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Trial Lawyers Care®

An initiative to encourage, recognize, and organize trial lawyers who contribute to their communities through volunteer and charitable activities that serve the public good.

A Humanitarian Crisis

 

In December 2023, Chicago-based Zneimer & Zneimer joined dedicated volunteers to help newly arrived migrants (mainly from Venezuela) in Chicago. Thousands needed urgent help. Some took refuge in police stations; others braved the unforgiving chill in tents or out on cardboard. Volunteers met the crisis with determination, helping to provide essential items.

 

The firm asked colleagues at the American Association for Justice, the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association to help and offered their law firm as a shipping destination. The firm received and distributed 30 sleeping bags, 900 mylar blankets, 50 pairs of gloves, 50 hats, 100 sets of underwear for men and women, and 20 puffer jackets.

 

The City of Chicago has now opened several shelters to accommodate the migrants. The migrants receive three meals a day and some other services, but they must find permanent housing within 60 days. To assist, they receive three-month rental vouchers; however, due to a lack of work authorization, many return to seek shelter after three months. There is a push to file Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and asylum as predicate for work authorization, but there are not enough attorneys to handle that many people. There are some outreach programs, but not everyone qualifies for TPS, and even fewer people qualify for asylum.

 

Overcrowding and diseases are common in the shelters. In December, five-year-old Jean Carlos Martinez died from sepsis caused by strep throat, a preventable condition with timely medical care.

 

Housing remains a critical issue, exacerbated by the high cost and scarcity of affordable rentals and the reluctance of landlords to rent without conducting credit checks. Volunteers are contacting landlords, urging them to accept the three-month vouchers.

 

“It is quite common to see migrants selling candies, begging with their young children, or holding signs seeking employment. This dire situation clearly represents a humanitarian crisis,” said partner, Sofia Zneimer.

 

Volunteers have formed a Facebook-based network named ChiWelcome for individuals in shelters. This platform provides information on how to help, including links to volunteer-run free stores, Amazon wish lists, and other resources.

 

We urge people to help in any way possible.

AAJ's TLC
Giving Back Every Day

Our lawyers give back by providing food and clothing for vulnerable families; promoting safe driving to students; establishing scholarships and charitable foundations; building affordable housing; helping after disasters, and more.

Jon Perry

Jon R. Perry

Rosen & Perry, P.C. Pittsburgh, PA
2023 Trial Lawyers Care Award Winner

When Jon Perry’s toddler son was admitted to hospital for cancer treatment, he noticed many other children in the oncology wing were alone and frightened. Jon and his wife, Joni, felt lucky to be able to take time off work and stay with their son during his chemotherapy treatment. Many parents do not have this luxury. After their son’s discharge in 2000, the Perrys formed “Pennies From Heaven” to provide the means for other parents to stay with their hospitalized children. Donations range from overnight toiletry bags and brown bag lunches to monetary assistance for lost wages for parents who lack sick and vacation days and are not covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act. The nonprofit also helps with transportation costs, mortgage payments, sibling care, and more. The Perrys formed their own 501(c)(3), which has raised over $3 million and made donations to over 900,000 families. The Perrys pride themselves on the fact the “every penny donated goes to a family in need.”

Recent Member Stories

AAJ Winter Convention Service Project

A group of men and women posed for a photo and looking at the camera.

 

Thank you to everyone who volunteered for the AAJ caucus and TLC convention service project at the Central Texas Food Bank, the largest hunger-relief charity in Central Texas. The organization works with food donors, financial supporters, and volunteers to fill unmet needs in Central Texas. Last year alone, the charity provided 54 million meals to their community.

AAJ members worked on an assembly line at the food bank to fill boxes of food for seniors who receive a monthly box of food through a federally funded program supporting around 4,000 Texas seniors. It was a productive day’s work – 718 boxes of food totaling 18,200 meals! Thanks again to the AAJ members who participated!

Miracle on 34th Street

Los Angeles Trial Lawyers’ Charities (LATLC) hosted their 8th holiday giving event – Comfort & Joy – on December 9. For the third year, LATLC partnered with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Newton Division, Los Angeles Fire Department, and local community organizations to select 500 low-income families in South Central Los Angeles. Each family received bags of groceries and household items. More than 2,300 toys were given to the children as they visited with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, wrote personal wishes on holiday hearts, and played with farm animals in the petting zoo.

 

“Thanks to the many law firms and vendors who support LATLC throughout the year. It was our biggest holiday event,” said 2023 LATLC President Karina N. Lallande.

 

This year, LATLC expanded the number and type of items that they traditionally provide. With record financial contributions from attorneys and supporters, LATLC raised and provided nearly $40,000 in groceries, activities, and toys for this incredible event. Target and Mattel also donated nearly 1,000 toys.

 

More than 100 volunteers transformed the parking lot at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, located at 34th and South Central Avenue into a winter wonderland. Lallande added, “This really was a Miracle on 34th Street.”

 

Bringing Joy in the Holidays

A man and a woman standing side by side in a parking lot smiling at the camera. They are surrounded by 3 rolling tubs filled with toys and a moving truck is behind them.Alabama-based Hodges Trial Lawyers has organized a toy drive every year since 2013. Each year, the firm has worked to make it bigger. The toy drive directly benefits Kids To Love, an organization based in Huntsville that serves foster children across North Alabama and Southern Tennessee. 

 

The firm has held an annual CLE to support the toy drive since 2017. The CLE was a hit, and the lawyers who attended the toy drive went above and beyond. This year, the firm added a Toy Drive Finale Party for lawyers and non-lawyers. The attendees wrote generous checks and brought wonderful toys and gift cards for teenagers in foster care.

 

“We encourage donors to buy like they were buying for their own children. This year, they really stepped up to the plate. We filled several wish lists, including a beautiful violin for a budding musician. We could not do it without our friends, fellow lawyers, and clients that donate. This year was our best year yet. We had so many toys, bicycles, and electronics that we had to rent a box truck to deliver them all. We are already planning for next year,” said firm principal Jeremiah Hodges.

Supporting a Worthy Cause

Thomas Law Offices recently sponsored the 2023 Bark in the Park 5k at Seneca Park in Louisville, KY, which was organized by the Animal Care Society. This nonprofit is Louisville’s first No-Kill shelter whose purpose is to find new, safe, and loving homes for adoptable dogs and cats. There were more than 375 participants in the race and hundreds of festival attendees, making the race one of the most successful events they’ve hosted.  Over the years, Thomas Law Offices has sponsored various events with this organization, knowing that their work is meaningful to the Louisville community. Over 15 firm employees ran the race and raised money for this worthy cause.

 

“At Thomas Law Offices, we believe that one of the many ways we support our clients is by supporting our community and helping bring awareness to organizations such as these,” said Owner and Managing Partner, Tad Thomas.

Protecting the Vulnerable

Plaintiff law firm Beasley Allen serves its communities through traditional legal services, pro bono work or volunteering. In 2023, the firm provided pro bono work focusing on sex trafficking and criminal record expungement for Street Grace and Frontline Response.

Street Grace collaborates with business and community leaders to provide a pathway to end the sexual exploitation of minors. Through community resources like Beasley Allen’s lawyers, they work to give communities the power to stand up, speak out, and take action.

Frontline Response works to help individuals out of sex trafficking and homelessness while preventing others from becoming victims. Along with community outreach, they train first responders, hospitals, and judges. The organization also advocates for legislative and policy changes that fight against sex trafficking.

“Working with Street Grace and Frontline Response means extending our commitment to protecting the vulnerable. In this case, the future of our youth,” said Beasley Allen pro bono coordinator and principal attorney Chad Cook.

Help Make the World A Better Place

Mission 1:11 is a volunteer based 501(c) 3 non-profit, committed to partnering with communities in Haiti and the Philippines to help meet basic needs through access to medical, educational, and economic assistance. Mission 1:11 empowers people to help make the world a better place with a grassroots approach. AAJ member Katie Hubbard is the president and co-founder of Mission 1:11 and has traveled to Haiti and the Philippines to connect with people and serve. 

They provide financial, educational, medical, and spiritual support to a children’s home that houses twelve children in St. Marc, Haiti along with other schools in the community. To do this, Mission 1:11 developed strong relationships with community leaders to serve and help in their communities effectively. Some children at the home have graduated high school and are going on to college, trade school, or leadership programs. 

For years, volunteers would travel to Haiti and the Philippines to provide food and medical care to the community. Since 2020, the organization has shifted to providing much of this care online through local contacts and a telehealth program that has trained nurses to give care and use laptops that were sent to allow patients to see doctors in the United States online. They have also connected teachers in the United States with teachers in Haiti and the Philippines online and shared new curriculum and training opportunities. The goal is to provide Haitians and Filipinos with the support and encouragement to do what they know is best and care for their neighbors. 

Mission 1:11 assists schools through providing backpacks and school supplies; teacher training; and trade school equipment in Haiti and the Philippines. These activities are funded through individual donations from all kinds of people committed to helping others. The name Mission 1:11 comes from a verse in the Bible – 2 Thessalonians 1:11 – “May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.”

 

Ankin Law Sponsors the Teacher of the Month

Chicago-based Ankin Law has sponsored the Teacher of the Month on Chicago’s WGN Channel 9 since fall 2020. During the school year, students across Chicago send nominations (for elementary, special needs, and high school teachers) to the station. A news anchor interviews the winning teacher on TV in a short segment.

 

“Ankin Law is proud to support Chicago’s teachers. It’s inspiring to witness, firsthand, the impact a great teacher can have on a student. Our involvement allows us to see this play out every month,” said Howard Ankin.

 

Ankin or an Ankin Law representative joins the news crew at the school, speaks to the teacher, addresses the class, and presents a $1000 check to the winning teacher (made out to the school) for the teacher to use for supplies.

The partnership goes beyond financial underwriting; it’s an opportunity to meet the teachers, students, and their classes. Ankin Law then shines the spotlight on the award-winning teachers by sharing the news segment on Ankin Law social media platforms and in their monthly newsletter.A photo of two men, one is holding an oversized check as they are surrounded by school age children

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Joel Feldman speaking to students.
Trial Lawyers in Action
End Distracted Driving

After his 21-year-old daughter Casey was killed by a distracted driver in 2009, trial lawyer Joel Feldman created a safety campaign in her memory. Hundreds of trial lawyers have volunteered to give the End Distracted Driving (EndDD) presentation across North America.

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A History of Service
Action After Tragedy

Trial Lawyers Care® launched 13 days after the 9/11 attacks in 2001. More than 1,100 TLC attorneys volunteered, providing free legal help to more than 1,700 families who applied for federal financial assistance.

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