The Alston & Bird commitment to the community was established from the beginning by Mr. Philip Alston, Judge Buster Bird, and many other lawyers and our current pro bono practice continues this well-established tradition.
Noteworthy Pro Bono Moments in History
- Ashbel Green worked to resolve the famous Disputed Presidential Election of 1876.
- Philip H. Alston was one of the co-founders of the Atlanta Legal Aid Society in 1924.
- Philip H. Alston was one of the founders of the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.
- F.M. “Buster” Bird founded an educational exchange program for students at Emory University.
- In 1976, Bob Foreman was successful in his efforts to save the historic Fox Theater in Atlanta Georgia.
- Assisted with the formation of AID Atlanta’s first AID Walk in 1990.
- Terry Walsh, together with Judge Glenda Hatchett, founded the Truancy Intervention Project, a program to provide intervention for truant children in 1991. This program serves as a nationwide prototype.
- In 2004, a group of Alston & Bird attorneys and staff together with others in the legal community organized the Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network (GAIN).
- Alston & Bird worked with the Center for Constitutional Rights in representing five detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay.
- Retired Managing Partner, Ben F. Johnson was recognized by The American Lawyer and received the Law Firm Distinguished Leadership Award in 2010.
- Recipient of the Pro Bono Institute’s nationally coveted John H. Pickering Award.
- In 2015, Alston & Bird volunteers were instrumental in the formation of Georgia PATENTS.
Wills for Schools
Alston & Bird’s Wills for Schools Project is now in its sixth year of operation. In partnership with TIAA, volunteer lawyers, paralegals and staff members provide wills, estate planning and powers of attorney for Charlotte Mecklenburg School (CMS) employees. Wills for Schools is a one-day event modeled after the "Wills for Heroes" program, a successful project that the North Carolina Bar has been running for several years that serves first responders—fire fighters, police and EMTs. Wills for Schools serves individuals on the front lines of our public schools—teachers and school support staff. This annual event brings together nearly 100 volunteers to assist the individuals serving the children of the Charlotte community.
The Guardianship Project
In the spring of 2010, United Parcel Service partnered with Alston & Bird and the Atlanta Legal Aid Society in establishing the Guardianship Project. This initiative works to obtain adult guardianships for individuals who are at the end stages of life. UPS and Alston & Bird represent relatives in probate court to get temporary or permanent custody guardianship orders for individuals who are no longer competent to make decisions about their care and other matters. The collaboration between UPS and Alston & Bird has also allowed Atlanta Legal Aid’s Health Law Unit to expand the scope of services available to the client population to include caregivers affected by the life-threatening illness of a loved one.
"The UPS Legal Department has a formal legal pro bono program and recognizes its commitment to pro bono service to those in our community that would not otherwise have access to such services. Our commitment to pro bono service has been enhanced by our collaboration with Alston & Bird on several pro bono projects. The firm not only shares our core value to give back to our communities, it does so with unparalleled zeal. The attorney-client relationship between A&B and UPS is strengthened each and every time we work together on pro bono activities." - Rick Rufolo, Vice President, Legal, UPS