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Sugarman Rogers has a well-earned reputation for its commitment to pro bono legal work—work without pay for low-income clients and other social-justice causes—and for the firm’s culture of civic engagement. Following in the footsteps of founding partner Ed Barshak, whose career of public service is legendary, we strive to make pro bono work an integral part of the firm’s daily life. To that end, we actively support our lawyers’ handling of and participation in pro bono matters and credit their time on such cases just the same as their “paying” work.
Our attorneys annually dedicate between 1,200 and 1,900 hours to pro bono cases, primarily on behalf of low-income individuals and families. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court annually publishes a “Pro Bono Honor Roll” of lawyers and firms who meet the court’s criteria of commitment to work for such clients, and Sugarman Rogers is a perennial qualifier for the list.
Our pro bono work covers a broad range of issues and case types, including disputes over civil rights and civil liberties, domestic abuse, conservation and cutting-edge environmental-justice issues, and “impact litigation” addressing poverty law. Our attorneys participate in “Lawyer for the Day” programs at various courthouses, advising low-income clients who face a range of legal issues. And we frequently accept referrals of cases from organizations such as the Women’s Bar Foundation, the Boston Bar Association’s Volunteer Lawyer’s Project, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights. We also handle pro bono matters with or on behalf of the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, the NAACP, and the Conservation Law Foundation, among other organizations.
Some of our recent pro bono successes:
Rahim v. District Attorney for the Suffolk District (2020)
Milesi v. McCue (2016)
Hawley v. New England Forestry Foundation (2014)