Stinson Recognized for Addressing Systemic Racism through Pro Bono Work with 2021 Beacon of Justice Award
Stinson LLP has been named a 2021 Beacon of Justice award winner by the National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) for pro bono work addressing systemic racial disparities across the firm's 13 offices.
The 2021 Beacon of Justice Awards honor law firm pro bono programs with a strong commitment to intentionally and positively promoting racial equity based on work done in 2020. Last year, approximately 20% of Stinson's overall pro bono services went directly to legal work aimed at combating racism and racial injustice. This included joining the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance (LFAA), where 18 Stinson partners volunteered to participate in 17 different working groups focused on access to justice, disability justice, education, policing, healthcare, voting rights, immigration, housing and more. Their findings will be cataloged to help identify pro bono projects that seek to dismantle or improve those systems and policies.
Pro bono work last year also included meeting basic needs for communities in Minneapolis following the murder of George Floyd, and addressing collateral consequences of criminal justice system involvement and the disproportionate impact it has on communities of color. Transactional attorneys also participated by working with nonprofits who serve communities of color.
"Our lawyers and staff are proud to be working with our pro bono clients to address individualized and systematic issues of injustice and racism we are facing in this country," said Mark Hinderks, Stinson's managing partner. "The heart of our pro bono mission has always been to give back to our communities by making the structure and application of our legal system more equitable."
Stinson's pro bono program is driven by the firm's Pro Bono Committee led by co-chairs Allison Woodbury and Bradley Yeretsky and implemented by Pro Bono Director Theresa Hughes and Senior Pro Bono Manager Katie Cronin. Stinson's strategic plan notes a commitment to annually donate 3% of total billable hours to pro bono legal services that will have a positive impact on our profession and the communities in which we live. Additionally, 100% of the firm's associates performed pro bono legal work last year.
NLADA is America’s oldest and largest nonprofit association devoted to excellence in the delivery of legal services to those who cannot afford counsel. A leader in the development of national standards for legal aid and indigent defense, NLADA also provides advocacy, training and technical assistance for equal justice advocates across the country.