Lawyers in all Sidley offices actively engage in a wide variety of community programs, giving back to the broader community on many levels. Some Sidley lawyers volunteer to help in activities in which they use their legal skills, while other lawyers devote time to the arts, children’s education and other community endeavors. These activities range from reading to elementary children, to helping law school moot court teams, to training students in important mediation skills, to providing meals to homeless individuals and to participating in office-wide blood drives.
During a May 2014 reception in Washington, D.C., Sidley was among 43 law firms recognized for donating a total of more than $3.6 million to local legal service providers as part of the inaugural “Raising the Bar in D.C.” fundraiser. Secretary of Housing Thomas Perezspoke at the event honoring those firms responding to the D.C. Access to Justice Commission’s call for increased funding for legal services for vulnerable D.C. residents. Sidley’s D.C. office, which was honored as a silver-level donor, was one of the eight original law firms that joined in the launch of the Campaign by pledging to donate funds to local legal services providers.
The D.C. office held its eighth annual Sidley Service week in July 2014. We had great participation in events ranging from a viewing of the documentary, “The Central Park Five” to stuffing book bags for the Children’s Law Center. We received dozens of clothing donations for Dress for Success and Career Gear and raised over $2500 in toiletries and cash donations for Miriam’s Kitchen. We also donated 18 units of blood to INOVA Blood Donor Services.
Paul Hemmersbaugh in our Washington, D.C. office serves as the appointed General Counsel to the District of Columbia Bar, the second largest Bar in the United States, with nearly 100,000 members. Working with a number of other Sidley lawyers, Paul provides volunteer legal advice and services to the D.C. Bar and its Board of Governors, the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program, the Office of Bar Counsel and the Board on Professional Responsibility, and the many divisions and programs run by the Bar. A Sidley partner has served as General Counsel of the Bar for more than ten years.
On June 14, Team Sidley posted a phenomenal performance finishing in 2nd place in the “Large Law Firm” division in the Lawyers Have Heart 10K road race. Jeff Bosh in D.C. organizes the event for Sidley.
On June 18, 2014, our New York office hosted its annual Sidley Service Day, a day-long volunteer event that brings lawyers and summer associates together to perform community service in a New York City neighborhood. Sidley Service Day is presented in conjunction with New York Cares, New York City’s premier non-profit organization for bringing volunteer support services to non-profit agencies, public schools and other organizations. This year, more than 60 Sidley lawyers and summer associates traveled to the Elijah Stroud Academy Middle School in Brooklyn to revitalize the school and make it more navigable and accessible to its students and faculty. The day’s projects included repainting murals outside the school, constructing and arranging new furniture, and reorganizing the school’s textbook storage facilities.
On July 15, 2014, Sidley’s New York office hosted a volunteer event to benefit members of Grameen PrimaCare, a non-profit providing low-income women with innovative healthcare solutions. The event was co-sponsored with the Legal and Compliance Division of longtime firm client Morgan Stanley, with whom we have partnered for this event for several years, and presented in association with New York Cares. The attendees included over 100 lawyers, compliance professionals and summer associates, who assembled over 750 care kits.
Sidley’s pro bono work and our relationship with long-time client Public Counsel, the largest public interest law firm in Los Angeles, were highlighted in an interview that KTLA-TV in Los Angeles conducted with Thomas Powell a few days before the 2013 ASICS LA Marathon. Sidley runners regularly team with their colleagues at Public Counsel to participate in the Run for Justice, a 5K run/walk held in conjunction with the Los Angeles Marathon. In 2014 Sidley Austin sent its biggest team yet to participate in the Public Counsel Run for Justice.
The Sidley Austin 2014 Run for Justice Team
Pictured (from left to right): Stuart Edmiston, Patrick Kennell, Niccolo Barber, Mark Haddad, Laura Richardson, Patrick Liu, Erick Jimenez, Helena Tseregounis, Amanda Lopez, Thomas Powell, and in the stroller, Patrick Kennell’s daughter Ani. Not Pictured: Gloria Kula, Nicole Bigley, Claudia Espinoza, Laura Mitchell.
Sidley gives Public Counsel two thumbs up.
Pictured (from left to right): Patrick Liu, Stuart Edmiston, Thomas Powell.
Other recent community service activities are described in the 2013 Pro Bono Community Service Report, starting at page 23.