Pro bono, pro-community: The justice of giving back

(March 12, 2018—BALTIMORE, Md.)—This was a nation founded on the premise of liberty and justice for all. That’s why leading Mid-Atlantic law firm Whiteford, Taylor & Preston makes it a priority to give back to those struggling for access to legal aid.

“We see it as our professional responsibility to help meet the need for legal services of those who can’t otherwise afford it,” said Whiteford, Taylor & Preston Partner Joseph Mezzanotte.

By providing pro bono services, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston is doing so much more than litigating—it’s influencing an individual’s life course.

“Our pro bono work has taken us from the homes of families in deep poverty to death row, from doctors working with HIV patients to grandparents fighting for child custody,” said Mezzanotte. “In 2017, we volunteered over 2,000 hours of pro bono work and well over 80 percent of our lawyers participated. We are incredibly proud of the pro bono work that our lawyers do.”

The firm’s outreach isn’t limited to the offering of time and services, but extends to a long history of ties with leading nonprofits including the Pro Bono Resource Center, the Legal Aid Bureau, and the Public Justice Center.

Additionally, its outreach is not restricted to legal services. Mezzanotte applauded the work of firm partner Kimberly Min and her ongoing service with the East Baltimore Community School, where she has been “dedicated to creating a diverse socioeconomic learning environment for children” since 2011—in addition to providing pro bono counsel for the school.

While the firm is esteemed in its outreach, it’s setting a precedent internally, as well, through its Women’s Initiative Network. WIN provides networking opportunities for female lawyers to meet, collaborate, and influence one another. In following the firm’s example, WIN also has engaged in community outreach initiatives through its efforts at the YWCA’s Arden House, a safe shelter for women and children of abuse.

Whether it’s individuals with limited access to legal aid or those facing other insecurities, the lawyers at Whiteford, Taylor & Preston are dedicated to giving back. “Whatever it is, we find that as we help to change the lives of others, we find ourselves changed. And that serves to deepen our commitment over time,” said Mezzanotte. “We live here. Investing in our communities comes naturally.”

 

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