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Chadbourne has long embraced its responsibility to the community at large and championed involvement in pro bono and other public service activities. Chadbourne lawyers provide pro bono services in a wide range of activities: providing free legal services to individuals and families who cannot afford them, advising non-profits, mentoring high school students in moot court competitions and serving on the boards of a variety of legal service organizations.

Charles O'Neill, former Managing Partner, serves as Chair of the Pro Bono Committee, which includes partners, counsel and associates from both US and International offices, and from all practice areas. Maureen Ketler Schad serves as Pro Bono Counsel, managing pro bono initiatives as well as litigating and supervising cases.

The firm is a signatory to the Pro Bono Institute's Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge and is a Founding Member of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project. It has been number one for firms of its size in The Legal Aid Society's Associates’ Campaign for several years running. We also welcome pro bono partnership arrangements with in-house legal departments.

Chadbourne encourages lawyers to perform at least 20–50 hours of pro bono work annually; lawyers may choose from regularly circulated lists of matters and training programs from a wide range of legal service providers. Pro bono service is considered an important factor in performance reviews and when determining associate bonus eligibility.

Some of the firm's outstanding pro bono activities include: a 16-month Fellowship at The Legal Services Center of The Door: A Center of Alternatives (a multi-service youth development center); high-profile impact litigation on issues ranging from marriage equality to international human rights; advocacy for child victims of abuse and neglect through partnerships with The Door and The Legal Aid Society; successful work for asylum seekers together with Human Rights First; protecting workers' rights in partnership with the Urban Justice Center's Community Development Project; advising nonprofits and low-income artists with Lawyers Alliance and Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts; and the Appellate Advocacy Program, through which junior litigation associates prepare and argue criminal appeals.


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