The practice of law is more than a career — it is a calling. At Stoel Rives, we believe that pro bono service is an essential element of every attorney’s professional responsibility, for three primary reasons:

  • Attorneys have a duty to contribute to the welfare of the community.
  • Attorneys have an obligation to ensure that the legal system is accessible to all, regardless of financial circumstances.
  • Attorneys possess unique skills and abilities to serve persons of limited means and to promote the public interest.

Through pro bono service, attorneys also receive invaluable training that broadens their own professional development, fulfills their professional responsibilities, and expands their awareness of community needs.

Our firm has been honored with numerous pro bono awards, including the Bryan P. Timbers Pro Bono Lifetime Achievement and Law Firm of the Year Awards from the Alaska Bar Association, the 6.1 Challenge Award from the Idaho Law Foundation, Pro Bono Attorney of the Year from the Utah State Bar and Lewis & Clark Law School, and the Pro Bono Challenge winner from the Oregon State Bar numerous years. We have also received the Pro Bono Award of Merit from the Multnomah Bar Association, been named Pro Bono Attorneys of the Year by Minnesota Lawyer, earned the Denise O’Donnell Day Pro Bono Award from the Idaho Bar Association, and been recognized by the Idaho Volunteer Lawyers Program (IVLP).

Policy Highlights

At Stoel Rives, our dedication to pro bono work is about more than just words; it's about making a tangible difference. Aligned with the National Pro Bono Institute, our pro bono policy addresses three general areas:

  • Supporting Those in Need: “The delivery of legal services to persons of limited means or to charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental, and educational organizations in matters which are designed primarily to address the needs of persons of limited means;”
  • Defending Civil Liberties: “The provision of legal assistance to individuals, groups, or organizations seeking to secure or protect civil rights, civil liberties, or public rights;” and
  • Empowering Organizations: “The provision of legal assistance to charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental, or educational organizations in matters in furtherance of their organizational purposes, where the payment of standard legal fees would significantly deplete the organization's economic resources or would be otherwise inappropriate.”

Encouraging Engagement

We encourage our attorneys to devote at least 50 hours per year to pro bono causes that align with their values, including offering legal support to refugees and those without homes and advocating for voting rights and racial equality. Acknowledging our attorneys' valuable efforts, we provide billable credit for up to 50 hours of pro bono and administrative services, underscoring our dedication to creating meaningful change in our communities.  Moreover, many of our attorneys devote significantly more time than 50 hours each year to their pro bono projects.

Beyond Legal Services

Our commitment to serving our communities extends beyond the courtroom, as demonstrated by Stoel attorneys' dedication to pro bono and related work, reinforcing one of our core values daily across the firm. From our "Main Street Relief" project during the COVID-19 pandemic to various charitable efforts, we have actively offered pro bono services, volunteer hours, and financial donations to organizations that aid those in need, whether local businesses trying to stay afloat during the lockdown, or refugees and homeless neighbors in need of help.

  • Pro Bono at Stoel Rives
    Pro Bono at Stoel Rives

    "Pro bono work is important to me because there are problems in our society that need to be addressed and need the skills of a lawyer. I have those skills and I want to spend my time doing it, and the firm is very supportive of it. I can’t fix the whole world, but it’s one thing I can do."

    – Rachel Lee, Partner

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