“Our commitment to the community and to the legal system is one of Bernstein Shur’s core values, and we understand that equal access to justice is a fundamental cornerstone of our society and legal order. Pro bono services play a critical role in assuring equal justice for all, and we are deeply committed to pro bono work and supporting our attorneys who selflessly give their own time and effort to those who could not otherwise afford a lawyer. I am incredibly proud of my colleagues’ continued dedication to pro bono services for those in need.” Eben Albert Director of Pro Bono and Community Service
Above and beyond the call of duty.
Our founder Israel Bernstein was strongly committed to strengthening his community, which is why civic service has been an integral part of Bernstein Shur’s core values since day one.
A CORE PART OF WHO WE ARE.
On average, our attorneys collectively dedicate approximately 2,000 hours a year to charitable organizations, providing legal services worth approximately $500,000. Many of our attorneys and staff members also supplement those hours by serving in civic leadership positions, volunteering for local nonprofits, and coaching sports teams in their communities.
AN INTEGRAL PART OF YOUNG LAWYERS’ DEVELOPMENT.
To encourage up-and-coming attorneys to explore pro bono services and broaden their skill sets, we created a pro bono fellowship that extends our summer associate program by two weeks and gives law students an opportunity to work for one of the many legal service providers with whom we collaborate, at our cost.
The program achieves two important goals: It helps instill students with a passion for pro bono services and provides much-needed support to organizations that do important work in our communities.
Sumner T. Bernstein Pro Bono Award Recipients
Named for Israel Bernstein’s son Sumner, this award pays homage to the Bernsteins’ dedication to civic matters and honors attorneys who demonstrate similar commitment to social causes.
David Soley, shareholder and member of the firm’s Real Estate and Litigation Practice Groups, was the 2014 recipient of Sumner T. Bernstein Pro Bono Award. David was recognized for his organization and advocacy setting up the Maine Homeless Legal Clinic, defending the rights of Kaci Hickox, a nurse who treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, and challenging the Maine Department of Corrections policy which precludes loved ones from contacting prisoners suspected of domestic infractions.
Eben M. Albert, member of the firm’s Intellectual Property Practice Group and Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice Group, was the 2013 recipient of the Sumner T. Bernstein Pro Bono Award. Eben was recognized for providing legal representation to individuals and families seeking asylum, including a particularly lengthy case in the Boston Immigration Court, which spanned several years and involved foreign investigations by special agents of the Department of Homeland Security.
Fred Lipp, shareholder and member of the firm’s Business Law Practice Group, received the Sumner T. Bernstein Pro Bono Award for his local and international pro bono work. Lipp provided legal representation to rural families in the Dominican Republic, worked with the Cambodian Arts and Scholarship Foundation’s educational outreach in Phnom Penh and counseled undocumented workers through the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project in Maine.
Linda McGill, who also works in the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group continues to volunteer with the International Senior Lawyer’s Project. McGill helps fulfill the group’s mission of providing world-class legal counsel to promote the rule of law, human rights, and equitable economic development. She was honored as an ISLP “Volunteer of the Decade.”