Pro Bono Program
A Force for Good: Robins Kaplan's Pro Bono Program Paves the Way for Equal Access to Justice
At Robins Kaplan LLP, we believe everyone should have access to justice. Our pro bono program provides important legal services to those who cannot otherwise afford them. Our team of experienced attorneys and business professionals is committed to fighting for justice and making a difference in our communities. We offer a range of opportunities for advocates to get involved, from representing clients in court to volunteering at legal clinics. Our program prioritizes empowering underrepresented communities and championing social justice causes.
Our dedication to giving back to those in need in our communities has earned us national accolades. We have been repeatedly named to The National Law Journal’s Pro Bono Hot List and consistently ranked highly by The American Lawyer as a top pro bono firm.
We set high expectations for our pro bono program. Each attorney is asked to contribute at least 50 hours of pro bono work annually. Since 2008, 5% of our total attorney billable time has been contributed to those who cannot afford legal representation.
“Working on behalf of the common good is the engine of democracy, vital to our communities, cities, states— and, ultimately, the nation.” – Matthew Desmond, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
Real Lives, Real Change
Behind the numbers are the real-life stories of people we help. Whether it’s an individual fleeing violence or a veteran seeking safe housing, we represent a broad range of clients. Working in partnership with more than 60 nonprofit organizations across the country, our goal is to identify pro bono opportunities that match our attorneys’ interests and skills to make the greatest impact.
"The caliber of representation Robins Kaplan volunteer attorneys provide their Children's Law Center clients is truly remarkable. Our clients know." – Children's Law Center of Minnesota
Well & Good and Pro Bono Trial Skills Training
Our attorneys are involved in pro bono service from the very beginning. Through our Well & Good writing program, our new associates develop a much-needed written work product for one of our pro bono partner organizations that helps the organization with its ongoing advocacy. This program incorporates skills-based training and mentorship by senior firm members to improve the associate's writing skills while helping those in need. Through our pro bono trial skills training, our new associates represent a pro bono client in a court proceeding. Whether it’s helping a victim of domestic abuse obtain an order for protection or advocating in court for a detained immigrant, this program provides an invaluable service to our pro bono clients and allows our associates to gain courtroom experience with mentorship and guidance from our partners.
As our associates progress in their careers, the opportunities to gain experience through pro bono while being mentored by more senior firm members continue. For example, many of our experienced associates in Minneapolis are paired with partners to represent low-income tenants at first appearances in eviction cases. While helping to prevent homelessness, these associates gain valuable experience counseling clients, negotiating with opposing counsel, and appearing in court.
2022 Pro Bono Work That Makes a Difference
At Robins Kaplan, we know that pro bono services are critical to bridging the access-to-justice gap for low-income individuals, enforcing civil rights, and advancing the public interest. Last year, our attorneys gave their time and skills to protect the lives of individuals fleeing persecution in their home countries and violence in their homes. The firm’s pro bono services prevented homelessness and unjust incarceration and protected the beauty of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The pro bono legal services we provide remove barriers to obtaining employment and housing and allow our clients to enforce their rights and provide for the basic needs of their families.
We are pleased to share the stories of a few of our pro bono clients here. As you will see in this year’s Community Giving and Pro Bono Report, our attorneys are dedicated to fighting for our pro bono clients, and all our firm members are committed to giving back to the community.
Robins Kaplan fought on behalf of the tenant by intervening in the City’s Tenant Remedies Action, and proceeded to trial in a rent escrow action where the landlord blamed the tenant for the repair problems and again tried to evict our client. The court ultimately ruled in our client’s favor on each claim and awarded substantial rent abatement.Read More
Since 2012, Robins Kaplan has provided 3,000 hours of pro bono services to Jeremiah Program participants. The Jeremiah Program helps low-income single mothers enrolled in higher education overcome poverty by providing housing, life skills training, and early childhood education.Read More
A Robins Kaplan fellow at the Legal Rights Center (LRC) recently partnered with other Robins Kaplan attorneys to represent a client who was grossly overcharged with first degree assault. The client – a single mother working on her GED who grew up in foster care – was facing approximately seven years in prison because of the prosecuting authority’s erroneous reading of medical records.Read More
Our pro bono team achieved a significant victory in a lengthy legal challenge to the federal government’s renewal of two expired copper-nickel mining leases on land adjacent to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.Read More
In 2015, the firm began representing a pro bono client who was facing deportation. In 2022, our client obtained a green card, thereby securing his path to U.S. citizenship. Since arriving in the United States, our client learned to speak English, earned a high school, associate’s, and bachelor’s degree, and obtained employment in the medical field.Read More
The firm works with the Lawyers Clearinghouse to seal or expunge aged criminal records that were severe impediments to employment and advancement for individuals who had either not been convicted or had long ago completed their sentences.Read More
The firm provided 820 hours of pro bono service to help low-income clients in housing matters in 2022 including preventing the eviction of a low-income single mother with five children.Read More
Robins Kaplan LLP favorably settled a wage theft, breach of contract, and defamation case for a pro bono client. The client, a single mother and a professional caregiver, entered into an employment agreement to care for her ailing estranged biological father, but ultimately was not compensated as agreed upon.Read More
In 2022, Robins Kaplan provided 16,586 hours of pro bono services to clients who cannot afford legal presentation, nonprofit organizations, and clients in civil rights and public interest cases.
Our two foundations are committed to having a significant, measurable impact on institutions and organizations working in our primary areas of interest: health, knowledge, justice, home, and expression.Learn More
If you are interested in having us represent you, you should call us so we can determine whether the matter is one for which we are willing or able to accept professional responsibility. We will not make this determination by e-mail communication. The telephone numbers and addresses for our offices are listed on this page. We reserve the right to decline any representation. We may be required to decline representation if it would create a conflict of interest with our other clients.
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