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Pro Bono Runs Deep in Our Culture

Nelson Mullins is committed to serving the most vulnerable in our society with legal, social and economic issues through pro bono service. The Firm engages in complex pro bono litigation, policy and legislative advocacy, and provides individual representation to a diverse group of individuals and organizations whose mission is to serve people with limited means. As often described by our late partner and advocate, Stephen G. Morrison, pro bono work helps all of us to remember the reason we have laws—to protect, to help, to guide, and to seek justice. The Firm embraces the pro bono culture that those who serve the law shall serve the poor and disadvantaged.

Historic Impact Litigation

Nelson Mullins has a legacy of taking on large-scale litigation matters to promote the well-being of disadvantaged classes of individuals.

Advocacy for Prisoners with Mental Health Illnesses
The Firm represented Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities and a class of inmates with mental illnesses in a lawsuit against the SC Department of Corrections. After 10 years of litigation and two years of negotiations, a settlement was struck that could end what Judge Michael Baxley called the unconstitutional treatment of severely mentally ill offenders in the prison facilities.  Read More…

Protecting the Rights of School Children
In Abbeville County School District v. State of South Carolina, Nelson Mullins represents a group of rural school districts, students and taxpayers in a groundbreaking lawsuit challenging the funding of public schools and the adequacy of the overall education system. The Supreme Court found the entire public education system to be constitutionally lacking. Since the decision, the South Carolina legislature has been examining the court’s opinion in anticipation of passing remedial legislation. Read More...

Justice Through Legislative Reform and New Courts

Through hands-on involvement, Nelson Mullins attorneys have been integral in the creation of new legal frameworks and new, specialized courts to meet needs that were previously unmet.

Race, Law Enforcement and Law Project
As a result of a recent national incident, the Firm, in partnership with Georgia Appleseed and the Atlanta Bar, formed this project to analyze law enforcement, community relations and policies. The Firm completed detailed legal and factual research and interviewed 350 stakeholders to create a Report identifying key law and policy issues relating to the police-community legal process for investigations and charging such incidents.  Read More…

Statewide Review Seeking Improved Services for Vulnerable Adults
The Firm concluded a statewide research project and created a Report with recommendations to improve services to vulnerable adults in South Carolina. Our client, AARP, plans to use the Report to lobby lawmakers to restore funding and needed improvements identified in the research. Read More…

Columbia Homeless Court
Nelson Mullins, in conjunction with dedicated judges, the Richland County Solicitor’s Office and Public Defender’s Office, SC Appleseed Legal Justice and several nonprofits, worked to create the first homeless court in Columbia, South Carolina. The purpose of the court is to encourage participants to receive and complete treatment programs in exchange for the dismissal of fines associated with a criminal offense and, in some cases, the dismissal of a charge. The court model was also used to create a homeless court in Charleston, SC in 2017. 

Veterans Assistance

Nelson Mullins’ attorneys are committed to serving those who have served their country and fellow citizens in the military.

Lawyers 4 Vets
This pro bono clinic was created in May, 2014, by SC Appleseed Legal Justice, in partnership with Dorn VA Medical Center and in coordination with and support from Nelson Mullins. The monthly legal clinic is for low-income vets seeking guidance or representation in specific areas of law from SC Bar attorneys. As of April, 2017, the Firm has received and screened over 2,500 calls from veterans.  Read More...

Adopt-A-Base
Nelson Mullins is among a few firms nationwide participating in the Adopt-A-Base Program.  In this program, the ABA Tax Section partners with the military and IRS to help train service members to become voluntary tax preparers through Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA). Numerous Firm tax attorneys provide annual training at bases located in NC, SC and GA.  Read More...

K9 For Warriors
The Firm provides legislative support at the federal government affairs level to this nonprofit. The group is seeking to establish an accreditation for service dog providers to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder among other goals.

Estate Planning for Those Who Serve and Those in Need

Nelson Mullins has proactively created and maintained robust programs to provide simple wills and healthcare directives free of charge to first responders who put their lives on the line to serve and protect.

Wills for Heroes
After the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the Firm created the Wills For Heroes Program that provides free, simple wills and medical directives to first responders. Since the program’s inception, thousands of wills have been created for these individuals that protect us daily in our communities in Georgia, South Carolina and West Virginia. The Firm has expanded its wills programs to include the creation of the Habitat for Humanity Wills Project and the Zeb Alley Wills for Veterans. Several attorneys assisted Georgia Appleseed with the Promised Land Project to provide simple wills to low-income rural farmers.

The Firm worked in partnership with Eli Lilly and Company to help create and launch the Indianapolis Wills for Heroes Program. 

Protecting the Rights of the Incarcerated

Nelson Mullins’ attorneys work to protect the rights of individuals under the jurisdiction of the criminal justice system who otherwise would have no access to justice.

Changing the Parole System
Attorneys who represented an inmate in a parole proceeding obtained a SC Supreme Court ruling that fundamentally changed the way the State Parole Board determines how a majority of votes is calculated and parole questions for parole-eligible inmates. The Firm has represented inmates in parole proceedings with successful results that resulted in the release of nine inmates since 2003.  Read More…

Clemency Project 2014
More than 20 lawyers worked to seek relief for clients under President Obama’s clemency power for prisoners facing long sentences for nonviolent drug crimes. The Firm handled 15 cases and four clients were granted clemency and released from prison.  Read More…

Appellate Indigent Defense Project
The South Carolina Commission on Indigent Defense and Nelson Mullins created a new program called the Appellate Project. Volunteer attorneys help the appellate division handle an increasingly heavy hearing caseload.  Read More…

Children and the Law

Nelson Mullins’ attorneys have deep expertise in protecting the legal rights of children who are unable to protect themselves.

Reuniting Abducted Children
For numerous years, the Firm has been a member of the Hague Convention Attorney Network to support the U.S. Department of State that serves as the U.S. Central Authority for the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The firm has represented many applicant-parents involving international child abduction to the United States.  Read More...

Making a Better Life for Special Needs Children… Guardianship Project-SC and GA
Parents and caregivers with young adults with profound special needs are suddenly faced with having limited ability to make health, education, placement, financial and other decisions when their children transition to adulthood at age 18. The Firm created the South Carolina Guardianship Project and recently the Georgia Guardianship Project with Atlanta Legal Aid, and attorneys represent low-income parents and caregivers in probate court to establish legal guardianship over family members who have severe special needs.

Special Education Program
This pro bono project enables attorneys to represent and advocate for students in a variety of school administration proceedings, including special education meetings, discipline proceedings, state special education complaints, due process hearings under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and appeals of administrative proceedings to state circuit courts, federal district courts, and courts of appeal.

Representing Victims of Domestic Violence

Nelson Mullins’ attorneys fight for the silent victims of violent crimes within the household across the firm’s footprint.

Numerous attorneys, in several states, are trained to represent domestic violence victims who cannot afford representation. Our lawyers have successfully represented their clients to ensure their safety and to help reclaim their lives after enduring abusive situations by participating in the following organized programs:

  • Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Domestic Violence Project
  • DC Volunteer Lawyers Project
  • Safe Alliance, Charlotte, NC
  • SC Attorney General’s Criminal Domestic Violence Project
Corporate Lawyers Supporting Nonprofits

A hallmark of the Pro bono Program is the creative service provided by the Firm’s corporate attorneys to nonprofit organizations.

The Firm has a very strong commitment to provide pro bono service to charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental and educational organizations whose mission is to address the needs of persons of limited means. The Firm’s pro bono service to eleemosynary corporations has involved tax issues, bankruptcy, employment, mergers and acquisitions, real estate matters, contracts, government regulations, intellectual property, immigration, lobbying, litigation and several other issues. As an example,  we are strong supporters of the Atlanta Pro Bono Partnership and over the years have provided legal services on approximately 225 matters to nonprofits in Atlanta.

 

Pro Bono

Pro Bono Runs Deep in Our Culture

Nelson Mullins is committed to serving the most vulnerable in our society with legal, social and economic issues through pro bono service. The Firm engages in complex pro bono litigation, policy and legislative advocacy, and provides individual representation to a diverse group of individuals and organizations whose mission is to serve people with limited means. As often described by our late partner and advocate, Stephen G. Morrison, pro bono work helps all of us to remember the reason we have laws—to protect, to help, to guide, and to seek justice. The Firm embraces the pro bono culture that those who serve the law shall serve the poor and disadvantaged.

Historic Impact Litigation

Nelson Mullins has a legacy of taking on large-scale litigation matters to promote the well-being of disadvantaged classes of individuals.

Advocacy for Prisoners with Mental Health Illnesses
The Firm represented Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities and a class of inmates with mental illnesses in a lawsuit against the SC Department of Corrections. After 10 years of litigation and two years of negotiations, a settlement was struck that could end what Judge Michael Baxley called the unconstitutional treatment of severely mentally ill offenders in the prison facilities.  Read More…

Protecting the Rights of School Children
In Abbeville County School District v. State of South Carolina, Nelson Mullins represents a group of rural school districts, students and taxpayers in a groundbreaking lawsuit challenging the funding of public schools and the adequacy of the overall education system. The Supreme Court found the entire public education system to be constitutionally lacking. Since the decision, the South Carolina legislature has been examining the court’s opinion in anticipation of passing remedial legislation. Read More...

Justice Through Legislative Reform and New Courts

Through hands-on involvement, Nelson Mullins attorneys have been integral in the creation of new legal frameworks and new, specialized courts to meet needs that were previously unmet.

Race, Law Enforcement and Law Project
As a result of a recent national incident, the Firm, in partnership with Georgia Appleseed and the Atlanta Bar, formed this project to analyze law enforcement, community relations and policies. The Firm completed detailed legal and factual research and interviewed 350 stakeholders to create a Report identifying key law and policy issues relating to the police-community legal process for investigations and charging such incidents.  Read More…

Statewide Review Seeking Improved Services for Vulnerable Adults
The Firm concluded a statewide research project and created a Report with recommendations to improve services to vulnerable adults in South Carolina. Our client, AARP, plans to use the Report to lobby lawmakers to restore funding and needed improvements identified in the research. Read More…

Columbia Homeless Court
Nelson Mullins, in conjunction with dedicated judges, the Richland County Solicitor’s Office and Public Defender’s Office, SC Appleseed Legal Justice and several nonprofits, worked to create the first homeless court in Columbia, South Carolina. The purpose of the court is to encourage participants to receive and complete treatment programs in exchange for the dismissal of fines associated with a criminal offense and, in some cases, the dismissal of a charge. The court model was also used to create a homeless court in Charleston, SC in 2017. 

Veterans Assistance

Nelson Mullins’ attorneys are committed to serving those who have served their country and fellow citizens in the military.

Lawyers 4 Vets
This pro bono clinic was created in May, 2014, by SC Appleseed Legal Justice, in partnership with Dorn VA Medical Center and in coordination with and support from Nelson Mullins. The monthly legal clinic is for low-income vets seeking guidance or representation in specific areas of law from SC Bar attorneys. As of April, 2017, the Firm has received and screened over 2,500 calls from veterans.  Read More...

Adopt-A-Base
Nelson Mullins is among a few firms nationwide participating in the Adopt-A-Base Program.  In this program, the ABA Tax Section partners with the military and IRS to help train service members to become voluntary tax preparers through Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA). Numerous Firm tax attorneys provide annual training at bases located in NC, SC and GA.  Read More...

K9 For Warriors
The Firm provides legislative support at the federal government affairs level to this nonprofit. The group is seeking to establish an accreditation for service dog providers to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder among other goals.

Estate Planning for Those Who Serve and Those in Need

Nelson Mullins has proactively created and maintained robust programs to provide simple wills and healthcare directives free of charge to first responders who put their lives on the line to serve and protect.

Wills for Heroes
After the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the Firm created the Wills For Heroes Program that provides free, simple wills and medical directives to first responders. Since the program’s inception, thousands of wills have been created for these individuals that protect us daily in our communities in Georgia, South Carolina and West Virginia. The Firm has expanded its wills programs to include the creation of the Habitat for Humanity Wills Project and the Zeb Alley Wills for Veterans. Several attorneys assisted Georgia Appleseed with the Promised Land Project to provide simple wills to low-income rural farmers.

The Firm worked in partnership with Eli Lilly and Company to help create and launch the Indianapolis Wills for Heroes Program. 

Protecting the Rights of the Incarcerated

Nelson Mullins’ attorneys work to protect the rights of individuals under the jurisdiction of the criminal justice system who otherwise would have no access to justice.

Changing the Parole System
Attorneys who represented an inmate in a parole proceeding obtained a SC Supreme Court ruling that fundamentally changed the way the State Parole Board determines how a majority of votes is calculated and parole questions for parole-eligible inmates. The Firm has represented inmates in parole proceedings with successful results that resulted in the release of nine inmates since 2003.  Read More…

Clemency Project 2014
More than 20 lawyers worked to seek relief for clients under President Obama’s clemency power for prisoners facing long sentences for nonviolent drug crimes. The Firm handled 15 cases and four clients were granted clemency and released from prison.  Read More…

Appellate Indigent Defense Project
The South Carolina Commission on Indigent Defense and Nelson Mullins created a new program called the Appellate Project. Volunteer attorneys help the appellate division handle an increasingly heavy hearing caseload.  Read More…

Children and the Law

Nelson Mullins’ attorneys have deep expertise in protecting the legal rights of children who are unable to protect themselves.

Reuniting Abducted Children
For numerous years, the Firm has been a member of the Hague Convention Attorney Network to support the U.S. Department of State that serves as the U.S. Central Authority for the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The firm has represented many applicant-parents involving international child abduction to the United States.  Read More...

Making a Better Life for Special Needs Children… Guardianship Project-SC and GA
Parents and caregivers with young adults with profound special needs are suddenly faced with having limited ability to make health, education, placement, financial and other decisions when their children transition to adulthood at age 18. The Firm created the South Carolina Guardianship Project and recently the Georgia Guardianship Project with Atlanta Legal Aid, and attorneys represent low-income parents and caregivers in probate court to establish legal guardianship over family members who have severe special needs.

Special Education Program
This pro bono project enables attorneys to represent and advocate for students in a variety of school administration proceedings, including special education meetings, discipline proceedings, state special education complaints, due process hearings under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and appeals of administrative proceedings to state circuit courts, federal district courts, and courts of appeal.

Representing Victims of Domestic Violence

Nelson Mullins’ attorneys fight for the silent victims of violent crimes within the household across the firm’s footprint.

Numerous attorneys, in several states, are trained to represent domestic violence victims who cannot afford representation. Our lawyers have successfully represented their clients to ensure their safety and to help reclaim their lives after enduring abusive situations by participating in the following organized programs:

  • Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Domestic Violence Project
  • DC Volunteer Lawyers Project
  • Safe Alliance, Charlotte, NC
  • SC Attorney General’s Criminal Domestic Violence Project
Corporate Lawyers Supporting Nonprofits

A hallmark of the Pro bono Program is the creative service provided by the Firm’s corporate attorneys to nonprofit organizations.

The Firm has a very strong commitment to provide pro bono service to charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental and educational organizations whose mission is to address the needs of persons of limited means. The Firm’s pro bono service to eleemosynary corporations has involved tax issues, bankruptcy, employment, mergers and acquisitions, real estate matters, contracts, government regulations, intellectual property, immigration, lobbying, litigation and several other issues. As an example,  we are strong supporters of the Atlanta Pro Bono Partnership and over the years have provided legal services on approximately 225 matters to nonprofits in Atlanta.

 

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