News and Information
September 23, 2020

Freddie Mac Receives 2020 Frankie Muse Freeman Pro Bono Award

The Frankie Muse Freeman Organizational Pro Bono Award for 2020 has been awarded to the Freddie Mac Legal Department by the VSB Standing Committee on Access to Legal Services. Freddie Mac is a leader in the secondary mortgage market, assisting homebuyers and renters across the country obtain residences.

In his nomination letter, James A. Ferguson, executive director of Legal Services of Northern Virginia (LSNV) said, “Freddie Mac and Legal Services of Northern Virginia have a pro bono partnership going back almost 30 years. In fact, no firm or company has been a more important supporter and partner to LSNV.”

Ferguson went on to explain that the Freddie Mac legal department now hosts six legal clinics per year at its headquarters in McLean, and in the midst of the pandemic, “Freddie Mac rose to the occasion, donating invaluable time, 125 hours, and expertise, 8 volunteers, to this endeavor. The result was not just a successful remote clinic on June 11, and on July 21, but the establishment of replicable procedures for conducting remote clinics.”

Freddie Mac’s pro bono endeavors are expansive and ongoing. Darcy Cunningham, executive director of Fairfax CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for children) noted in her nomination letter that Freddie Mac took on an extensive and time-consuming overhaul of the nonprofit’s records retention practices. Said Cunningham, “The reality is that their efforts will impact far beyond our program. What came out of their hard work is a streamlined, sensible system that I have shared with the network of 27 CASA programs across Virginia—programs that run on a shoestring budget and simply don’t have access to the resources our program has such as the pro bono donation of time and brilliance that we have been so fortunate to have from Freddie Mac.

The annual Frankie Muse Freeman Organizational Pro Bono Award recognizes Virginia organizations that provide exemplary pro bono legal services to underserved Virginians. The award is named for civil rights icon Frankie Muse Freeman, who was born in Danville in 1916, and who served as co-counsel on the NAACP’s successful racial discrimination suit against the St. Louis Board of Education in 1949 and was lead attorney on the NAACP’s landmark housing lawsuit, Davis et al vs. St. Louis Housing Authority, which ended legalized racial discrimination in public housing in 1952.

Updated: Sep 23, 2020