For the 12th consecutive year, WilmerHale has surpassed the donations of all participating law firms in the Legal Aid Society's Generous Associates Campaign, a fundraiser led by associates at Washington DC law firms. This year, WilmerHale raised $146,260, more than any other area firm. As a result of this community effort, Legal Aid completed its most successful fundraiser in the campaign's 25-year history—raising more than $1.2 million.
"This was the biggest fundraiser the organization has ever seen, and we were an important part of that by setting the tone for other firms with our efforts," says Associate Robert Arcamona, one of WilmerHale's four campaign co-chairs this year.
The Generous Associates Campaign yields approximately one fifth of Legal Aid's budget each year. According to the organization—which provides legal services in the areas of domestic violence, family, housing, public benefits and consumer law—$47,500 is the starting salary of a full-time junior staff attorney at Legal Aid. This means that WilmerHale's total contribution to the campaign this year is nearly enough to fund the salaries of three full-time junior attorneys, whose work benefits hundreds of low-income individuals living in DC by ensuring that survivors of domestic violence get to safety, families remain safe in their homes, and elderly residents receive the health care they need. WilmerHale has played a significant role in Legal Aid's fundraising efforts, contributing nearly $400,000 in the past four years.
"Legal Aid is thrilled with the results of this year's campaign," says Senior Associate Zachary Corey, also a campaign co-chair. "We emailed the organization on the final day of the campaign to let them know our total, and they were blown away."
One hundred percent of WilmerHale's DC summer associates donated to this year's campaign, and 75 percent of associates and senior associates participated. Their contributions were supplemented by partners, counsel and staff over an eight-week effort designed and driven by Corey, Arcamona, and Associates Ariel Hopkins and Lynn Eisenberg, who also served as a campaign co-chair last year. The firm's Management Committee mentored the effort.
"We received tremendous support from firm management every step of the way," says Hopkins. "Additionally, the partners were extraordinarily generous, particularly in the last days of the campaign when we really needed a boost. And we can't forget to thank the other attorneys and staff for their support as well."
Adds Eisenberg: "This campaign is a great example of WilmerHale's strong tradition of public service and focus on community. It correlates with the principles on which the firm was founded, and we take a lot of pride in that."
(From left: WilmerHale campaign co-chairs Robert Arcamona, Ariel Hopkins, Lynn Eisenberg and Zachary Corey.)