Pro Bono & Community Service

Troutman Sanders is proud of its commitment to the communities we share with our clients and employees.  Our attorneys and staff provide leadership and direct service to nonprofit organizations addressing the needs of each of the communities in which we work.  Troutman Sanders employees generously volunteer their time on nonprofit Boards, organize fundraising walks, conduct book collection drives for neighborhood schools and provide labor to build and renovate homes for low-income families.

Each year, our lawyers and paralegals devote thousands of hours to pro bono legal services.  They serve the legal needs of a wide range of clients – from individuals faced with eviction from their homes, to families seeking educational services for their special needs children, to non-profits trying to get organized.  Helping clients who cannot afford to pay for legal services is not only in the finest tradition of our profession.  It is the right thing to do. I am pleased to report that in 2008, the Firm signed The Pro Bono Institute's Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge, thereby committing our firm to use its best efforts to annually contribute 3% of the firm's total billable hours, or 60 hours per attorney, to pro bono work. Developed by law firm leaders and corporate general counsel, the Challenge articulates a single, unitary standard by which major law firms can acknowledge their institutional, firm-wide commitment to provide pro bono legal services to low income and disadvantaged individuals and families and non-profit groups.  More than 140 firms throughout the country have signed the Challenge.  I am proud of all our professionals who devote their time and talent to serving our fellow citizens.  Below are snapshots of our pro bono program and community service activities.

 -Robert W. Webb, Jr., Chairman 

Pro Bono Projects


Community Service Projects

Civil Rights

The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained a United States citizen as a suspected undocumented immigrant from Mexico. Even with evidence of his United States citizenship, ICE officials started removal proceedings after coercing him into signing a statement admitting he was in the United States illegally. He was eventually deported to Mexico, spending 125 days away before being allowed to return to the United States. A team of lawyers from Troutman Sanders represented this North Carolina native with mental disabilities in his lawsuit against the United States government, the North Carolina Department of Corrections, and various immigration officials.

Troutman lawyers are currently handling two separate court-appointed matters on behalf of inmates requesting relief for violations of 8th Amendment rights. One matter alleges failure to treat periodontal disease and delay of dental treatment. The other matter involves allegations that a prison guard failed to protect our client from another prisoner.

Children

Working with Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), our volunteer lawyers in Atlanta, New York, Orange County, Tysons Corner and Washington, D.C. offices represent unaccompanied children in immigration proceedings. These children are typically victims of trafficking or are fleeing severe abuse, abandonment, forced marriage, exploitation, or other human rights abuses. In addition to providing pro bono representation to the children, Troutman Sanders worked with KIND to sponsor the 4th Annual Advocacy Day where dozens of volunteers from around the country spent an afternoon talking to members of Congress about the urgent need for more funding to address the overwhelming increase in the numbers of children crossing our borders alone.

Another example of a pro bono effort to assist children involves responding to subpoenas that target the records and files of therapists who represent child abuse/neglect victims. Working with several local non-profit organizations in Richmond, our volunteer lawyers help prevent confidential information between therapists and abused children from being disclosed.

Military

Active Duty Service Members and Veterans are assisted by attorneys in multiple offices. Working with the ABA Military Pro Bono Program, the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program, Emory Law School’s Veterans Clinic and the Georgia Bar’s Military and Veterans Legal Assistance Program, our lawyers provide assistance in matters involving consumer debt, landlord/tenant and veterans’ benefits. In addition, Atlanta lawyers participate in monthly on-site visits at the VA Hospital through Atlanta Legal Aid where we assist low-income cancer patients in the palliative care center with the preparation of wills, financial powers of attorney and nominations of guardians for minor children.

Basic Estate Planning

Since 2003, Troutman lawyers in Atlanta have been representing tenants who are threatened with the loss of their residence in eviction proceedings. The attorney appears on behalf of the tenant in the Magistrate Court of Fulton County on a prescheduled date for mediation and, if necessary, a short trial before the magistrate judge.

Eviction Defense

Since 2003, Troutman lawyers in Atlanta have been representing tenants who are threatened with the loss of their residence in eviction proceedings. The attorney appears on behalf of the tenant in the Magistrate Court of Fulton County on a prescheduled date for mediation and, if necessary, a short trial before the magistrate judge.

Amicus Briefs

Volunteer lawyers in multiple offices worked on amici briefs filed in the United States Supreme Court, including supporting a birth parent in a custody/adoption suit involving the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1977; seeking review of Environmental Protection Agency regulations relating to greenhouse gases as air pollutants under the Clean Air Act; and representing local government officials in a suit filed by a convicted rapist who challenged state DNA arrest laws. Additionally, we assisted the Washington Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs on two amici briefs filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on behalf of WLC’s Fair Housing Project. Both cases addressed important issues regarding equal access to housing for individuals with disabilities.

Nonprofit Assistance

Our Virginia Beach attorneys assisted a local nonprofit needing assistance with negotiating a ground lease to open a day camp for disabled children, wounded warriors and families of fallen soldiers. We also represented the client before the local planning commission and were able to obtain the conditional use permit needed to allow them to proceed with their plans.

Pro Bono Recognition

Troutman Sanders was honored by the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section with a 2013 National Public Service Award which recognizes law firms, corporate law departments and business law individuals that demonstrate a significant commitment to providing pro bono legal services.

Troutman Sanders was recognized by the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia and awarded its 2013 Pro Bono Award for its efforts in helping a United States citizen recover damages after he was illegally deported to Mexico.

The Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation recognized a Troutman Sander’s research librarian with its “Excellence in Pro Bono Service Award” for her assistance with real estate issues.

The Atlanta Fire Rescue Department and Atlanta Fire Foundation’s “Fire Chief’s Award of Distinction” was presented to Troutman Sanders in recognition of support provided over the years.

Tahirih Justice Center nominated a Troutman Sanders partner in the Washington, D.C. office as a 2013 American Immigration Lawyers Association Summer Pro Bono Hero for the Southeast for his generous work representing survivors of domestic violence seeking asylum in immigration court.

An Atlanta partner was recognized by the Atlanta Intellectual Property American Inn of Court with the 2013 Pro Bono Award for his consistent pro bono work for a variety of persons and organizations.

Troutman Sanders has been awarded an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs for the firm’s work in preparing two amici briefs in partnership with WLC’s Fair Housing Project.

Pro Bono Providers

Atlanta: Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, Emory Law School Veterans Clinic, Georgia Appleseed Foundation, Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network, Georgia Justice Project, Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta, Georgia Lawyers for the Arts, Truancy Intervention Project and Women’s Economic Development Agency.

District of Columbia: Catholic Charities of D.C., DC Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program, Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, Legal Counsel for the Elderly, Tahirih Justice Center, Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts, and Washington Lawyers’ Committee

New York: Coalition for the Homeless, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, The Children’s Law Center, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, Lawyers Alliance for New York

Orange County: Bet Tzedek, Human Options, and Kids Alliance

Portland : St. Andrew Legal Clinic

Richmond: Central Virginia Legal Aid Society, Greater Richmond Bar Foundation, Henrico County Court Appointed Special Advocates, Legal Aid Justice Center, Legal Information Network for Cancer, and Virginia Bar Association

Raleigh: Legal Aid of North Carolina

Tysons Corner: Catholic Charities of D.C., DC Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program, Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, Legal Counsel for the Elderly, and Virginia Bar Association

Virginia Beach: Legal Aid Society of Eastern Virginia

National Providers: ABA Military Pro Bono Project, Kids in Need of Defense, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, National Veterans Legal Services Program, Online Media Legal Network, Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program

Contact Information

For more information about the firm’s pro bono program, please email .

American Cancer Society

Attorneys and staff in the New York office participated in the American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk,” a five-mile fundraising walk in Central Park.  The event is a noncompetitive walk supporting the American Cancer Society's unique mission to fight cancer on four fronts: research, education, advocacy, and patient services.

In Atlanta, Troutman Sanders has recently announced a new partnership with the American Cancer Society and the Atlanta Legal Aid Society in which it will provide free basic estate planning on a pro bono basis to eligible low-income individuals with cancer.  The two organizations organized a joint team for the “Marking Strides” walk in Atlanta to celebrate this partnership.

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation

In Raleigh, Tysons Corner, and Atlanta, attorneys and staff participated in he Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation’s “Passionately Pink for the Cure” fundraiser.  Attorneys and staff celebrated their personal contributions to the Komen Foundation by donning pink ribbons, wearing pink and enjoying “Blue Jean Fridays.”

For more than 20 years, the Foundation has been a global leader in the fight against breast cancer through its support of innovative research and community-based outreach programs.  Working through a network of U.S. and international Affiliates and events like the Komen Race for the Cure®, the Komen Foundation is fighting to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease by funding research grants and supporting education, screening and treatment projects in communities around the world.

EIF Women's Cancer Programs

In Richmond, Norfolk and Virginia Beach, Troutman Sanders attorneys and staff participated in the national Lee Denim Day to raise funds for EIF (Entertainment Industry Foundation) Women’s Cancer Programs.  Pink ribbons and jeans were the rule of the day as the Richmond office showed their support of this worthy cause.

EIF is committed to saving lives by raising awareness of the importance of early detection of breast and reproductive cancers and providing funds to advance early detection and treatment research, as will as support to community programs that assist the millions of women and their families at risk of or affected by cancer.  Programs include the Women's Cancer Research Fund, which focuses on early detection of cancer and supporting EIF's Breast Cancer Biomarker Discover Project; and the National Women's Cancer Research Alliance, which funds some of the most promising research being conducted today to develop new and more effective approaches to the treatment of women's cancers.

American Heart Association

Both the Atlanta and Richmond offices fielded teams to participate in their local Heart Walks benefiting the American Heart Association.  Each year millions of people participate in Heart Walks around the country.  The money that is raised each year will be used to fund the valuable research, education and advocacy efforts of the American Heart Association.    

The American Heart Association is the largest voluntary health organization working to prevent, treat and defeat heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. These diseases devastate millions of people of all ages and kill more than 930,000 Americans each year. To fight them the association supports research, education and advocacy, and helps heart disease and stroke patients. Over 22.5 million association volunteers and supporters are at work in their communities helping their friends, neighbors and loved ones live longer, better lives.

Rebuilding Together

Attorneys and staff from the Washington DC and Tysons Corner Offices joined together for a project for National Rebuilding Day.  They worked together to rehabilitate the home a DC homeowner of limited means and capabilities.  The Troutman team undertook several projects, including restoring electrical power to front lights and installation of new exterior and interior light fixtures; painting and wall repair; replacement of counters and installation of kitchen pantry; and yard work and landscaping.

Rebuilding Together's mission is to preserve and revitalize houses and communities, assuring that low-income homeowners, from the elderly and disabled to families with children, live in warmth, safety, and independence. In partnership with communities, the organization’s goal is to make a sustainable impact.  Necessary repairs are provided to existing homeowners free of charge, enabling them to live independently and with dignity.

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington

For a number of years, attorneys in Troutman Sanders’ Washington DC office have participated in “Intake Days” sponsored by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington.  At the intakes, the firm’s volunteer lawyers interview needy individuals with legal problems and assist them in finding counsel to help them to address these problems.  Volunteers regularly address consumer, family law, landlord/tenant, employment law, and benefits issues.

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington is the largest private social service agency in Washington, DC and surrounding Maryland counties. Each year, the organization serves 80,000 men, women and children through 50 social service programs at 26 community sites. Its programs embrace all needy members of our community, regardless of race, religion or national origin.  Emphasis is placed on building relationships in the community, reaching out to those in need and maintaining a welcoming environment with easy access to services.

Contact Information

For more information about the firm’s community service program, please contact Sallie Daniel at  or 404.885.3277.
 
   
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