Fish & Richardson Achieves Highest-Ever Pro Bono National Ranking in 2015 Am Law 200 Survey by The American Lawyer

Fish & Richardson today announced that it achieved its highest-ever national ranking in The American Lawyer Pro Bono Survey of Am Law 200 firms for 2015. Fish was ranked 67, based on its breadth of commitment and average pro bono hours per lawyer. The American Lawyer defines pro bono work as legal services donated to organizations or individuals that could not otherwise afford them.

“We are quite gratified to have achieved such a high ranking for our pro bono efforts, which is the result of a years-long effort to build a pro bono infrastructure and evangelize pro bono within our firm, ” said Lawrence Kolodney, chair of Fish & Richardson’s pro bono program and principal of the firm. “By providing our attorneys with billable hour credit for pro bono matters, and by actively cultivating relationships with pro bono partners, our program aims to provide attorneys both with the opportunities for pro bono work, and the time to take advantage of them. It’s nice to see that this strategy is paying off.”

Pro bono work at Fish is voluntary, but one that is supported and encouraged across all practice groups. Over two thirds of Fish attorneys participated in its pro bono program in 2014, opening 281 new matters and working on 496 matters altogether. In 2014, Fish attorneys spent an average of 50 hours working on pro bono matters. Fish attorneys handled cases in a wide variety of areas, including first amendment, political asylum, unaccompanied juvenile immigrants, appeals in death penalty cases, intellectual property protection, and servicing non-profit organizations.

“At a time when funding for legal services and access to justice for low-income individuals are at an all-time low, the volunteer work done by pro bono attorneys is critically important,” added Kolodney. “We are very proud that our pro bono efforts have resulted in significant and meaningful gains for our clients, and have contributed to more equitable access to legal services.”

The Am Law Pro Bono Survey ranks the Am Law 200 - the nation’s 200 highest-grossing firms - by their pro bono score for work performed by U.S. lawyers. Half of the score comes from the average number of pro bono hours per lawyer in 2014, and the other half represents the percentage of lawyers who performed more than 20 hours of pro bono work.