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Volunteer

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.

Support Puerto Rico

Following the widespread devastation caused by Hurricane Fiona, the people of Puerto Rico urgently need support. AAJ’s Caucuses and Trial Lawyers Care are teaming up to help. Please donate to these two organizations:

  • PRxPR: The group provides aid for short- and long-term humanitarian needs focused on food/agriculture, clean water, and fuel/renewable energy initiatives. This group has been recommended by the Puerto Rican Bar Association of New York. Donate here.
  • World Central Kitchen: Started by Chef Jose Andres, WCK is already on the ground providing hot meals to those affected by the storm. Their infrastructure and dedication ensure that your donations will be put to good use immediately. Donate here.

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.

Ben Cooper headshot, man with short hair, beard and light suit

C. Benjamin Cooper

Cooper & Elliott, LLC Columbus, OH
2022 Trial Lawyers Care Award Winner

When lawyer Ben Cooper moved to Ohio for work, he helped launch the first Ohio name change clinic for transgender people. They trained over two dozen lawyer volunteers and began holding monthly walk-in clinics, serving as many as 33 transgender individuals per month. During the pandemic, walk-in clinics moved to a virtual format, which increased access for transgender individuals across the state. With 88 counties in Ohio, the information and requirements all slightly vary. Ben encourages attorneys interested in this kind of volunteer work to look for similar clinics in their own states.

Recent Member Stories

Kentucky Flooding Update

AAJ Trial Lawyers Care Committee members have been working with the Kentucky Justice Association (KJA) to coordinate aid for eastern Kentucky residents devastated by floods. As of mid-August, more than three dozen people had died from the flooding.

KJA continues to raise money for people in eastern Kentucky who fall through the cracks when it comes to insurance, FEMA, and funding sources that won't apply to them. The association is also collaborating with local officials and legislators about community needs and sending checks directly to people in need. Future volunteer help will likely be needed for claims, for example, for insurance and property issues.

Please visit the Kentucky Justice Association to learn how you can help the community.

Annual Convention Service Project

The Annual Convention service project, hosted by the LGBT Caucus, Minority Caucus, New Lawyers Division, Women Trial Lawyers Caucus, and Trial Lawyers Care Committee, took place at Friends of Youth, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to serving youth and young families facing circumstances of homelessness, foster care, and behavioral health challenges.

Over 30 AAJ volunteers attended the project! Some volunteers sorted the more than 200 donations from AAJ members and put together move-in kits, which are being distributed to the organization’s clients. Another group organized accumulated in-kind donations and put together backpacks with school supplies for children in need, while other volunteers deep cleaned a group home that is used as a transition before people find permanent housing.

During the LGBT Caucus Networking Reception at Life on Mars, the bartenders offered to donate a portion of the bar’s proceeds to a charity of the caucus’s choosing. Friends of Youth was chosen, and a monetary donation was also made in AAJ’s name. If you would still like to give, purchase an item from the Amazon Wishlist or donate directly to the organization.

AAJ hosts a service project at both the Winter and Annual Conventions, the day before convention begins. They are a wonderful way to get to know your colleagues and give back to the local community. For more information, please email the Associate Director of Membership, Jennifer Rafter, at jennifer.rafter@justice.org

 

Scholarship to Help Diverse, Underrepresented, and Public Interest Law Students

Mark Mandell, senior partner of Rhode Island’s Mandell Boisclair & Mandell, LTD, has donated $250,000 to Roger Williams University School of Law—the state’s only law school—to support diverse and public interest students. The goal is to provide $750,000 in scholarships (through the Mandell-Boisclair Justice Scholarship Fund) to further diversify the legal profession and increase access to justice in Rhode Island and beyond.

In addition to his initial $250,000 donation to the Fund, Mandell has pledged up to an additional $250,000 to match other individual donations made to the Fund over the next five years. In total, the Fund could annually support $5,000 scholarships for eight students, totaling $15,000 each over their three years in law school.

“We have been blessed in many ways,” says Mandell. “With those blessings come responsibilities. As a family, we are committed to social, economic, and legal justice. We want to help others achieve their goals and potential.”

Other lawyers agree and are meeting the challenge; the goal, as of this writing (in early 2022) is nearly halfway met. More information can be found on the RWU website. You may be inspired to contribute or take similar action for students at a school with which you are associated!

Ankin Law Participates in the 26th Annual Race Judicata Event

The annual Race Judicata—a popular free legal services fundraising event—returned to Chicago in September 2021, with over 3,000 people in attendance. Race Judicata raises money for Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS), Chicago’s largest pro bono organization. Race Judicata includes a 5K race, free concert, and afterparty which allows lawyers and legal staff to get together over beer, wine, and food. Law firms rent tents, sponsor games, and bring in food trucks for staff and guests.

Chicago-based Ankin Law had a wonderful turnout. 15 people either ran or walked the 5K, and another 30 attended the afterparty. And it was all for a great cause—equal access to justice, for everyone. CVLS provides nearly half of all pro bono services in Illinois; in 2019, over 2,500 volunteer attorneys served more than 6,000 Chicago area low-income individuals and families for free.

I’ve personally been participating in Race Judicata for over 20 years. CVLS levels the playing field so that everyone has equal access to legal services. It’s the reason I joined the CVLS board. And it’s the reason I encourage everyone at Ankin Law to participate.Howard Ankin, Partner

 

The Great Tryke Giveaway!

Every year, Los Angeles Trial Lawyers’ Charities funds adaptive tricycles for children with disabilities through SoCal Trykers, a local non-profit organization. It has become their “GREAT TRYKE GIVEAWAY” with a parade and many volunteers cheering the new riders. In 2021, LATLC provided funds for 15 tricycles, and Orange County Trial Lawyers’ Charities (OCTLC) joined in, funding three more.

On an inspiring day, more than 60 volunteers from LATLC and OCTLC also assembled 1,000 toiletry kits for local groups helping those experiencing homelessness. LATLC donated their 500 kits to Power of a Shower, which provides mobile showers along Venice Beach. OCTLC donated theirs to Colette’s Children’s Home, which helps women and children experiencing homelessness in Orange County.

AAJ Members Step Up

AAJ Minority Caucus member and Board Representative Chris Fitzgerald recently worked with members of his local community and the Minority Caucus to provide water to people impacted by the eruptions from the La Soufriere volcano in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Many AAJ members stepped up to help by purchasing water from an Amazon Wish List set up by Chris. The water was delivered from the Amazon Wish List to a drop-off location in NYC and will be shipped to the islands soon.

Thank you so much to everyone who contributed. Our trial lawyer community has done us all proud once again. 

 

Always Ready to Help

The Eastern Illinois Foodbank is the primary food source for food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and other local programs working to feed the hungry throughout East Central Illinois.

Spiros Law has three offices in Central Illinois and has partnered with this wonderful organization many times over the years—often assisting with re-pack events. At a re-pack, a group of volunteers meets at the distribution warehouse to sort, label, and package donated food items to be distributed to the Eastern Illinois Foodbank’s partner organizations.

Due to the pandemic, volunteer events were closed for some time and it had been over a year since the Spiros Law team has participated in a re-pack. Recently however, there was an opportunity to help once again.

“With limited capacity re-pack shifts being offered again, the Spiros Law team quickly signed up and filled all volunteer spots within minutes of the re-pack being posted,” said partner Miranda Soucie.

The Eastern Illinois Foodbank provided a safe and fun atmosphere where seven members of the Spiros Law team worked together and sorted and labeled a full pallet of canned goods that will be distributed to those in need in Central Illinois.

Group of masked people around pallets of canned goods.

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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.

Join the Fight
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.

Learn More
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Share Your Good News

Let us know what you and/or your firm are doing to help the community.

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Volunteer
Trial Lawyers Care Award

Each summer AAJ recognizes a member with an exemplary community service project. If you know of a individual who has gone above and beyond, nominate them today.

Nominate a Trial Lawyer
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AAJ delivers exceptional education, unparalleled advocacy, and a dedicated community of trial lawyers fighting for justice.   Join Today!