Pro Bono Overview + Mission

Robinson+Cole has a notable history of pro bono service, including years of leadership roles in legal services organizations.

In 1914, Thomas Hewes, an associate at what was then Robinson, Robinson & Cole, began to work with the Charity Organization Society, which was organizing legal aid committees nationwide. In the years that followed, he handled hundreds of pro bono cases and ultimately developed the Connecticut Plan for Legal Aid, which led to the establishment of the Hartford Municipal Legal Aid Bureau.

Today, Robinson+Cole lawyers continue to follow his example by providing access to the justice system for some of our most vulnerable populations and neediest charitable organizations. Our pro bono volunteers are active in each of the communities in which we practice. 

As our firm has grown in size and geographic reach, so has the profile of our pro bono program and the breadth of pro bono matters in which we are involved. While the partners, counsel and associates and other professionals in all our offices participate in a wide variety of pro bono matters, much of our pro bono effort has focused on assisting women and children in crisis as well as veterans. Through active involvement with community organizations, government officials, and countless nonprofit organizations, our lawyers and staff have worked successfully to improve the quality of life for those individuals and their families. 

A tremendous amount of personal satisfaction results from this work. "It's the right thing to do" is a sentiment frequently heard at Robinson+Cole. Pro bono work also provides another tangible benefit: the firm's junior associates gain invaluable legal experience by taking lead roles on matters under the supervision of senior lawyers, and acting as primary contact for the client--experience they might not otherwise get so early in their careers.

Robinson+Cole and its lawyers have been recognized repeatedly for their outstanding pro bono contributions, earning awards and accolades from the state bar, professional associations, legal services organizations, clients, and legal publications. Moreover, many of our lawyers hold board positions on legal services organizations and sit on state and bar pro bono committees.

The firm takes its commitment to pro bono seriously. We are an annual participant in the Pro Bono Institute’s Pro Bono Challenge, joining other firms across the country who strive to dedicate at least three percent of the firm’s total billable hours to pro bono work. In addition, Robinson+Cole has a close and longstanding relationship with the Pro Bono Partnership (PBP), which offers business and transactional legal services to nonprofits. Beyond the volunteer legal services our attorneys provide to PBP clients, Robinson+Cole also houses the PBP’s Connecticut program in our Hartford office. 

We have an active Pro Bono Committee, consisting of partners, counsel, and associates from various practice areas  across all offices of the firm. The committee is responsible for establishing policies and approving pro bono matters. In addition, the committee distributes a quarterly pro bono newsletter designed to keep everyone informed about Robinson+Cole's current pro bono projects and new pro bono opportunities, and to highlight and commend those who get involved and make a difference for our pro bono clients.