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Pro bono

We seek opportunities to put our professional experience to work for individuals and non-profit organizations in need. In 2001 and 2007, the firm received the Columbus Bar Foundation’s highest award for outstanding pro bono service to the central Ohio community. More recently, the Columbus Bar Foundation (CBF)/Columbus Bar Association (CBA) honored the firm with its 2013 Pro Bono Award. While we take on a diverse portfolio of pro bono cases each year, much of our work is concentrated on children and family rights, fair housing, bankruptcy proceedings, immigration law and commercial business issues.


  • Representing a non-profit that serves our community’s legal needs, we served as litigation counsel to the Columbus Bar Association (CBA) in connection with its case against various entities and individuals involved in a trust mill and the unauthorized practice of law. Our attorneys obtained favorable summary judgment victories for the CBA as well as dismissal and attorneys’ fees in a collateral lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Ohio Supreme Court’s rules regarding the unauthorized practice of law.
  • In a case that generated significant media attention, Porter Wright represented Wendell Humphrey, a Shoshone-Bannock Indian, against the Ohio Department of Corrections. Mr. Humphrey was a corrections officer at a prison facility in Ohio who was asked to cut his hair or be subject to termination. Mr. Humphrey objected, insisting that the length of his hair had cultural and religious significance for him as a tribe member. Porter Wright attorneys successfully argued before the Ohio Supreme Court that the Ohio Constitution’s religious freedom clause supported Mr. Humphrey’s hair length decision as a reasonable exercise of his religious beliefs.
  • Over the past 10 years, Porter Wright has provided real estate and land use legal services surrounding the development of the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville, Pa. Patrick White, an experienced land use lawyer in the Firm's Naples, Fla., office, has dedicated more than 2,000 hours of pro bono legal counsel through Porter Wright in efforts to obtain nearly all of the 1,500 acres of land needed to help push the Flight 93 Memorial from concept to reality. The Firm is proud to continue to support Patrick in his mission to honor those lives lost in Pennsylvania on 9/11.


Each year the firm’s work with legal non-profits and non-governmental organizations has allowed our attorneys to apply their legal skills to improve the lives of the people in our community. The following are some of our partners in pro bono service:
  • Columbus Legal Aid Society
  • Lawyers for Justice
  • Capital University Family Advocacy Clinic
  • Columbus Coalition Against Family Violence
  • Open Shelter
  • Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation
  • Huckleberry House
  • Columbus Museum of Art
  • Columbus Speech and Hearing Center
  • Central Community House