At McDonald Hopkins, we believe public service is fundamentally important to the legal profession. We strive to be good corporate citizens and the needs of our communities guide and frame what we do. Whether it’s providing pro bono legal assistance, participating on local nonprofit boards, or donating to charitable campaigns, we focus on giving back to those who need us most. We encourage and recognize attorneys at our firm who demonstrate a commitment to public service and pro bono legal work.

Veterans’ Pro Bono Clinic

Working with the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland and the Veterans Administration Community Referral and Resource Center, McDonald Hopkins has developed a program to provide free legal advice and referrals to low-income veterans in need of help. Veterans who have been pre-identified by the Legal Aid Society meet with McDonald Hopkins volunteer attorneys for in-person, one-on-one counseling on civil legal issues related to shelter, safety, consumer rights, health, education, work, or income issues.

Since May 2014, the clinic has been proud to serve some of the nearly 900,000 veterans in Ohio. The Veterans’ Pro Bono Clinic is offered every four to six weeks at the Veterans Administration Community Referral and Resource Center in Cleveland. Veterans looking for legal assistance can refer to the schedule on the Legal Aid Society’s website for specific dates and times.

In October 2015, the Legal Aid Society honored McDonald Hopkins’ Jeffrey Pollock with a Community Impact Award for his work leading the Veteran Pro Bono Clinic. Even after retiring from the firm in 2017, Jeffrey continues to provide pro bono legal services to Ohio veterans and still volunteers at the clinic.

Medicaid Pro Bono Program

McDonald Hopkins is proud to partner with Disability Rights Ohio to expand their existing Medicaid Pro Bono Program, which provides legal services to Ohio families and children with disabilities. The program, which started when DRO teamed up with Nationwide Insurance in 2017, will now be able to reach more people struggling to obtain access to adequate healthcare services and medical equipment. 

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USPTO Patent Pro Bono Program 

McDonald Hopkins is proud to be part of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Pro Bono Program. In 2019, Mark Guinto and Julie Micalizzi received U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Certificates of Achievement for their more than 50 hours of pro bono work. Mark is consistently recognized by the USPTO for his pro bono work, having also received the USPTO Outstanding Volunteer Award in 2017 and 2018. 

McDonald Hopkins’ Intellectual Property Department  has also been recognized for its role as a founding member of the Case Western University School of Law patent pro bono program for Ohio, in connection with the USPTO’s program.

McDonald Hopkins pro bono client receives Presidential clemency

On October 6, 2016, a McDonald Hopkins pro bono client was among the 102 individuals who received Presidential clemency. The client had been sentenced in July 2006 to serve 15 years in federal prison for selling $250 worth of crack cocaine (6 grams). He was not due to be released until 2019. Bruce Reinhart, a former McDonald Hopkins attorney, volunteered to represent the client as part of the Clemency Project 2014, a national pro bono effort jointly run by the American Bar Association, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, and the American Civil Liberties Union. After considering the clemency petition submitted in May 2016 by McDonald Hopkins, President Barack Obama commuted the sentence and ordered that client be released on February 3, 2017. McDonald Hopkins represented several other individuals as part of the Clemency Project 2014.