Youth Advocacy Foundation YAF

Robert McDonnell

Partner, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

In 2011, the EdLaw Project sought a host organization to sponsor an Equal Justice Works (EJW) Fellow. We approached Bingham McCutchen, now part of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, through Joe Kociubes, a longtime YAF supporter. Joe immediately referred us to Bob McDonnell. Bob took all our calls, set up meetings at the firm, and expressed considerable interest in our work. Nothing in his thoughtful and gracious demeanor reflected the fact that he is one of the busiest and most accomplished environmental lawyers in town!

Bob’s environmental compliance and permitting work has involved clean water, wetlands, storm water, clean air, noise, solid waste, oil pollution, hazardous waste, pharmaceutical waste, and radioactive materials. Bob’s work includes providing admiralty and maritime advice, as well as advice on the planning, permitting, construction and operation of marine terminals and other waterfront facilities. Bob was a longtime member of the Wellesley Wetlands Commission and is a board member of the Boston Harbor Association.

Over the course of the last four years, Bob secured the funding to support the work of EdLaw Project attorney Michele Scavongelli, first as an Equal Justice Works Fellow and then for an additional two years as a Morgan Lewis & Bockius EdLaw Fellow. Behind the scenes, he quietly led the effort to engage numerous Morgan Lewis lawyers in handling education law cases on a pro bono basis.

Bob has long been one of the most influential supporters of pro bono work in his firm and in Boston, writing amicus briefs for many organizations including the ACLU and The Nature Conservancy, providing representation in a death penalty case, and representing Belfast Project Scholars in protecting confidential interviews of Ireland combatants. He serves his own clients brilliantly, finds lawyers for pro bono cases, secures money for non-profits, all with no thought of personal recognition or accolades. That is why we are so pleased to honor Bob on the Fifteenth Anniversary of the founding of the Youth Advocacy Foundation. We can’t imagine anyone who is more deserving or more committed to helping others get the legal help that they need.