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.
Trial Lawyers Step Up to Meet Ukrainian Crisis
The Leesfield Family Foundation, chaired by AAJ Executive Committee member, Ira Leesfield, has pledged $250,000 in matching contributions to support Ukrainian refugees and those remaining in the country. Every dollar contributed is matched by the Foundation, and 100% of all contributions go directly to war zone ground efforts that have teamed up with the Foundation.
AAJ and trial lawyer leaders have enthusiastically supported this effort, allowing World Central Kitchen and UNICEF to directly assist Ukrainian families. UNICEF is providing aid to the children of the region, and World Central Kitchen, led by chef José Andrés, has now served 25 million meals, working with 4,300 team members in more than 230 cities. To date, hundreds of contributors and trial lawyers have generously contributed.
To support this worthy cause, please visit www.leesfieldfoundation.org.
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.
On the first day of early voting in Georgia, AAJ member Sharon Zinns waited more than 5 hours in line to vote. After 2 hours of hearing people talk about missing lunch, Sharon ordered pizza and drinks for the line. Two days later, she saw there was a 3-hour wait. She organized a quick online fundraising effort for ordering and delivering pizza to the line. She received over $4,000 from people around the country. “Nobody should be waiting on lines this long to cast their votes. My goal is to make sure voters can wait comfortably, stay in line, and cast their votes,” says Sharon.
Recent Member Stories
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.
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
Making our communities safer one student at a time
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
Let us know what you and/or your firm are doing to help the community.Let Us Know
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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