The Virginia State Bar Access to Legal Services Committee has awarded McGuireWoods LLP the 2017 Frankie Muse Freeman Organizational Pro Bono Award, which is named for the famed civil rights leader who is the first woman appointed to the US Commission on Civil Rights.
McGuireWoods attorneys have donated 18,834 pro bono hours over the past 19 months, just from their Virginia offices, in areas ranging from uncontested divorce cases in southwestern and central Virginia, to refugee children in Special Immigrant Juvenile cases, to youth tried as adults in serious juvenile offender cases, to non-profit organizations in Charlottesville. They’ve also represented thousands of individuals whose drivers licenses were suspended for unpaid court costs and fines.
McGuireWoods was nominated by Legal Aid Justice Center Executive Director Mary Bauer. She noted that the firm, by assisting the Legal Aid Justice Center on its Drive Down the Debt Campaign by handling litigation that challenges the suspension of driver's licenses of poor people who lack the means to pay fines and court costs, has committed significant organizational resources to dismantling systems that disproportionately impact and penalize poor people.
“This is pro bono leadership,” she wrote in her nominating letter. “Not just a few hours here, or a few hours there, fulfilling the commitment to access to justice in its most hollow form. But recognizing a systemic injustice that devastates the lives of hundreds of thousands of low-income people and their families using the resources, influence, and legal prowess of the firm to make it right.”
Additionally, a team of McGuireWoods attorneys supervises UVA law students on a variety of pro bono cases. The firm also provides leadership, along with the Greater Richmond Bar Foundation and Central Virginia Legal Aid Society, to help expand the access to legal services to clients with issues in "non-core" legal aid cases through the Greater Richmond Bar Foundation Triage Project.
The Frankie Muse Freeman Organizational Pro Bono Award will be presented at the Pro Bono Awards Dinner during the VSB Pro Bono Conference on Wednesday, October 18, 2017, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Charlottesville.
Photo 1: McGuireWoods Richmond partner Tennille Checkovich (center) with McGuireWoods lawyers in 2014 who were associates she supervised in handling numerous serious offender review cases referred to the firm by JustChildren. From left: former McGuireWoods lawyer Jeffrey McMahan, Washington counsel Matthew Reynolds, Richmond associates Jonathan Wolfson and Michael Baudinet, former firm lawyer Chadwick Welch, Checkovich, Richmond partner Beth Sieg, former firm lawyer Myra Chapman, and Richmond associates Andriana Shultz and Stanley Roberts.
Photo 2: McGuireWoods Richmond partner Tennille Checkovich (center) with then-University of Virginia School of Law students Katrina Callsen (left) and Shannon Parker. The students assisted the firm on pro bono matters referred by Legal Aid Justice Center’s JustChildren Program.Updated: Sep 11, 2017
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