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Baker Donelson Attorneys Earn ABA Pro Bono Recognitions

Baker Donelson attorneys have earned two awards from the American Bar Association (ABA) in recognition of their pro bono efforts.

  • J. Randall Patterson, a shareholder in the Firm's Knoxville office, was a recipient of the ABA Military Project Outstanding Services Award. The ABA Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel (LAMP) presents these annual awards to individual attorneys, law firms, and law departments that have provided extraordinary pro bono services through the ABA Military Pro Bono Project. Recipient law firms each accepted five or more cases; individual attorneys accepted three or more cases, or completed cases by providing 50 or more pro bono hours.
  • Richard B. Gossett, senior counsel in the Firm's Chattanooga office, was recognized by the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service as an ABA Free Legal Answers 2020 Pro Bono Leader for his dedication to pro bono service through participation in ABA Free Legal Answers. The Committee presents this annual recognition to individual attorneys, law firms, corporate law departments and other organizations that have provided extraordinary pro bono services through ABA Free Legal Answers. Recipient individual attorneys each answered 50 or more civil legal questions and firm/organization recipients collectively answered 75 or more questions in the 2020 calendar year.

The Firm's Pro Bono Shareholder Samuel T. Bowman said, "Randy and Dick exemplify the dedicated service and commitment in helping others that highlight Baker Donelson's pro bono efforts.  We could not be prouder of them and their hard work." 

Through its commitment to pro bono representation, Baker Donelson provides legal services to groups and individuals whose resources are limited. For decades, the Firm's attorneys have provided a variety of counsel to many underserved populations that have had no options for legal representation. Baker Donelson's efforts include work on a wide range of matters, such as advocating for the homeless and organizations that serve the homeless, providing corporate legal services to non-profit organizations, collaborating with our clients to address particular community needs, and much more. The Firm has been instrumental in efforts such as expanding the Homeless Experience Legal Protection (HELP) program across the Southeast; creating courts dedicated to handling minor legal matters common among the homeless; assisting persons of limited means with obtaining driver's licenses, an essential need in helping these individuals reintegrate into society; and spearheading and organizing volunteer lawyer programs across Baker Donelson's footprint.

Baker Donelson has led the way in the legal industry by being one of the first law firms in the Southeast to create a Pro Bono Committee and designate a full-time Pro Bono Shareholder. To further its commitment to pro bono, Baker Donelson also designates Pro Bono Committee Office Chairs in most of its 21 offices. These chairs are best suited to address local needs while coordinating with the Firm's Pro Bono Shareholder for global pro bono initiatives. This structure ensures Baker Donelson is well-suited to further its goal of addressing broad spectrum needs across the Firm's footprint and beyond.

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Johanna Burkett
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