“At Richards Layton, we understand the importance of giving back. Through their pro bono efforts, our lawyers create deep roots in the community, experience the personal and professional fulfillment that comes from doing meaningful work, and, most importantly, work together to improve the lives of others.”– Doneene Damon, Immediate Past President
Richards, Layton & Finger has a longstanding commitment to serving others. For more than a century, our lawyers have been acknowledged leaders in the Delaware bar and in the community at large. We take these leadership roles seriously, and provide our attorneys and staff with the resources they need to enhance and promote their pro bono and community service efforts.
We have long valued pro bono service and give attorneys billable hour credit for their pro bono work. Our pro bono and community service program encourages attorneys and staff to donate their time and talents to causes that are most meaningful to them. The firm has created pro bono teams to identify shared interests among our attorneys, as well as to advance team-building and mentoring initiatives within the firm.
In fiscal year 2021, our attorneys devoted more than 6,000 hours to pro bono and community service, reflecting the contributions of 67% of the firm’s associates, approximately 70% of directors, and 100% of counsel.
Click here to view our firm’s Pro Bono and Community Service Annual Report FY 2021.
PRO BONO TEAMS
Five pro bono teams provide valuable assistance to those in need in our community and beyond.
- Represents local and global non-profits
- Assists with entity formation and governance issues
- Serves on non-profit boards of directors in Delaware and beyond
Office of the Child Advocate Team
- Serves as attorneys for children in child welfare proceedings in Family Court
- Each attorney receives training and works directly with a child to ensure that the best interests of the child are represented
Protection from Abuse Team
- Works with Delaware Volunteer Legal Services
- Pro bono representation of victims of domestic violence who need protection from abuse orders
Federal Civil Panel Team
- Works on cases often involving civil rights violations in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware
- Partners with Delaware Volunteer Legal Services
- One-on-one counseling to provide estate planning and end-of-life needs for indigent members of the community
- Prepares wills, health care directives, durable powers of attorney, etc.
PRO BONO INITIATIVES
Revitalizing Distressed Communities
- We represent Central Baptist Community Development Corporation in its Eastside Rising project, an effort to revitalize Wilmington’s heavily distressed Eastside community through housing improvement, workforce development, and economic empowerment.
- Our firm is a founding member of the Rodney Square Conservancy, which has brought together area residents, local and state government, and local business leaders in a mission to revitalize and preserve historic Rodney Square.
- We represented Sacred Heart Village II in connection with a HUD Section 202 project for the construction of a residential home for below-poverty-level seniors in Wilmington.
- Our firm assisted in the creation of the Village of St. John, which provides permanent, affordable, safe housing for low-income senior citizens in Wilmington.
- Our attorneys assisted in the formation of Down to Box, a local non-profit organization that aims to empower individuals with Down syndrome by training them in boxing and self-defense techniques.
- Our attorneys helped create and continue to support the Mariano Rivera Foundation to provide youth from impoverished families with tools that will empower them for the future.
Global Advancement of Non-Profit Organizations
- Through a partnership organized by Lex Mundi, our attorneys assisted with corporate restructuring and governance issues for mothers2mothers, an international non-profit organization working to eradicate pediatric HIV by training, employing, and empowering mothers living with HIV.
- Through Lex Mundi, we provided legal services to APOPO, a non-profit organization headquartered in Tanzania that trains rodents to detect both landmines and tuberculosis. Our attorneys assisted with the formation of two tax-exempt Delaware corporations that were established to develop and train the search-and-rescue animals.