Foley Hoag Partner Lisa Wood Appointed to Legal Services Corporation Pro Bono Task Force

August 8, 2011

Continuing Foley Hoag LLP’s longstanding commitment to pro bono work, partner Lisa Wood has been named to the Legal Services Corporation Board of Directors’ Pro Bono Task Force.

The task force will help develop additional resources to assist low-income Americans facing foreclosure, domestic violence and other civil legal problems. Wood joins a group drawn from the judiciary, corporations, private practice and the legal-aid community.

“The Task Force’s work is of critical importance,” said John G. Levi, chairman of the LSC Board of Directors. “Studies have found that only a small fraction of low-income Americans receive the help of a lawyer in addressing their civil legal problems, and increasingly individuals are having to handle their legal matters on their own.”

Foley Hoag partner Claire Laporte, coordinator of the firm’s pro bono program, added, “Lisa has been a steadfast supporter of Foley Hoag's pro bono program, which is a cornerstone of our firm's culture. I congratulate her on this appointment.”

Wood is a litigation partner with more than 27 years of experience handling complex business litigation, principally in the areas of securities fraud, accountants liability and antitrust. She also has devoted her volunteer life to access-to-justice issues. Currently she is a member of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants, serves on the board of the Volunteer Lawyers Project in Boston, and serves as the chair of the Massachusetts IOLTA Committee. In the past, she has held many other leadership positions within the Boston Bar Association and the ABA.

“The rule of law is one of the keystones of our democracy, but its promise is illusory if we do not assure access to justice for all our citizens,” Wood said. “Foley Hoag has a rich tradition of giving back to the community and providing legal support to those who need a voice in our judicial system, and I look forward to continuing that commitment through the LSC’s Pro Bono Task Force.”

In a typical year, Foley Hoag lawyers handle approximately 100 pro bono matters and contribute nearly 23,000 hours to the pro bono program. The American Lawyer ranked the firm No. 8 out of the nation’s top 200 law firms in the magazine’s 2011 pro bono report.

Key areas that Foley Hoag lawyers serve on a pro bono basis include domestic violence, gay and lesbian rights, housing, environmental protection, disability rights, healthcare, prisoners’ rights, voting rights, immigration and political asylum, taxation, education and charter schools, transactional and corporate advice to nonprofit organizations and small for-profit businesses providing services to inner-city communities, advice to artists (including First Amendment protection), and domestic and international intellectual property protection.

Established in 1974 as an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, LSC receives an annual appropriation from Congress to promote equal access to justice and to provide for the delivery of high-quality civil legal assistance to low-income individuals and families. Approximately 95 percent of the appropriation is distributed as grants to 136 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories.

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