Nixon Peabody provides pro bono services to clients across a broad spectrum of needs. Some of the initiatives the firm has developed include:
The firm has focused on helping low-income children with a wide variety of legal needs.
- Kids in Need of Defense (KIND): In this initiative started by Microsoft and Angelina Jolie, we have helped dozens of unaccompanied children navigate the immigration process. Our teams help the children to either seek asylum in the U.S., Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), or voluntary departure. We had a number of asylum successes in 2011. Among others, we helped a young boy from El Salvador win asylum in a precedent-setting gang-based asylum matter and we helped three Haitian brothers who were displaced by the devastating January 2010 earthquake in Haiti to be granted Special Immigrant Juvenile status.
- Guardianship program: Through our partnership with Intel Corp., many of our San Francisco and Silicon Valley attorneys help children obtain legal guardianship with a family member or other committed adult when they are unable to continue living with a parent.
- Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) initiative: Our Manchester lawyers represent the CASA guardians in abuse and neglect cases in court hearings, assist the guardians in drafting reports for submission to the court, and prepare the guardians to give testimony concerning their assessment of the child’s best interest.
- School suspension project: We are representing disadvantaged students in their suspension hearings in New York City, Long Island, Boston, and San Francisco.
We have achieved many victories on behalf of low-income women by working on projects, such as:
- Domestic violence projects: Through the Domestic Violence Emergency (DOVE) Project in Manchester, we help clients obtain domestic violence orders of protection, which prevent abusers from contacting their victims.
- Women’s Initiative: We are providing low-income women in underserved and economically distressed communities in the Boston and San Francisco areas with vital business legal services as they start or grow their own businesses.
We continue to strengthen our firmwide project designed to provide legal representation to service men and women and veterans who have claims for health care and disability rights and benefits against the armed services and the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs. To date, more than 90 of our lawyers and paralegals have represented over 40 U.S. veterans, helping them obtain the benefits they deserve. We are also helping U.S. veterans to obtain Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC).
We have developed a niche practice area in microfinance, which has allowed many of our attorneys to make an impact in the developing world. Our microfinance clients include:
- HOPE International
- Impact Energies
- MicroEnergy Credits (MEC)
- Energy in Common
- Homes 4 Hope
- Mercy Corps
- Microfinance Transparency
- Global Partnerships
Our lawyers are representing three men—one in Virginia and two in Louisiana—who are on death row. We also handle numerous Criminal Justice Act matters and have externship programs with the Marin County District Attorney’s Office and the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office.
Over the years, Nixon Peabody has provided pro bono services to a wide variety of international, national, and local nonprofit organizations in their pursuit of environmental causes, including helping a school to obtain municipal approvals for construction of “green” building on campus; providing legal advice regarding the constitutionality of certain state and regional initiatives designed to facilitate offshore wind industry; and helping green nonprofits, such as Massachusetts Green Jobs Coalition, to incorporate
Rochester Office Housing Initiative
We are helping several nonprofit organizations that work on housing issues with their internal governance, representing low-income tenants who are facing eviction in Housing Court one morning a month, and helping Habitat for Humanity with lot acquisitions.