Robinson Bradshaw is committed to our clients and to the communities in which we do business. Our attorneys have a strong tradition of public service to a wide range of charitable, professional and community organizations. The firm encourages and supports our lawyers who give back to the community through volunteerism, leadership and financial support.
Four of our lawyers – Russell M. Robinson II, Robert C. Sink, A. Ward McKeithen and Robert E. Harrington – have served as president of the Mecklenburg County Bar Association. Robert Sink previously served as president of the North Carolina State Bar. And, John R. Wester served as president of the North Carolina Bar Association.
In addition, Richard A. Vinroot was a member of the Charlotte City Council from 1983-91 and mayor of the city of Charlotte from 1991-95. And, Ward McKeithen served as a member of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Board of Education from 1976-88.
Our firm has long recognized a civil and professional responsibility to address the unmet legal needs of the indigent and disadvantaged population. We provide pro bono services to individuals and organizations that assist this underserved population, including matters referred by Legal Aid of North Carolina, Inc., Mecklenburg County Bar Domestic Violence program, Legal Services for the Elderly, Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy (formerly Legal Services of Southern Piedmont) and the Council for Children’s Rights.
Lawyers at the firm also provide pro bono assistance to nonprofit charitable organizations in the community. Services include corporate organization, financing, real estate acquisitions and other business transactions.
The firm also performs pro bono criminal work, particularly in the areas of appointed criminal appeals and post-conviction capital representation.
- Robinson Bradshaw established a group of attorneys to represent domestic violence victims in Mecklenburg County’s "50-B" hearings in domestic violence court and defense of tenants in landlord/tenant disputes.
- The firm was involved in the creation of the Children and Family Services Center in uptown Charlotte. Robinson Bradshaw attorneys handled all the legal work for this Center, from incorporation to leasing to loans. The Center has become a national model for the effective delivery of services to urban poor families and children.
- The firm served as lead counsel in Hyatt v. Shalala, a class action for North Carolina's disabled citizens. In partnership with Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, the firm prosecuted the case through its 20-year run in the federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. As a result, approximately 150,000 North Carolinians won new disability hearings under new standards, and the Social Security Administration revised a national regulation on disability. The firm devoted more than 4,500 hours to this case and donated attorneys' fees exceeding $450,000 to the Volunteer Lawyers Project and the Mecklenburg County Bar Foundation. For our advocacy in Hyatt, Robinson Bradshaw was the first law firm in the nation to receive the American Bar Association's Pro Bono Publico Award.
Awards & Recognition
Robinson Bradshaw and our attorneys are frequently recognized for community involvement. Examples of awards and recognition include:
- The American Bar Association's Pro Bono Publico Award
- The North Carolina Bar Association's Pro Bono Award for Large Law Firms
- The Outstanding Firm Pro Bono Service Award from Legal Aid of North Carolina
- Thomas P. Holderness received the William L. Thorp Pro Bono Attorney of the Year
- Will Packard was named the Mecklenburg County Pro Bono Attorney of the Year
- John R. Wester received the Distinguished Pro Bono Service Award from Legal Aid of North Carolina, Legal Services of Southern Piedmont and Council for Children's Rights
- Several attorneys have received the Citizen Lawyer Award, presented by the North Carolina Bar Association to lawyers who provide exemplary public service to their communities. Firm recipients include Robert E. Harrington, Thomas P. Holderness, Brandon M. Lofton, Angelique R. Vincent-Hamacher and Julian H. Wright Jr.
- Seven Robinson Bradshaw attorneys were inducted in the N.C. Pro Bono Honor Society inaugural class. Members of the honor society each self-reported at least 50 pro bono service hours in 2016 to the North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission.