Our Commitment

At Ropes & Gray, we’ve built a firm dedicated to our clients, communities and colleagues across the globe. This commitment requires us to continuously focus on both performance and purpose, a combination that distinguishes us from the world’s elite firms. Our lawyers are encouraged to contribute at least 20 hours of pro bono work each year, and, for the purposes of associate reviews and compensation, the firm gives equal credit to time spent on pro bono matters and client work.

This dedication to pro bono work is rooted in the example set more than a century and a half ago by firm co-founder John Codman Ropes, who provided free legal services to the families of U.S. Civil War soldiers. Since that time, we’ve leveraged the legal training of our people to regularly give back to those in need. Our pro bono practice is rich and varied, and has included securing asylum for endangered immigrants, supporting military veterans, winning the release of the wrongly convicted and more.

Law Firm Antiracism Alliance

Working for Racial Justice

As recent events demonstrate how much we as a society still need to do to address racial injustice and inequality, Ropes & Gray is redoubling its focus on racial justice issues. Here are a few highlights about how the firm and our lawyers are fighting for true equality and justice.

  • Chartering a New Law Firm Antiracism Alliance – Ropes & Gray is proud to be a charter member of the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance, a group of more than 215 law firms committed to working together, in partnership with legal services organizations, to identify and dismantle structural and systemic racism in the law.
  • Launching a Firm Pro Bono Network – To strengthen ongoing pro bono efforts, Ropes & Gray launched a Racial Justice Pro Bono Opportunities Network within the firm. The network focuses on addressing both near-term racial injustice and longer-term systemic change.
  • Fighting to Repeal Section 50-a in New York – Ropes & Gray joined a consortium of more than 30 law firms to endorse the repeal of Section 50-a of the New York State Civil Rights Law, a law that served as a barrier to police accountability. Its repeal was approved by both houses of the New York State legislature and signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo in June 2020.
  • Supporting the Right of Peaceful Protest in Washington, D.C. – With the support of the firm, Ropes & Gray partner Doug Hallward-Driemeier, who leads Ropes & Gray’s appellate and Supreme Court practice, signed a statement condemning the actions taken by the U.S. federal government against peaceful protesters seeking racial justice near Lafayette Square, outside the White House, in June 2020.
Our pro bono program gives us an opportunity to fight for those who are deprived of fundamental legal rights and do not have the financial resources to seek access to justice.”
Christopher Conniff, Pro Bono Committee Co-Chair

Pro bono By the numbers

Top 10
Pro Bono Firm of the Year
Chambers & Partners

PRO BONO HOURS 2019–2022

More Pro Bono Highlights

  • Providing Pro Bono Legal Counsel to Immigrants and Asylum Seekers – Ropes & Gray has worked with nonprofit legal organizations Texas Civil Rights Project, RAICES and KIND to represent particularly vulnerable immigrant families. More than 280 lawyers and support team members devoted more than 18,500 pro bono hours assisting families that were separated at the Texas border in 2018.
  • Arguing Milestone Marriage Equality Case – Ropes & Gray has a notable history of advocating for LGBTQ+ individ­uals in groundbreaking policy and civil rights cases. In 2015, appel­late & Supreme Court partner Doug Hallward-Driemeier argued the pivotal marriage equality case Obergefell v. Hodges before the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • Launching the COVID Relief Coalition – Together with longstanding pro bono partners Lawyers for Civil Rights and Lawyers Clearinghouse, Ropes & Gray launched the COVID Relief Coalition, a private and public sector partnership of law firms, nonprofits and government agencies that helps nonprofits and small businesses in the greater Boston area navigate the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Working on a project that addressed the COVID-19 pandemic showed me how our work as lawyers can be a service to the client and the community.”

Steven Obiajulu, Associate