Marten strongly encourages its lawyers and staff to engage in meaningful pro bono legal and related work. Being a lawyer provides significant advantages in our society; along with these come a commensurate degree of responsibilities—in particular, to those who do not enjoy similar advantages or have been unlawfully denied access to and protection of the law.
We are currently focusing our energies into three primary areas: Immigration, Environmental Justice, and Voter Suppression. We partner with national and local organizations in order to maximize our impact. The firm is a member of the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance (LFAA), and committed to dedicating substantial pro bono resources to initiatives that combat systemic racism.
Approved pro bono work will by no means be limited to these topic areas. Marten lawyers and staff are encouraged to voice their desire to work on other issues, so the firm can best support them. Approved pro bono hours are credited, up to 100 hours, toward the billable goal for lawyers with the firm.
Marten Partner Jess Ferrell facilitates the firm’s representation of indigent clients in immigration-related proceedings. She coordinates with a variety of national and local immigration advocacy groups toward this end, including the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP). Cases in this category span an array of federal laws, including the Immigration and Naturalization Act and other laws and regulations implementing the U.N. Convention Against Torture; the Violence Against Women Act; and additional generally applicable laws that may disproportionately affect the immigrant community.
Marten Partner Steve Odell is the primary gatekeeper for opportunities in the realm of environmental justice, defined by EPA as “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies.”
Implementation of this concept takes many different forms. Many federal and state policies encourage the consideration of the disproportionate impact of environmental and health issues on lower-income communities and/or those of color. Few directives are mandatory, however. Furthering environmental justice therefore requires practicing in an array of federal, state and local legal fields toward fair and uniform application across communities.
Marten Partner Jonathan Rackoff leads politically related pro bono work. He has focused on efforts promoting voter registration, voter protection, and engagement in the political process to ensure widespread enfranchisement.