January 3, 2017

Dear Grantee of the Barbara McDowell Foundation:

            Your organization was a recent grantee of the Barbara McDowell Foundation (www.McDowellfoundation.org).  Currently the Foundation is searching for organizations to partner with in high impact pro bono cases. As you can see from reviewing the Foundation’s website the Foundation has joined with social justice organizations since 2010 to bring high impact cases in a variety of civil rights areas including immigration, domestic violence, housing, disability, and voting rights.   Our approach to such litigation is to work with a social justice organization in matters consistent with the Foundation’s overall goals.  Our mission is to support the social justice organization by utilizing attorneys here at Drinker Biddle and providing funding for expenses agreed upon with the organization.

            The Foundation believes that a complete team effort works best.  Should there be a fee award associated with the litigation.  Drinker Biddle would remit back to the social justice organization up to fifty percent of its awarded amount and, in some cases, more.  That percentage would be agreed upon at the outset of the litigation effort.  Traditionally, Drinker Biddle enters into both a written partnership agreement with the organization and a written project plan outlining responsibilities of the social justice organization and of Drinker Biddle in the anticipated litigation. 

            We have enjoyed a wonderful rapport with our partnering social justice organizations and have frequently achieved remarkable results. The video noted here is a testimonial by some of our social justice litigation partners that was presented in 2016 at the fifth anniversary celebration of the founding of the Foundation.  We believe that you will find it informative.

            You should feel free to contact any of the organizations listed on the Foundation’s website to discover how our team effort has worked.  More than ever such high impact pro bono litigation is necessary now to achieve a fair and just society for all Americans.

            The Foundation looks forward to hearing from you as we begin to review litigation proposals.


Jerry Hartman
Barbara McDowell Foundation