Foley Hoag is deeply committed to pro bono. Our lawyers provide pro bono representation in many different types of matters, including immigration, domestic violence, civil rights, criminal defense, education, non-profit law, corporate social responsibility, and intellectual property. Our dedication to pro bono work extends through our offices in Boston, New York, Paris and Washington D.C. Foley Hoag summer associates also take part in a broad range of assignments for pro bono clients, working alongside lawyers from every department in the firm.  We believe that freely sharing our talents with individuals and the community makes us better lawyers, better people, and a better firm. 

Pro Bono Committee Members

  • Rebecca Cazabon
  • Christina Hioureas
  • Jonathan Keselenko
  • Erin Klein
  • John Marston
  • Daniel Schimmel

Our peers have acknowledged Foley Hoag’s leadership in pro bono work. Vault career intelligence website ranked us in the top 25 nationally in the Pro Bono category in 2017, and The American Lawyer ranked Foley Hoag 25th out of the AmLaw 200 law firms in its 2018 pro bono scorecard.

Key areas we address on a pro bono basis include domestic violence, LGBTQ rights, housing, environmental protection, disability rights, health care, prisoners’ rights, judicial independence, voting rights, immigration/political asylum, taxation, and education/charter schools. We also advise nonprofits, inner-city businesses, artists, and domestic and international inventors. For a complete description of our work for clients, click here.

Foley Hoag has been at the forefront of efforts to provide quality legal representation to disadvantaged and disfavored individuals and groups whose civil rights and liberties are threatened. For many years, Foley Hoag lawyers have engaged in major litigation involving reproductive rights, the rights of disabled persons, racial justice, LGBTQ rights and voting rights. Other lawyers represent individuals seeking political asylum and protection from domestic abuse. In addition, Foley Hoag regularly assists a variety of non-profit organizations as well as some small businesses in economically-disadvantaged areas that cannot afford legal representation and where the payment of legal fees would significantly interfere with the organization’s mission. The firm accepts cases from more than 50 legal services and pro bono referral organizations and provides pro bono assistance directly to more than 200 non-profit organizations involved in charitable causes; environmental protection; civil rights; and protection of women, children, people in the LGBTQ community, and persons with various disabilities.

Awards and Honors

The firm and individual lawyers are frequently recognized for their pro bono work. Here is a sampling: 

  • Foley Hoag has been named to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court 2020 Pro Bono Honor Roll for legal organizations. The firm was among only four law firms to be recognized on the 2020 Honor Roll, and has been included each year since the program's inception in 2010. In addition, 48 Foley Hoag attorneys have been named to the 2020 Pro Bono Individual Attorney High Honor Roll and Honor Roll lists.
  • Foley Hoag attorneys Clara Brillembourg, John Marston and Rebecca Gerome were recognized as Washington D.C. Pro Bono Team of the Year for 2021 by Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), the preeminent U.S.-based nongovernmental organization devoted to the protection of unaccompanied and separated children.
  • As part of the 2021 Pro Bono Scorecard feature, The American Lawyer selected a Foley Hoag matter as one of 15 representing the very best of the legal industry’s pro bono efforts in 2020. According to the publication, "These examples demonstrate Big Law’s capacity to make a difference in the lives of their pro bono clients. "Foley Hoag was named to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court 2020 Pro Bono Honor Roll for legal organizations from the program’s inception in 2010 through 2021 for our “extraordinary commitment” to pro bono work.
  • Foley Hoag and several attorneys from its Washington, D.C. office were recognized on the 2020 Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll. This year marks the tenth edition of this annual distinction program. The initiative acknowledges attorneys who have performed 50 hours or more of pro bono service during the last calendar year
  • Recognized by the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance for “defending affirmative action at Harvard and opposing the model minority myth” for filing of the amicus brief in the Harvard race-conscious admissions case. 
  • Recognized by Latin Lawyer and the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice as a Pro Bono Leading Light firm for encouraging our lawyers to do pro bono work. 
  • Foley Hoag partner Michael Keating was named a 2019 Lawyer of the Year by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. The publication recognized Mike for his work representing District Court Judge Shelley M. Joseph and persuading the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) to restore her salary while she was under federal indictment. This marks the second time Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly has awarded the Lawyer of the Year accolade to Mike. He was previously honored in 2011 in recognition of his work representing former Judge Raymond Dougan in successfully resisting efforts by the Suffolk County District Attorney to remove him from the bench. Mike is one of very few attorneys to be named a Lawyer of the Year more than one time in their careers. The decisions by the SJC in the Judge Joseph and Judge Dougan cases are the leading cases in Massachusetts on the importance of judicial independence to our citizens.
  • Eleven attorneys in Foley Hoag’s Washington, D.C. office have been named to the 2019 Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll, which acknowledges attorneys who have performed 50 hours or more of pro bono work. 
  • The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has annually recognized Foley Hoag as a member of its Pro Bono Honor Roll for our “extraordinary commitment” to pro bono work from the program's inception in 2010 through 2019.
  • The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recognized Foley Hoag in their 2019 Patent Pro Bono Achievement Certificate for helping to make the Patent Pro Bono Program available to financially under-resourced inventors and small businesses. To be eligible, these practioners had to devote at least 100 pro bono hours on patent matters. In addition the USPTO recognized Foley Hoag Counsel Stephen Kenny for performing at least 50 pro bono hours on patent matters. 
  • Foley Hoag received the 2019 Thurgood Marshall Award from the Boston Bar Association (BBA), honoring our pro bono work in the greater Boston area.
  • The District of Columbia Circuit Judicial Conference Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services honored the firm's Washington, D.C. office at the 40 at 50 Judicial Pro Bono Recognition breakfast, for having 40 percent of its lawyers contributing a minimum of 50 hours of pro bono services in 2018.
  • Foley Hoag received the distinguished 2018 Keeper of the Flame Award from Lawyers for Civil Rights (formerly the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice). The award honors Foley Hoag for courage and visionary leadership in helping launch the Lawyers’ Committee in 1968. 
  • Foley Hoag attorney Jeremy Meisinger received the 2018 Victim Rights Law Center’s Shining Star Award for his longstanding commitment to the organization, compassion and sensitivity in his casework, and deep understanding of the complex legal issues involved in sexual violence
  • Foley Hoag attorneys Neil Austin, Chris Hart and Kelly Caiazzo were named recipients of the Friend of Justice Award, given by the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (MACDL) in December 2017.
  • The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice has honored several Foley Hoag associates with their Pro Bono Civil Rights Award: Kristyn Bunce DeFilipp and Caroline Donovan in 2014, Amanda Vendig in 2016, and Michael Hoven in 2017.
  • Vault’s ranking of the most prestigious law firms in the country, based on the assessments of lawyers at peer firms, named Foley Hoag #6 in its Pro Bono Category in 2014, #2 in 2016, and in the top 25 in 2017 and 2018.
  • The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has annually recognized Foley Hoag as a member of its Pro Bono Honor Roll for our “extraordinary commitment” to pro bono work from the program's inception in 2010 through 2018.  
  • Foley Hoag was included in Law360's Top Pro Bono Firms of 2016 series, recognizing 20 firms that committed a significant number of attorney hours and secured major victories in high-profile matters in 2015-2016.
  • Foley Hoag received The Victim Rights Law Center Champion Award in September 2016.
  • Pro Bono managing attorney Rebecca Cabazon received The Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys Leadership Award in October 2016.
  • Foley Hoag received the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation Award in June 2015 in recognition of its efforts to strengthen the global rule of law, support the global social entrepreneurship movement and improve the lives of the world's poor and disenfranchised.