Patton Boggs Foundation
Patton Boggs maintains a longstanding commitment to corporate social responsibility. By providing a meaningful investment in law students and legal professionals to engage in law, public policy, and public service, the Patton Boggs Foundation embodies this commitment.
The Foundation is rooted in a history of civil rights advocacy. In 2000, Patton Boggs LLP established the Patton Boggs Foundation in honor of the retirement of the firm’s founding partner James R. Patton, Jr. To endow the Foundation, the Firm dedicated attorneys’ fees from a 25-year pro bono case, the Ironworkers Case, won by Foundation President John Oberdorfer. In the case, a federal court in Washington D.C. struck down racial barriers faced by African-American construction workers.
The Foundation’s endowment has continued to grow through the proceeds of a second large pro bono victory, the Yachtsman Case, won by Patton Boggs General Counsel Rick Talisman. Mr. Talisman successfully settled a federal racial discrimination suit against a hotel resort that discriminated against African American bikers during Black Bike Week in Myrtle Beach.
Throughout the years, the Foundation has also been supported by generous individual contributions from partners and friends of the firm.
Public Policy Fellowship Program
The cornerstone of the Foundation is the Public Policy Fellowship Program, which launched in 2005. Each year, the Program awards fellowships to exceptional first- and second-year law students who demonstrate a steadfast commitment to public service and a developed interest in public policy. These law students commit their summers to advancing public policy issues through non-profit institutions, government agencies and domestic or international organizations.
To date, the Foundation has provided fellowships to almost 150 law students at 14 law schools located throughout the country. The Fellowship Program reflects the Firm’s industry-leading public policy practice and its commitment to public service.
“Issues of Our Time”
In 2008, the Foundation inaugurated the “Issues of Our Time” speaker series to provide a forum within Patton Boggs to discuss issues related to law, public policy, and public service, and to define how lawyers in the private sector can engage in public service.
Our events have featured the former Solicitor General Walter Dellinger and Alan Gura, who argued the District of Columbia handgun case before the Supreme Court, former Solicitor General of Texas Ted Cruz, former president of the World Bank James Wolfensohn, and Secretary William T. Coleman, the first African-American Secretary of Transportation and civil rights attorney.
In 2012, the Foundation unveiled its “Heritage Series”, coinciding with the firm’s 50th anniversary. The “Heritage Series” chronicles the firm’s milestones and legacy through oral history. The first of the “Heritage Series” events featured Patton Boggs Chairman Thomas Hale Boggs, Jr.