Our corporate and tax lawyers are actively involved in pro bono matters, providing a wide range of legal services through our pro bono program. Examples of our recent corporate pro bono matters include:
Debevoise helped establish a non-profit women’s university in Asia called the Asian Women’s Leadership University (AWLU). The AWLU is based on an American liberal arts educational model and Debevoise lawyers set up the legal entity to house the group’s activities. The team also prepared and submitted the 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status application and participated in meetings with government officials and private supporters, while securing pro bono support from entities with needed skills in education, design and management.
Debevoise recently assisted the Lambda Legal Defense Fund’s Director of Constitutional Law in researching the various federal benefits statutes that define or may contain references to spouses in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s decision in Windsor v. United States. The research was used widely by various organizations preparing for argument in Windsor and anticipating the legal environment after the Court’s decision.
Debevoise in London provides social entrepreneurs advice on matters relating to charity, company and contract law in London through a legal advice clinic at UnLtd.
Debevoise advises Rwanda Works, a not-for-profit company that invests in sustainable development projects in the Republic of Rwanda, on corporate restructuring.
Debevoise takes part in a project through Volunteers of Legal Service in which law firms are matched with schools in low-income neighborhoods in New York City to provide pro bono civil legal services to students’ families. Debevoise works with the KIPP Academy, a middle school in the Bronx, and conducts a monthly legal clinic and provides advice on housing, family law, immigration, and public benefits. At the end of each clinic session, Debevoise lawyers take on matters that require follow-up beyond brief advice.
Debevoise represents the Partnership for the Homeless, whose mission is to prevent and end urban homelessness. Most recently, Debevoise lawyers assisted in the negotiation and documentation of amendments to a revolving credit facility.
Debevoise represents Nazareth Housing, an organization that fosters the promotion of housing stability and economic independence among low income families and individuals in New York City, in a number of transactional matters, including a matter that ended with the successful placement of a senior citizen family in an affordable housing unit.
Debevoise works extensively with Scenic Hudson, which works to preserve and protect the Hudson River region, on a broad range of matters including the negotiation and review of leases and loan documents, reviewing terms for an internship program, and drafting an agreement providing for repair of an art installation.
Debevoise provided general corporate governance and organizational advice to Amnesty International USA.
Debevoise assisted New York’s Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project, an organization committed to economic justice in New York, to establish a loan fund for DREAM Act-qualified low-income immigrants. The fund provided loans to low-income immigrant children or childhood arrivals to pay the substantial DREAM Act fee.
Debevoise in London advises a range of individual charities on an ongoing basis. Recent activities include helping an English charity overhaul its outdated governance structure, advising several international non-profit organizations on the legal procedures required to establish a local presence in England and working with a disaster relief group to draw up model contracts for future activities.
Debevoise is currently assisting a Bronx woman who was left jobless after Hurricane Sandy to start her own family daycare center. The team is assisting in licensing, employment issues and obtaining proper insurance.
Debevoise is currently assisting a recently unemployed individual start a music licensing business in Manhattan. Debevoise is assisting with corporate structure as well as providing advice on tax issues.
Debevoise in New York and DC (together with South African counsel) advised Just Detention International, an international health and human rights organization that seeks to end sexual abuse in detention facilities, in corporate governance and related matters in connection with the establishment of a South African legal entity for JDI to conduct operations in South Africa.
In addition to the above matters, Debevoise lawyers provide legal advice to a number of micro-enterprises in businesses through partnerships with the Business Outreach Center Network, the City Bar Justice Center Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project, the Community Development Project of the Legal Aid Society, and the Business Center for New Americans.