & Community Service Committee. The firm now serves as My Time Inc.’s outside General Counsel, led by Malcolm Seymour, who advises the organization on general business matters.

Read more here

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