“Culture of Contribution” Serve and Protect All,
No Matter Financial Status

Stradley Ronon has a long-standing tradition of serving not only our clients but the communities in which we work and live. Whether through volunteering, charitable giving or representing clients in pro bono matters, we believe it is our responsibility to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate – and to create a “Culture of Contribution” that gives back for generations to come.

Through voluntary pro bono efforts, Stradley Ronon lawyers routinely represent low-income, disabled or otherwise disadvantaged people on a variety of issues, including civil rights, employment, property, custody, and the death penalty. We take pride in representing the underprivileged and underrepresented in difficult and unpopular legal matters.

We team up with our clients on projects, and cultivate and maintain partnerships with numerous organizations from which we receive pro bono referrals, including:

  • Camden Area Health Education Centers
  • Chicago Volunteer Legal Services
  • Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia
  • Consumer Bankruptcy Assistance Project (CBAP)
  • First Judicial District of Pennsylvania – Misdemeanor Criminal Case Program
  • Her Justice
  • Human Rights First
  • Kids In Need of Defense (KIND)
  • Ladder Up
  • Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
  • Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent Program (VIP)
  • Prisoners’ Rights Litigation in Federal District Court, EDPA
  • SeniorLaw Center
  • South Jersey Legal Services, Inc. (SJLS)
  • Support Center for Child Advocates
  • The Innocence Project – Strategic Litigation Department
  • Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF)
  • Volunteer UP Legal Clinic

The firm's pro bono program is overseen by Michael Engle and Ashley Shapiro, who serve as co-chairs of the committee. The pro bono committee works to develop, identify and approve projects for firm representation. Because of the commitment of our management committee and support from the firm’s leaders, Stradley Ronon offers every attorney the opportunity to receive up to 50 hours of billable time credit for work performed on pro bono matters.

Promoting Pro Bono Work Within the Firm

In 2019, Stradley Ronon hosted a Pro Bono Fair in Philadelphia. Representatives from Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia, Consumer Bankruptcy Assistance Project, Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent Program, SeniorLAW Center, South Jersey Legal Services Inc., Support Center for Child Advocates and Volunteer UP Legal Clinic provided information about the various ways our attorneys could support their efforts through pro bono work.

In addition to the work we do with our partner organizations listed above, individual firm attorneys are committed to pro bono matters, including:

  • Representing indigent clients in domestic violence cases, housing matters, and legal advocacy for children.
  • Representing pro bono clients in Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases on behalf of the Consumer Bankruptcy Assistance Project.
  • Writing briefs and performing research for a variety of civil and human rights organizations.
  • Providing legal research and writing support to the Innocence Project in civil rights litigation, including civil litigation and post-trial relief.

Recognition for Excellence in Pro Bono Work

  • Counsel E. Taylor Brody has received the First Judicial District’s pro bono service award for each of the past six years in recognition of her ongoing pro bono work with the Support Center for Child Advocates.
  • Counsel Spencer R. Short is committed to pro bono work, writing briefs and performing research for a variety of civil and human rights organizations, including the Innocence Project, where he assists the Project in its attempt to remedy and rebut pseudoscientific expert testimony. In recognition of his efforts, Spencer was named a 2014 Empire State Counsel by the New York State Bar Association.
  • Partner Catherine M. Ward received Pro Bono Award for 15 years of service from the Camden Area Health Education Centers, Inc.
  • Counsel David F. Roeber received the 2019 Chancellor’s Award for Alumni Civic Engagement from Rutgers University – Camden for his significant contributions to the city of Camden through his establishment and leadership of the law clinic at Urban Promise.
  • David also received the New Jersey State Bar Association Pro Bono Award for helping to form and launch the Volunteer UP Legal Clinic in Camden, New Jersey (formerly, UrbanPromise Legal Clinic). The Volunteer UP Legal Clinic is a joint initiative between Volunteers of America Delaware Valley and UrbanPromise to provide much-needed legal assistance to the economically disadvantaged clients of both non-profit organizations to help remove barriers to their success.
  • Stradley Ronon and Jeff Grossman were recognized for their partnership with Musicopia and their commitment to pro bono work at the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 2019 Faces of Philanthropy awards ceremony. Jeff is a former member of the board of directors for Musicopia and is heavily involved in many of its programs.

Highlighted Representations

  • Resolved successfully a case for a pro bono client who was charged in August 2015 with vehicular homicide while driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident. The client was incarcerated for 5 ½ months until Stradley Ronon attorneys demonstrated that he did not recklessly cause the accident and that he had no alcohol or drugs in his blood. The Commonwealth withdrew all charges with the exception of leaving the scene of an accident with a death involved.
  • Stradley Ronon Partner Mark E. Chopko, and Associate Brandon M. Riley were responsible for filing a brief amici curiae with the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops and the Catholic Mobilization Network to support the petition for certiorari of a prisoner who was unconstitutionally sentenced to death by the State of Texas in part because of his race. After the Supreme Court vacated that sentence and ordered another sentencing hearing, the prisoner was sentenced again to death after Texas prosecutors used the deterioration of his mental condition while wrongfully imprisoned in solitary confinement on death row against him as an aggravating factor of future danger.
  • Stradley Ronon lawyers Michelle H. BadolatoLara N. Burke and Andrea M. Smith secured a visa for an abused, unaccompanied, immigrant child. When Lara Burke joined Stradley Ronon in 2022, she brought the case with her to the firm, building upon the firm’s long-standing tradition of voluntary pro bono work. U.S. immigration policy is very complex, and this was an extremely difficult case involving an unmarried client under the age of 21 who entered the U.S. as an unaccompanied minor and is a victim of abuse and neglect. The immigrant child client’s Special Immigrant Juvenile Status petition was approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This visa will allow their client to apply for a green card and ultimately obtain lawful permanent residency in the U.S.