For the 10th consecutive year WilmerHale has surpassed the donations of all AmLaw firms for the Legal Aid Society’s Generous Associates Campaign, a fundraising campaign run by associates at Washington DC law firms city-wide. This year, in honor of Legal Aid’s 80th Anniversary, WilmerHale set a goal to raise $80,000 in money donations. Today, the Legal Aid Society announced its highest figure in the campaign’s 23-year history—$901,000—with $90,365 coming from WilmerHale, which set the record for the most funds raised by a firm.
According to the Legal Aid Society, $90,000 is equivalent to the amount it takes to fund two staff attorneys in one year for its Family Law Unit. Each attorney is expected to provide extended representation, advice, counsel and brief assistance to survivors of domestic violence in at least 50 cases per year, which means WilmerHale’s contributions alone have the potential to fund the work of at least 100 cases in one year.
“What WilmerHale has been able to accomplish during the Generous Associates Campaign is nothing short of extraordinary,” said Eric Angel, executive director of the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia. “We are so grateful to the individuals at WilmerHale who support such an incredible cause. WilmerHale sets the standard which inspires other firms to work that much harder. Legal Aid’s efforts to make justice real for persons living in poverty in DC have been tremendously enhanced because of the firm’s outstanding achievements during the Campaign.”
One hundred percent of WilmerHale’s DC summer associates gave a donation and approximately 77 percent of DC associates and senior associates participated. Their contributions were supplemented by partners, counsel and staff over an eight-week effort designed and driven by Associates Jeremy Moorehouse, Bolanle Olupona, Richard Shordt, Michael Smith and Randall Weinsten. The firm’s management committee mentored the effort.
Each year, donations made to the Generous Associates Campaign comprise 20 percent of Legal Aid’s full operating budget. In 2011, the DC legal community raised $782,000 on behalf of the campaign. WilmerHale accounted for nearly 10 percent of the total funds raised.
A commitment to pro bono representation has been a hallmark of WilmerHale since the early 20th century. As measured by the American Lawyer, Washington Business Journal, Boston Business Journal and many others, the firm’s pro bono program ranks as one of the top in the country.
(From left: Pro Bono Counsel Chris Herrling; Associates Bolanle Olupona, Randall Weinsten and Michael Smith; Executive Director of Legal Aid Eric Angel; Associates Jeremy Moorehouse, Kimberly Renk, Laura Chester and Erica Morin; and Summer Associate Matthew Celestin.)