Davis & Gilbert, institutionally and through our individual attorneys and staff, maintains a historic and enthusiastic commitment to providing pro bono services. The pro bono activities in which we are involved include charitable and community services on behalf of industry associations, courts, religious institutions, human rights groups and educational causes. We also are pleased to support and to lend our talents to many of our clients’ causes.
THREE PART PROGRAM
Our pro bono program, although flexible in design, is in large measure a formal program with three parts:
The firm performs a broad range of work on behalf of bar associations, government agencies and in the service of the court system, in which several of our lawyers serve as special masters or court-appointed mediators. Our public service work also includes successfully representing asylees in conjunction with the City Bar Justice Center, participating in Bar Association committees and our participation in a variety of reading programs in elementary public schools, including a Corporate Read-Aloud.
The firm regularly advises non-profit organizations in such areas as the incorporation of organizations, preparing and negotiating contracts, real estate and leasing matters, employment law counseling and litigation. Representative non-profit clients include a myriad of public charities, private foundations, hospitals and healthcare organizations, museums, social agencies and educational institutions such as Bideawee Animal Shelter, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, The Civil Association Serving Harlem, Lymphoma Research Foundation, The National Center for Learning Disabilities and St. Francis Friends of the Poor – and others that are suggested by attorneys and staff members who have a passion for a particular organization. For example, two of our firm’s partners are members of the Board of Directors of the Bideawee Animal Shelter.
Another partner is on the Board of Directors of the National Center of Learning Disabilities, and through his involvement, the firm recently assisted the National Center for Learning Disabilities in drafting legislation to provide greater access to accommodations to both school-age children who are protected through Section 504 of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and adults in higher education settings and the workplace.
ACTIVE INVOLVEMENT WITH MARKETING INTENSIVE NON-PROFITS/
The firm draws upon its expertise in advertising, marketing communications and intellectual property law to assist a variety of marketing intensive non-profits and trade associations. For example, the firm prepared and filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the Association of National Advertisers, the American Advertising Federation and the American Association of Advertising Agencies concerning a corporation’s right to speak freely on matters of public concern. Also, the firm represents on a pro bono basis, C.A.R.E., the worldwide humanitarian organization, protecting its trademarks both domestically and internationally.
Recently, the firm began a pro bono representation of Global Ethics Limited Global Ethics. This firm is a U.K. non-profit company that donates all of the profits from its worldwide sale of “One Water” to charitable causes that work to improve access to clean drinking water in developing countries. Joining two of our major clients in supporting Global Ethics, the firm is helping Global Ethics to launch in the United States, including by preparing marketing and distribution agreements in support of this effort.
The Davis & Gilbert pro bono program is driven in large part by our attorneys and by their interests. We recognize that pro bono service is a civic responsibility of our profession, but our lawyers become involved in pro bono matters not because we tell them to donate their time, but because they want to do so. In support of our commitment to pro bono work, the firm gives attorneys “full credit” for pro bono work, and counts pro bono hours the same as billable hours when determining a lawyer’s productivity and availability to take on new assignments.
As a firm, we strongly believe that pro bono work makes our lawyers better citizens and better lawyers. It sharpens their legal expertise, and makes them more well-rounded, mature, sophisticated individuals. The firm is very proud that virtually all of the services we provide for our for-profit clients are available to our pro bono clients and we look forward to continuing this tradition and furthering our commitment to providing pro bono services.
For more information about our pro bono program, please contact:
Michael C. Lasky