Pro Bono & Social Impact

We push each other to ever-greater pro bono service.

From representing international refugees fleeing persecution to helping low-income entrepreneurs launch a business, we give our time and skills to ensure equal access to justice. In fact, we have a partner dedicated to connecting our lawyers to opportunities for pro bono service. As a signatory to the Pro Bono Institute’s Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge©, Nixon Peabody has committed to spending more than 3% of our time on pro bono.

Our pro bono program has many touch points. We are involved with many societal issues ranging from reducing gun violence to preventing racial profiling and ensuring diversity in education. We partner with clients providing pro bono service, often serving side-by-side with them. We develop community-minded lawyers of the future by getting all of our summer associates involved in pro bono projects. And some of our attorneys tap their backgrounds and contacts in government to contribute pro bono service at the policy level—shaping legislation that addresses tomorrow’s challenges.

At Nixon Peabody, we give billable credit for pro bono work and recognize our lawyers’ achievements through an awards program and at evaluation time. We believe our time giving back is time well spent.

Nixon Peabody’s 2020 pro bono numbers

  • 49 average pro bono hours per lawyer
  • 3.0% of our billable time to pro bono
  • 28k+ pro bono hours firmwide
  • 84% participation in pro bono

Recent Recognition

  • LatinoJustice, Pro Bono Publico Champion award for contributions to U-visa cases (2021)
  • Center for Human Rights and International Justice - Human Rights in Action Award (2019)
  • New Hampshire Bar Association Pro Bono I Rising Star Award (2019)
  • NYSBA Empire State Counsel Law Firm Pro Bono Award (2018)
  • NY Daily Record 2018 Pro Bono Award (2018)
  • Community Development Project Pro Bono Leadership Award (2018)
  • NYSBA President Pro Bono Service Awards, awarded to two attorneys (2018)
  • AIDS Legal Referral Panel Firm of the Year (2018)
  • Pro Bono Partnership’s Annual Volunteer of the Year (2018)
  • Her Justice 2018 Commitment to Justice Award (2018)
  • The Justice & Diversity Center of the Bar Association of San Francisco Outstanding Volunteer Award (2017)
  • Empire State Counsel Law Firm Honorees Pro Bono Award (2017)
  • LASNNY’s Distinguished Service Award (2017)
  • Swords to Plowshares Bill Brockett Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award (2017)
  • CASA of New Hampshire Community Partner Award (2017)
  • Outstanding Provisions of Pro Bono legal services to Innovation High School Award (2017)
  • Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice Award (2017)
  • San Francisco Bar Association’s Justice and Diversity Center Outstanding Volunteer Award (2017)
  • NYSBA Empire State Counsel Law Firm Honoree (2017)
  • NYSBA Empire State Counsel Individual Attorney Honoree (2017)
  • The Daily Record Attorney of the Year, Leader in Law (2016)
  • Erie County Bar Association (ECBA) Volunteer Lawyers Project Champions for Justice (2016)
  • New Hampshire Bar Foundation Robert E, Kirby Award (2016)
  • Learning Rights Law Center Champion of Education Award (2016)
  • City & State’s The Responsible 100 Award (2015)
  • Lawyers Alliance Cornerstone Award (2015)
  • Accountability Counsel’s Partner-in-Justice Award (2015)
  • San Francisco Bar Justice & Diversity Center Outstanding Volunteer in Public Service (2015)
  • City & State’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Protecting the Rights of At-Risk Populations (2015)
  • Pro Bono Partnership Volunteer of the Year (2015)
  • New York’s Law, Consulting & Business Services Award (2015)
  • Louis J. Lefkowitz Pubic Service Award (2015)
  • Pro Bono Partnership Volunteer of the Year (2015)
  • Volunteer Legal Services Project NYSBA Attorney Emeritus Award (2014)
  • New York City Bar Justice Center Pro Bono Award (2014)
  • NHCLU’s Bill of Rights Award (2014)
  • LGBT Advocacy Award from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California (2014)
  • William E. McKnight Volunteer Service Award (2014)
  • NYSBA President’s Pro Bono Service Award for the 7th District (2014)
  • Legal Services for Children Pro Bono Leadership Award (2014)
  • PAIR Outstanding Pro Bono Mentor Award (2014)
  • NHBA Distinguished Service to the Public Award (2014)
  • 70 NP lawyers honored as Empire State Counsel for pro bono service by the NYSBA (2014)
  • Long Island Coalition for the Homeless Corporate Partner Award (2013)
  • Rita Bourgeois Leadership Award (2013)
  • REACH Pro Bono Award (2013)
  • Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Excellence in the Law Award for Pro Bono (2013)
  • CASA de Maryland Social Justice Award (2013)

COVID fuels top firms' priorities in 2022

Law360 | January 24, 2022

This article on three key law firm priorities for the year quotes Director of Pro Bono & Social Impact Sharmaine Heng in a section on “making a social impact,” highlighting her recent move to NP and noting that our firm’s five-year Strategic Plan includes a core commitment to improve equity in our communities and create greater opportunity and access.


Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly | November 05, 2020

This roundup of recent honors mentions Providence Complex Commercial Disputes department attorney Justin Smith for being named a Kids in Need of Defense Pro Bono Attorney of the Year, noting that KIND honored the group of attorneys “for their pro bono work in providing legal services to refugee and immigrant children who come to the United States alone in search of safety.”

Judge Allows Immigrant Detainees To Fight Living Conditions

Law360 | June 17, 2020

This article, covering a federal judge’s order that immigration detainees at Strafford County (NH) Department of Corrections can challenge their living conditions amid COVID-19, quotes Manchester Complex Commercial Disputes associate Nathan Warecki. The article also mentions the team of NP attorneys representing the detainees in the case: Litigation Department Head Scott O’Connell; Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense practice group leader Dave Vicinanzo and associate Colin Missett; Complex Commercial Disputes partner Dan Deane, and associates Marx Calderon and Michael Strauss.

Judge chastises ICE as Strafford County jail worker tests positive for COVID-19

New Hampshire Union Leader | May 15, 2020

This article, covering developments in the case of immigration detainees at Strafford County (N.H.) Department of Corrections, extensively quotes Manchester Complex Commercial Disputes associate Nathan Warecki after the judge chastised Immigration and Customs Enforcement for not doing enough to identify medically vulnerable immigration detainees. On Friday, a staff member at the jail tested positive for COVID-19. Thus far, 14 civil immigration detainees have been released from the facility as a result of the class action lawsuit filed by Nixon Peabody, the ACLU and four regional law firms.


Bloomberg Law | February 25, 2020

This round-up of personnel moves in the legal industry features the selection of San Francisco Complex Commercial Disputes partner Matt Richards as Nixon Peabody’s new pro bono partner.

On the Move

San Francisco Daily Journal | February 24, 2020

San Francisco Complex Commercial Disputes partner Matt Richards, who became the firm’s new pro bono partner on February 1, talks to the Daily Journal about his new role and the connections between pro bono and his day-to-day litigation practice.

On the Move: Tracking the ins and outs of California lawyers

The Recorder | February 21, 2020

The appointment of San Francisco Complex Commercial Disputes partner Matt Richards to pro bono partner is included in this roundup of notable executive news.

Regulators extend comment period for CRA changes

National Mortgage Professional | February 20, 2020

This article is about the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s decision to extend the public comment period regarding proposed changes to the Community Reinvestment Act, and it mentions Nixon Peabody for New York City Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner Tatiana Gutierrez’s pro bono work as part of the team helping the National Housing Conference develop a detailed response.

Ready for a fight: Trio of Nixon Peabody attorneys honored by ACLU of Iowa for work representing transgender clients

Chicago Lawyer | November 20, 2019

This story profiles Chicago Complex Commercial Disputes partners Seth Horvath, Tom Hecht and Tina Solis, who received an honor from the ACLU of Iowa for their years-long representation of two transgender clients who were denied Medicaid coverage for their gender-affirming surgeries.

Slideshow: Pro bono brought Big Law out in force

The American Lawyer | June 26, 2019

Nixon Peabody is mentioned in this roundup of notable pro bono cases. The article highlights the victory that Chicago Complex Commercial Disputes partners Tom Hecht, Seth Horvath, and Tina Solis, with assistance from associate Bill Kirby and eDiscovery specialist Anders van Marter, won in Iowa Supreme Court in a matter involving Medicaid coverage of gender-affirming surgery for transgender individuals.

Angelica Gonzalez-Garcia, separated from daughter at the border, finds relief in Mass. | May 31, 2019

This article mentions Nixon Peabody’s role in reuniting Angelica Gonzalez-Garcia, an undocumented mother from Guatemala, with her daughter after the pair were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border last year.

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