BOSTON, Oct. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Legal Aid & Defender Association has named Goodwin Procter as a winner of its 2010 Beacon of Justice Award, honoring law firms that have made a significant contribution to pro bono representation in the area of immigration law. Goodwin Procter was nominated by Medical-Legal Partnership | Boston for the firm's Naturalization Project, which provides free legal assistance to help families with permanent resident or "Green Card" status become U.S. citizens. In the first year of the project, 25 Goodwin Procter attorneys have contributed more than 500 pro bono hours to the program.
The Naturalization Project, which launched in 2009, is a joint effort of Goodwin Procter's business law and litigation attorneys and MLP | Boston, an organization that improves the health and well-being of vulnerable populations in Massachusetts through medical-legal teams.
MLP | Boston screens individuals for eligibility for naturalization, selects cases with high potential for success and connects these individuals and families with Goodwin Procter lawyers. The firm's volunteer attorneys then interview the clients, assist them in completing and filing the necessary immigration documents, and accompany them to interviews with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. MLP | Boston also provides advance training for participating attorneys and mentoring throughout the duration of the pro bono representation.
"The Naturalization Project originated when Goodwin Procter's Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity, in conjunction with our Pro Bono Committee, sought to develop a program that would benefit communities of color. Since citizenship is a pre-requisite for obtaining or maintaining certain benefits, the Project promotes vulnerable immigrants' health by enabling patient-families to afford basic needs such as food, medical care and housing," said Marian Tse, the Goodwin Procter partner who facilitates and oversees the Naturalization Project. JoHanna Flacks, Pro Bono Director, MLP | Boston, describes this program as a "fine illustration of preventive law as preventive medicine."
Founded in 1911, NLADA is this country's oldest and largest nonprofit association of individual legal professionals and legal organizations devoted to ensuring the delivery of legal services to the poor. Since its inception, the organization has secured access to justice for people who cannot afford counsel through the creation and improvement of legal institutions, advocacy, training and the development of nationally applicable standards.
About Goodwin Procter
Goodwin Procter LLP is one of the nation's leading law firms with offices in Boston, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Washington, D.C. The firm's core areas of practice are corporate, litigation and real estate, with specialized areas of focus that include financial services, private equity, technology, REITs and real estate capital markets, intellectual property, products liability and mass torts. Information may be found at www.goodwinprocter.com.
SOURCE Goodwin Procter LLP