As charitable organizations work to improve inadequate facilities or build new ones, legal bills may hold them back from their mission. Building for Good, Inc. (B4G), a national, web-based platform linking nonprofits and charities with skilled, volunteer construction lawyers, launched this month in Massachusetts, Florida, New Jersey, and Minnesota. B4G will help organizations in need of construction law assistance find qualified, local attorneys to provide pro bono construction law services.
A group of attorneys from the American Bar Association (ABA) Forum on Construction Law recognized the untapped potential of expertise among the Forum attorneys who wanted to give back to their communities. Prior to the launch of B4G, there was no channel linking lawyers to nonprofit organizations in need of pro bono construction law services.
“We noticed there was no easy way for volunteer lawyers to find nonprofit organizations in need of construction law help. B4G will help to bridge that gap,” said Boston construction attorney William M. Hill. Mr. Hill, a Member at Mintz, is a Founder and Chair of B4G, serves on the organization’s Board of Directors, and previously served as Chair of the ABA’s 6,000-member Forum on Construction Law.
“By providing the platform through which lawyers and organizations can connect, B4G will help the nonprofits and charities achieve their goals by focusing funds on mission delivery, not legal services,” said Mr. Hill.
Charitable organizations with construction-related legal issues and a financial need can contact B4G for more information and eligibility requirements. Examples of eligible organizations include foodbanks; domestic violence and homeless shelters; organizations helping citizens with physical, emotional, or mental disabilities; schools serving underserved populations; conservation and art organizations promoting access to the arts and outdoors by people of all backgrounds; and animal protection organizations. Volunteer construction attorneys, who are members of American Bar Association Forum on Construction Law, may provide legal services ranging from transactional work such as drafting and negotiating construction and design agreements, to assisting clients in construction litigation, mediation, or arbitration relating to design or construction defects.
B4G launches with a goal to help worthy community organizations save resources and focus on their mission and encourages skilled construction lawyers to join the B4G Network to give back.
Law firms that are currently part of the B4G national network include:
• Anderson & Kreiger
• Carlton Fields
• Clark Partington
• Commonsense Construction Law LLC
• Fabyanske, Westra, Hart & Thomson
• Foley & Lardner LLP
• Gray Robinson
• Heley Duncan & Melander
• Hill Ward Henderson
• Hinckley Allen
• Holland & Knight
• Kubes Law Offices, PLLC
• Lane McNamara LLP
• Larson King
• Lewis DiBiasi Zaita & Higgins
• Murtha Cullina
• Peckar & Abramson
• Preti Flaherty
• Ruberto Israel & Weiner
• Siegfried Rivera
• Stinson LLP
• TTLO Law
• Watt Tieder
Building for Good is actively looking for projects in its pilot states. To submit a project for consideration, volunteer or donate, please visit the Building for Good webpage.
B4G is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization based in Massachusetts, with a mission to further local philanthropic efforts by utilizing skills-based volunteering from within the construction law industry. B4G is launching pilot services in Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New Jersey but plans to expand to additional states in 2020.