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Bodman Named to the 2016 State Bar of Michigan Pro Bono Circle of Excellence

By: Bodman PLC

07/22/16

Bodman PLC is pleased to announce that the firm has been named to the 2016 State Bar of Michigan Circle of Excellence “Leadership Level” for its commitment to pro bono legal services. The “Leadership Level” is a designation given to firms that contributed at least thirty (30) hours of pro bono work per attorney or gave at least $500 per attorney in financial donations to organizations that serve low income individuals within the past year.

In 2015, more than 70% of Bodman attorneys devoted greater than 5,900 pro bono hours to dozens of organizations and individuals. Bodman founded the Capuchin Legal Clinic and Crossroads of Michigan Ask a Lawyer clinic, both of which serve homeless and low-income Detroiters. “We are very pleased to once again receive this recognition by the State Bar for our pro bono efforts,” said Ralph E. McDowell, the firm’s Chairman, “what pleases us more are the results we see in the community, in our clients, and in our own attorneys when they complete a pro bono project.”

Notable accomplishments over the past year include Bodman attorney Maya K. Watson receiving recognition from Human Rights Watch (HRW), a New York-based non-profit, independent, non-governmental organization that presses for changes in policy and practice that promote human rights and justice around the world. Ms. Watson supported HRW’s investigation into U.S. military rape victims who, after reporting the assault, receive stigmatizing discharge papers that prevent them from receiving benefits or obtaining jobs after losing their military careers. Other Bodman attorneys worked numerous hours representing federal inmates as part of President Obama’s Clemency Project initiative, and representing individuals who received life sentences for a crime committed while a child.

Bodman is one of two major law firms in Michigan to have a dedicated pro bono counsel, Kimberly A. Paulson. Paulson joined the firm in 2012 to coordinate the firm’s pro bono efforts and to provide legal services directly to individuals and qualifying organizations.