Matters That Matter: September Pro Bono Roundup

In this edition of Matters That Matter, we honor the many lawyers who have dedicated their time to important pro bono causes. This month, we highlight a variety of worthy projects, such as supporting Latinx filmmakers, ensuring the sport of football is accessible to all, and helping to put an end to sexual violence in schools. These are just a few examples of the many ways our lawyers are living out our proud pro bono tradition every day.

Improving Living Conditions for Displaced Individuals
New York litigation partner Amanda Aikman, with assistance from London associate Harriet Sassoon and trainee solicitor Ziqi Qi, are helping Every Shelter, Inc. with developing a statement of supply-chain principles and expectations for suppliers. The nonprofit is dedicated to creating and developing low-cost, high-impact products geared toward improving the lives of refugees living in shelters.

The statement will cover slavery, human trafficking, child labor, safe working conditions, and possibly environmental practices. Amanda will also draft a simple template clause for Every Shelter to include in its supplier contracts that will ensure compliance with the statement.

Ensuring the Power of Football Is Accessible to All
London attorneys Annabel Gillham and Oliver Spratt are partnering with the Centre for Access to Football in Europe (CAFE) to review and amend a template service agreement and consultancy agreement, and draft an employee privacy notice for CAFE in the UK. CAFE uses the unique power of football (“soccer” in the U.S.) to ensure people with disabilities are able to take their rightful place in the game and the wider society.

Working with the Union of European Football Associations, FIFA, football associations, clubs, and fans, CAFE provides training using audio-descriptive commentary, supports the creation and development of disabled supporter groups, collaborates with other NGOs in the sector, and performs research on advancing access and inclusion for people with disabilities.

Putting an End to Sexual Violence in Schools
The firm is participating in the launch of Equal Rights Advocates’ Pro Bono Attorney Network to End Sexual Violence in Education. The initiative will help students who have been victims of sexual assault, attempted assault, or harassment find support and seek justice before it threatens to disrupt their education.

San Francisco litigation associates Shaelyn Dawson and Camila Tapernoux, as well as Northern Virginia litigation of counsel Sue Borschel will participate in the network on a trial basis, with San Francisco partner Claudia Vetesi supervising. As advocates in the ENOUGH Pro Bono Network, the lawyers will advise student survivors on their rights, help them understand their school’s Title IX protections, and weigh their legal options based on how students would like to move forward.

Seeking Reproductive Justice in the Sixth Circuit
Litigation senior of counsel Roxann Henry and San Diego litigation associate Alexandra Preece represented the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine as an amicus before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, opposing a Kentucky law that, if it takes effect, will effectively ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Representing this specialized medical society, our attorneys explained to the court that the law’s requirement for a physician to induce fetal demise before performing such an abortion is not only clinically unnecessary, but would potentially endanger women seeking abortion while also depriving women who are attempting to complete high-risk pregnancies of the specialty care they require.

Creating More STEM Education Opportunities
Northern Virginia managing partner Charles Katz is assisting the Kitsi Foundation in setting up a nonprofit organization and obtaining 501(c )(3) tax exempt status. The Kitsi Foundation, which is in the very beginning of its funding stage, is dedicated to advancing STEM education and improving STEM opportunities for children globally. Washington, D.C. tax of counsel Linda Arnsbarger will assist with the tax portion.

Supporting Up-and-Coming Latinx Filmmakers
New York attorneys Tracy Bacigalupo and Elnaz Zarrini are helping The Latino Film Market in drafting a collaboration agreement that they can use with the filmmakers they work with. The Latino Film Market is an organization dedicated to showcasing and promoting Latinx content and upcoming filmmakers.

They provide a space for eager Latinx filmmakers to learn and grow their craft and offer workshops, lectures, and panels in addition to networking opportunities. The agreement will include clauses on distribution of profits and permission to showcase short films to distributors, ensuring they are adequately protected and in compliance with relevant laws.

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Matters That Matter looks at some of the most significant recently opened matters and developments in our global pro bono efforts, from staffing legal clinics and advising nonprofits on their legal needs to advocating for individuals who would otherwise be denied equal access to justice. For more examples of MoFo’s global pro bono efforts, visit our website.