At Goulston & Storrs, our award-winning dedication to making a difference through pro bono work sets us apart. A commitment to pro bono is an important part of our history and identity which reflects the firm’s core values. In the words of the Executive Director of a community development corporation the firm has been serving for over 20 years, Goulston & Storrs "is certainly a model for the legal and corporate community in terms of commitment to pro bono and public service."
Goulston & Storrs received national recognition for our pro bono commitment when the American Bar Association bestowed its Pro Bono Award upon the firm for providing free legal services on behalf of a wide variety of public causes. The ABA noted that it was only the second time in the history of the Award that an entire law firm, as opposed to an individual attorney, had received the Award. The firm's pro bono work as general counsel for TransFair, a California-based nonprofit, was also recognized in the inaugural Am Law Pro Bono 100.
Goulston & Storrs' pro bono commitment includes many initiatives as diverse as the people (attorneys and staff alike) who work on them.
Some of Our Non-Profit Partners
The true measure of our success is the high caliber of pro bono clients our firm services. Our clients include many of the country's finest non-profit organizations.
A Thousand Miracles
Mil Milagros, Inc. is a non-profit school that serves children suffering from malnutrition in Guatemala. Goulston & Storrs attorneys helped establish the school in Panajachel, Solola, Guatemala for children ages six through sixteen. Students receive a nutritious lunch daily to sustain them in both their education and daily work. www.milmilagros.org
As part of the rapid global response to the April 2015 earthquake in Nepal, Goulston & Storrs advised longtime pro bono client YouthBuild International in its collaboration with the Foundation for Human Development to support fundraising and relief efforts. In order to complete the legal work necessary while the tragedy was fresh in donors’ minds, the negotiation and documentation of the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two organizations needed to be completed in a very compressed time period. With the MOU in place, YBI and FHD are engaging Nepalese youth and communities in rebuilding community infrastructure, and raising money to support the rebuilding effort. Ultimately, the parties intend to launch a new YouthBuild program in Nepal. https://www.youthbuild.org/youthbuild-international
International Famine Relief
Oxfam America is dedicated to creating lasting solutions to worldwide hunger, poverty and social injustice through long-term partnerships with poor communities. Recently, Oxfam engineers delivered clean water and distributed hygiene kits to tens of thousands of returned refugees in Kosovo. Since 1970, Oxfam America has disbursed more than $100 million in program funding and technical support to hundreds of partner organizations in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Americas, including the United States.
As general counsel to Oxfam America, Inc., Goulston & Storrs handles the usual corporate, tax and real estate matters involved in representing a major charitable organization. In addition, Oxfam's overseas activities have involved the firm in a number of unique legal issues, including negotiating contracts for the transfer in bulk of food stuffs to remote and conflict-ridden areas of the world, obtaining appropriate licenses and other governmental approvals for humanitarian aid shipments to countries subject to Unites States trade restrictions, and visa and other immigration issues confronted by Oxfam's staff. With the help of Goulston & Storrs, Oxfam America won summary judgment in the United States District Court of Massachusetts requiring the the Securities and Exchange Commission to expedite rulemaking that will require listed extraction companies to report how much they pay governments for access to oil, gas and minerals and improve financial transparency. http://www.oxfamamerica.org/
Education and Employment
STRIVE/Boston Employment Service, Inc., which stands for Support Training Results In Valuable Employees, provides participants with the tools to navigate today's ever-changing job market. STRIVE's mission is to demonstrate the impact that attitudinal training and post-placement support have on the long-term employment of inner city residents. Modeled after New York's East Harlem Employment Service, which has operated successfully since 1985, the Boston program opened in Dorchester in the fall of 1994. G&S has been extensively involved in the founding and organization of STRIVE. A director of G&S is currently serving as Chairman of its Board of Directors. www.bostonstrive.org
YouthBuild USA is the parent organization of a network of non-profit programs in over 100 cities nationally which provide employment, training and educational assistance to poor and disadvantaged youth. The firm is general counsel to YouthBuild USA. We helped them establish and operate a loan fund to finance YouthBuild programs throughout the country, and are actively working on aspects of a national corporate endowment campaign. A G&S director serves on the Board of YouthBuild, U.S.A. http://www.youthbuild.org/
Helping the Homeless
The Massachusetts Legal Clinic for the Homeless is a program launched in 1994 by the Lawyers Clearinghouse on Affordable Housing and Homelessness, Greater Boston Legal Services and the Volunteer Lawyers Project. Our firm is a founder and participant in the clinic. Through this program, attorneys from all of the firm's practice groups have staffed an on-site legal clinic at Pine-Street Inn, Boston's largest homeless shelter, and provided direct legal assistance to the shelter's residents. A director at G&S has served on the Board of the Lawyers Clearinghouse since it was founded in 1988. www.lawyersclearinghouse.org/
Horizons for Homeless Children is a Massachusetts-based non-profit organization devoted to providing early care and education services to homeless children and families. Its aim is to help set the foundation for homeless children so that they may later experience school and community success. G&S serves as its general counsel. The firm negotiated the lease for the Community's Children's' Center, a full-service day care center for homeless children established by Horizons for Homeless Children, which opened in September of 1994. Horizons for Homeless Children was established by the founders of Bright Horizons Child Care centers, and a director of G&S serves on its Board. http://www.horizonsforhomelesschildren.org/
The Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative is a multi-racial, community-wide coalition active in the so-called Dudley Triangle Section of Roxbury in Boston. DSNI was the first and is still one of the only, community-governed organizations in the country to be granted eminent domain power, which it has used over the past decade to reclaim nearly 3 acres of disinvested vacant land in the core of its neighborhood. The coalition has renovated and constructed mixed-income affordable housing, and sparked a number of economic revitalization projects in its area. Goulston & Storrs' role includes assisting with land acquisition, development contracts, and obtaining grants and loans from government and private sources. http://www.dsni.org
Goulston & Storrs assists Nuestra Comunidad Development Corporation, a community development corporation devoted to enhancing the physical, economic and social well-being of Roxbury. Nuestra promotes self-sufficiency and neighborhood revitalization through renovating some of the most distressed areas of Boston, producing low and moderate income family housing and much-needed business opportunities. G&S assists Nuestra with land acquisition, financing, zoning issues, construction and sales. A G&S director (a former Peace Corps volunteer fluent in Spanish) serves on the Board of Nuestra. http://www.nuestracdc.org
Goulston & Storrs attorneys provide pro bono legal support to Washington Parks & People, DC’s award-winning alliance of community park partnerships. The firm recently helped the organization with the acquisition of land within North Columbia Heights. These parcels were considered nuisance lots for decades, and will now be transformed into permanent new park space called the North Columbia Heights Green. In addition to assisting with land acquisition, the firm also helps Washington Parks & People with a variety of legal needs, including negotiating cooperative agreements and contract review. http://www.washingtonparks.net
Goulston & Storrs' pro bono commitment includes many other initiatives as diverse as the people (attorneys and staff alike) who work on them. As part of SecondStep, Goulston & Storrs adopted five families for the holidays and made sure they had a holiday to remember. Click here
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Our excellent pro bono work has led to national recognition among our peers, including the National Public Service Award from the American Bar Association's Business Law Section and the Am Law Pro Bono 100
Of course, individuals at Goulston & Storrs are also extensively involved in community organizations and non-profit entities, and many G&S attorneys have received recognition for their contributions to those endeavors. For more information, please consult individual attorney biographies.