Over the past two years, Bass, Berry & Sims pro bono attorneys have worked with PURE Academy, a nonprofit, private school in Memphis, Tennessee, to ensure that the organization will have facilities to grow its mission to empower underprivileged school-aged males through academics, mentoring, and athletics. PURE Academy operates an inner-city boarding school with a holistic program where it houses, feeds, educates, mentors and provides athletic training for its students.

The firm has provided pro bono counsel on matters for PURE in support of its mission. In 2022, the firm handled a Private Development (PD) application through the Division of Planning & Development, Land Use Control Board, and Memphis City Council to obtain basic approval for the 3.5-acre campus in South Memphis. This year, the firm has worked on the acquisition of the new 7-acre campus in North Memphis where PURE will be able to serve 300 young men, greatly expanding the number of youth served.

John Golwen, who leads the team supporting PURE, noted: “This is pro bono work that supports real systemic change. PURE helps break the cycle of generational poverty in Memphis by sending its graduates to college – almost always the first in their family to attend – and providing mentors who make sure the students have the support needed to succeed in college. Using our skills and experience as attorneys to ensure that the organization and the young men that it serves have facilities to match the mission is pro bono work at its very best.”