Pro bono is ingrained into Bodman's culture, beginning with our summer associates and carrying through to our most senior lawyers.
The firm encourages and supports pro bono work through its policies, its long-standing Pro Bono Committee, and its employment of a full-time Pro Bono Counsel, who manages the firm’s pro bono program. Our innovative and effective pro bono efforts make Bodman a model and leader for other firms in the state. Most paramount, our efforts have a direct impact in our communities and in the lives of those with little or no access to legal services.
Ensuring Access to Justice
We provide substantial, free services to homeless and low-income residents who may otherwise have no access to legal services.
- Bodman has been instrumental in forming and operating two Detroit-based legal clinics at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen and Crossroads of Michigan. At both of these clinics, guests have the opportunity to consult with volunteer attorneys to try to resolve their legal impediments.
- The firm is also a long-time partner of Street Outreach Court Detroit (“SOCD”), a specialty court of the 36th Judicial District Court that provides a fresh start to homeless residents. Bodman provides free civil legal services to all graduates of the SOCD program.
Economic Growth and Community Development Efforts
Bodman’s transactional attorneys work closely with both community non-profits and low-income entrepreneurs, with the goal of promoting economic growth in our communities and among their residents.
- We partner with ProsperUS Detroit in its mission to revitalize neighborhoods by concentrating micro-enterprise development in low-income immigrant and minority neighborhoods. Our attorneys provide free, high-quality legal services to many of ProsperUS’ entrepreneur clients and their small businesses that would otherwise not be able to afford legal assistance. We are especially proud that ProsperUS Detroit named Bodman its Service Provider of the Year for 2017.
- We also work closely with Michigan Community Resources (“MCR”) to serve non-profits in need of sophisticated transactional legal services. The firm accepted a dozen referrals from MCR during 2015 alone and we have three times been named MCR’s Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year.
Enforcing Civil Rights
Bodman has also assisted civil rights organizations by investigating and fighting against large-scale injustices.
- In 2016, Bodman attorneys volunteered to serve as poll monitors to protect individual voting rights during the presidential election as part of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Election Protection Project.
- In 2015, we assisted Human Rights Watch (“HRW”) in its investigation into sexual assault in the military;
- A team of Bodman attorneys represented federal inmates in their requests for commutation of their sentences as part of the Clemency Project 2014; and
- A team of Bodman attorneys also represents Michigan prisoners who were sentenced to life without parole as juveniles in connection with the nationwide effort to obtain resentencing of such offenders pursuant to new U.S. Supreme Court mandates.