The law firm of Fish & Richardson is the newest addition to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office and its Domestic Violence pro bono program, according to The MetroWest Daily News.
By joining the program, the law firm makes a commitment to offer victims of domestic violence free legal services when they need a restraining order. The partnership was announced by Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan on Friday.
“Our pro bono program provides a vital service to victims of domestic violence and we are grateful for the addition of Fish & Richardson to this important effort,” Ryan said in a statement.
“With Fish & Richardson, we now have 11 Boston-area law firms that provide free legal assistance to help a survivor navigate the civil restraining order process.”
The program started in 2008 in an effort to solve a large gap in how domestic violence victims receive legal services when in need of a restraining order. Victims of domestic violence are not allowed to be represented by Assistant District Attorneys because the issue is a civil matter. Most of the victims cannot afford an attorney because in most instances, the abuser is the person who runs the finances for the couple.
The first two firms to join the program were Proskauer Rose and Cooley Manion Jones. Since the program started, some 100 victims have been helped by the firms that belong. Of those 100 or so victims helped, the program has enjoyed a 97 percent success rate for cases resolved in favor of the victim.