Pro Bono

Foley is committed to providing meaningful pro bono opportunities for our attorneys and quality legal services to those who most need our help.

Our commitment to conscience and community — established by our founding partners and still a core value to this day — includes providing quality pro bono legal services that ensure every person and organization, regardless of financial means, has access to the justice system.

And, as is often the case, in giving we also receive: Our attorneys gain not only professional experience through exposure to areas of law, procedures, and clients not often available in their day-to-day work, but also a deep, personal satisfaction that comes from achieving justice for those who otherwise would have been powerless to protect their legal rights.

Reporting directly to our CEO, Foley’s National Pro Bono Legal Services Committee monitors and implements the firm's comprehensive Pro Bono Policy to ensure that our pro bono clients are afforded the same high standard of quality given to our paying clients.

As part of our commitment to pro bono, the committee set a number of goals to improve the quality and quantity of our pro bono service: significantly increase the number of attorneys performing pro bono service and the hours they contribute; expand the variety of service opportunities; and enhance partnerships with other law firms, clients, nonprofits, and law school pro bono programs.

And because we know that policies and goals by themselves will not get the job done, we actively support our words with action. We automatically provide billable credit for the first 100 hours of pro bono work per year, with the opportunity to request additional credit over that amount; launched specialized pro bono practice groups that deepen our capabilities in specific areas and attract more quality projects from referral sources; and strongly encourage all attorneys — regardless of department or practice — to meet their professional responsibility in aiding the underserved. We also accepted the Pro Bono Institute Challenge, which results in the firm’s commitment of approximately three percent of all billable hours toward pro bono.

When it comes to pro bono services, we have done everything from assisting individuals, legal aid societies, and civil rights organizations to representing nonprofit organizations in strategic projects and litigation matters. We work in nearly every area of public interest law, and we have teamed with organizations such as the Medical Legal Partnership, Just Neighbors, National Immigrant Justice Center, Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project, and Public Counsel to increase our access to pro bono cases in our communities.

  • As part of a national initiative, our Washington, D.C. office partnered with the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and other law firms to provide pro bono legal representation for injured soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
  • As part of Foley's long-standing relationship with Bet Tzedek Legal Services — a public-interest law center in L.A. that assists low-income, disabled, and elderly clients — Foley attorneys across the country have participated in the Holocaust Survivors Justice Network, the first-ever nationally coordinated Holocaust-survivor reparations initiative.
  • Our IP attorneys provide pro bono services to the Institute for OneWorld Health, including writing and filing patent applications for new drugs to aid the world’s most impoverished areas. We recently expanded the initiative by creating a new program to aid discoveries in orphan and neglected diseases.
  • Our Artists and Arts Organizations Pro Bono Group leverages the firm’s capabilities in a number of practice areas to help struggling artists and arts organizations address a variety of legal issues, including trademark registration and copyright infringement.

Our Asylum/Immigration Pro Bono Group handles a significant amount of the firm's pro bono work, drawing from attorneys in practices across the firm and offices across the country to help persecuted individuals from around the world. As shown in the interactive map below, we have secured asylum for numerous pro bono clients from Venezuela, the Republic of The Gambia, Nigeria, the Central African Republic, the Sudan, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Somalia, Madagascar, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Burma, and many others. Click on the pushpins below to further explore our attorneys' asylum and immigration experience.

We do not perform pro bono work to win awards. We do it because true justice requires that every voice has a worthy advocate. But we are proud of the recognition and accolades we have received, as they embody the time, effort, and resources that our attorneys and staff have dedicated to so many matters. Recent recognition includes:

  • Foley ranked No. 55 on the AmLaw 2015 Pro Bono Scorecard
  • Foley's Chicago office received the John C. McAndrews Pro Bono Service Award from the Illinois State Bar Association (2014-2015)
  • Casa Cornelia Law Center named Foley its 2013 La Mancha Law Firm of the Year in recognition of our support of the center’s mission to provide quality legal services to victims of human and civil rights violations
  • The Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs recognized our Washington, D.C. office with a 2013 Outstanding Achievement Award for its work in the area of disability rights
  • Foley’s Chicago office was named by the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) to the Pro Bono Recognition Roster, which recognizes the noteworthy contributions of outstanding law firms and corporate legal departments
  • Foley’s Boston office was named to the 2012 Supreme Judicial Court’s Pro Bono Recognition Honor Roll in recognition of the extraordinary amount of pro bono work the office performed for the most vulnerable citizens of Massachusetts
  • The Refugee Assistance Program, part of the City Bar Justice Center of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, recognized Foley in 2012 for its success in achieving asylum for a refugee from Honduras
  • Foley received the 2011 Chief Justice’s Law Firm Commendation Pro Bono Service Award, presented by the Florida Supreme Court to a single law firm for its outstanding efforts in support of pro bono legal services
  • The AIDS Alliance honored Foley in 2011 with its Charles Evans Award for Community Service
  • In 2011, our Washington, D.C. office was again honored by the judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia as an office with at least 40 percent of its attorneys contributing at least 50 hours of pro bono legal services during the past year