National Law Journal has named Lindquist & Vennum one of just 10 firms and corporate legal departments nationally to its 2013 Pro Bono Hotlist, which recognizes exemplary commitments to access of justice.
Partner Robert McLeod was recognized for his advocacy and litigation work that led to preserving voting rights for adults under court-appointed legal guardianship, including physically or mentally disabled and some veterans who are perfectly capable citizens. McLeod argued that a pre-emptive ban on voting rights runs contrary to their fundamental rights and that language in the Minnesota Constitution holding otherwise directly violated the U.S. Constitution. Hennepin County Judge Quam agreed.
Partner Richard Ihrig was profiled for his work in representing landowners near Iver's Mountain in Wisconsin. A mining company planned to extract basalt, but Ihrig tied up those plans so thoroughly in court that the company finally donated part of its land to a conservation trust.
Rich Ihrig states in the article, "It's not an edict that comes from on high that says, 'You shall,' but rather an encouragement on all levels to be involved in pro bono legal work. It's part of our obligation and our ethos. People genuinely, rather than begrudgingly, undertake pro bono."
Cynthia Anderson, Lindquist’s pro bono coordinator, remarks, “For more than 15 years, the firm has maintained 100% participation by its attorneys in the firm’s pro bono program. The firm’s culture of public service was established with founder Leonard Lindquist and lives on today in a genuine spirit of serving the community where we work and live. We are better lawyers as a result of this work.”
The list, published January 7, reflects “developments in pro bono practice through firms that are deploying highly sophisticated corporate and intellectual property skills to do good on a global level, and that are standing up for life's outcasts,” according to National Law Journal editor Michael Moline.