Emily Cooke has been a key member of the firm’s pro bono team, actively identifying organizations and causes that need assistance, and recruiting firm attorneys to join her as advocates and educators. Thanks to Emily, Pierce Atwood attorneys have been educating non-citizens on recent immigration and asylum issues, and providing education workshops for farmers, food entrepreneurs, and others through the Legal Food Hub.
Since being tapped as leader for the firm’s pro bono efforts in 2013, Jared des Rosiers has devoted a significant amount of time and energy to the firm’s pro bono and community service program, supporting more than 100 attorneys who participated in a wide range of pro bono and community service activities. Jared was the driving force behind many of the firm’s accomplishments, such as:
- Received the VLP pro bono award in 2015 for accepting the most pro bono cases in a year. VLP (Volunteer Lawyers Project) is a legal aid organization that provides free legal information, assistance, and representation to Mainers with low incomes facing civil legal issues.
- Received ILAP's “Law Firm of the Year” award in 2015 in recognition of our commitment to pro bono work on behalf of asylum seekers and other non-citizens.
- Implemented the Pierce Atwood Pro Bono Awards Recognition Program in 2014, offering firmwide recognition to attorneys and staff who have gone above and beyond in their pro bono and community service efforts.
- Hosted pro bono fairs in our Portland and Boston offices, where pro bono legal services organizations were on hand to discuss pro bono opportunities with attorneys and staff. Also invited to these fairs were in-house counsel from client organizations and law students from local law schools.
- Implemented data collection process showing the organizations where attorneys and staff volunteer, helping new employees connect with those already serving a community, nonprofit, or civic organization.
- Created additional and ongoing recognition events for each attorney who contributed more than 50 hours of pro bono and/or community service.
In discussing Jared’s accomplishments, current managing partner David E. Barry stated, “Jared has been an extraordinary leader of our program and has elevated it to a level of organization and effectiveness that has allowed our firm to make powerful contributions to our numerous partner organizations and to make a difference in the lives of so many people in the communities in which we live and work. I also want to thank Emily Cooke for agreeing to take over the leadership of our pro bono and community service program. There is no doubt or question that she will provide great leadership, energy and creativity going forward.”