Schiff Hardin has a proud tradition of community service among all levels of our firm. We encourage and support our attorneys and staff in initiating new types of community service activities, and many of our most important community service ventures have stemmed from the personal initiative of individuals at our firm.
Alex Haley Academy
For the past three years, Schiff Hardin has worked with the Alex Haley Academy, a public school on Chicago's south side, to host a holiday celebration for students. Funded by donations from Schiff Hardin staff and attorneys, this event includes gifts and a pizza feast for hundreds of children at the school. In addition, the firm has also purchased and donated a selection of multicultural books for the school library.
Apna Ghar is a domestic violence shelter serving primarily Asian women and children, and was the first Asian shelter of its kind in the Midwest. Apna Ghar takes its name from a Hindi-Urdu phrase meaning "Our Home," and since January 1990 has served more than 5,400 clients affected by domestic violence.
In 2007 and 2009, several Schiff Hardin attorneys and summer associates, participating in the Women Everywhere Community Service Day, volunteered at Apna Ghar. They performed landscaping and gardening work on the shelter's grounds, and cleared out the building's basement.
In addition, these attorneys conducted a two-week donation drive to collect clothing and personal care items for Apna Ghar. Our volunteers collected more than 60 women's suits and dozens of separate items, including slacks, skirts and dress shirts. They also collected several boxes of accessories, shoes and bath products.
Schiff Hardin was a silver sponsor of Apna Ghar's "Taste for Life" event in April 2009.
For more information about Apna Ghar, visit their Web site at http://www.apnaghar.org/.
California YMCA Youth and Government Program
Every year the YMCA Youth and Government Program trains a racially, ethnically and economically diverse population of teens from public and private high schools in trial advocacy skills. This national program teaches students about how state government works and provides participatory activities in which they can experience simulated state government proceedings.
Schiff Hardin provides support to the program as a Golden Sponsor of the San Francisco YMCA Youth and Government Program.
Students involved with the San Francisco YMCA Youth and Government Program stage a "Bill Hearing Night" in San Francisco City Hall hosted by Mayor Gavin Newsom and a mock trial at the Federal Courthouse with the Honorable Thelton Henderson presiding.
In addition, the San Francisco YMCA delegation engages 35-50 teens in a six-month program culminating in a "Model Legislature and Model Court Conference" in Sacramento each February where the teens join more than 2,000 of their peers from throughout California. These San Francisco teens learn valuable insights from one another in the delegation, while providing a unique and valued perspective for the other delegates across the state. This year four participants are now interns for Assemblywoman Fiona Ma.
The San Francisco YMCA Youth and Government Program relies on sponsorship by local law firms, as well as the engagement of members of the legal community to mentor and teach the delegates each year.
For more information about the California YMCA Youth and Government Program, visit their Web site at http://www.ymcayg.org/ymcayg.html.
Constitutional Rights Foundation of Chicago
In 2011, four Schiff Hardin attorneys participated in Lawyers in the Classroom, a program of the Constitutional Rights Foundation of Chicago (CRFC).
For more information on CRFC's Lawyers in the Classroom project, visit their Web site at: http://www.crfc.org/programs/lic.php.
Schiff Hardin provides office space and other support for First Star, a national public charity dedicated to fighting for the rights of America's abused and neglected children. Schiff Hardin partner Sherry A. Quirk is a co-founder and vice-chair of this organization.
For more information about FirstStar, visit their Web site at: http://www.firststar.org/.
Gateway 24/7 Homeless Services Center
In 2003, Schiff Hardin's Atlanta, Georgia office moved into a new building. In honor of the occasion, the firm made a donation to help support the Gateway 24/7 Homeless Services Center, a point of entry to the community's continuum of care for homeless men, women and children.
For more information about the Gateway 24/7 Homeless Services Center, visit their Web site at: http://www.gatewayctr.org/.
The Glass Slipper Project
The Glass Slipper Project collects new and almost-new formal dresses and accessories and provides them, free of charge, to Chicago high school students who are unable to purchase their own prom attire. We distribute the dresses at Glass Slipper "boutiques," where each student receives individual assistance from a volunteer "personal shopper" as she shops for the dress of her dreams. To date, we've helped more than 10,000 young women attend their proms in style!
In 2007 Schiff Hardin's Women's Networking Group organized donations for this organization. In all, we collected and donated:
- 47 dresses
- 12 pair of shoes
- 16 handbags
- Many other accessories
For more information on The Glass Slipper Project, visit their Web site at: http://www.glassslipperproject.org/.
Legal Community Against Violence (LCAV)
Schiff Hardin was a "benefactor" sponsor for Legal Community Against Violence (LCAV) 16th Anniversary Dinner on July 15, 2009 in San Francisco. LCAV is a public interest law center dedicated to preventing gun violence. Founded by lawyers, LCAV is the country's only organization devoted exclusively to providing legal assistance in support of gun violence prevention.
For more information on LCAV, visit their Web site at: http://www.lcav.org/.
Schiff Hardin is a long-time sponsor of this 5K race, held annually to raise money for Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Foundation (CVLS). Each summer we assemble a Schiff Hardin team to participate in the race.
For more information on the Race Judicata, visit the CVLS Web site at: http://cvls.org/judicata/index.html.
For the ninth year in a row, our firm has joined the efforts of Rebuilding Together's annual signature event, National Rebuilding Day, when tens of thousands of volunteers across the country will team up with Rebuilding Together's affiliates to repair homes, revitalize communities, and restore the lives of thousands of homeowners in need.
Rebuilding Together's mission is to help those with the greatest need — low-income elderly, disabled and families with children — live in safe, warm and dry houses.
In Chicago, volunteers from our firm spent a beautiful Saturday renovating the home of an 84 year-old widow in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood. Our team cleaned and painted, installed smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and then did some planting for good measure.
In Washington, D.C., our team fixed leaking windows, installed a banister on the stairs, retrofitted a bath tub with safety bars and hauled away what must have seemed like a lifetime's accumulation of "stuff" for an elderly couple in southeast D.C.
For more information on Rebuilding Together, visit their Web site at http://www.rebuildingtogether.org/, or the local affiliates' Web sites at http://www.rebuildingtogether-chi.com/ and http://www.rebuildingtogetherdc.org/.
San Francisco Elementary Schools
In early 2008, Schiff Hardin, through our Schiff Hardin Foundation, donated children's books to three San Francisco-area schools: Mission Education Center, Cesar Chavez Elementary, and John Muir Elementary. The new books are primarily in Spanish or bilingual, and proved very popular with the students.
Firm librarian Jessica Corcoran coordinated the donation, selecting books from wish lists provided by teachers. In April, she, along with Schiff Hardin attorney Roberta Nicol Dempster, visited the three schools and spoke to students about law as a career choice. At Mission Education Center, which specifically serves Spanish-speaking children new to the United States, Ms. Babcock read the story of Pocahontas to the students in Spanish.
Schiff Hardin's book donations and outreach efforts to students are part of our ongoing pipeline initiatives to promote diversity in the legal profession and the community at large.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure®
For many years, Schiff Hardin has participated in programs that benefit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Schiff Hardin secretaries Sally Wagner and Jennifer Nilles lead this effort at Schiff Hardin each year.
In 2008, Schiff Hardin supported Passionately Pink for the Cure — a fundraising program that begins on October 1 and continues throughout National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Companies pick a day or days, anytime during the month of October, to host an event, wear pink and ask participants to make a personal donation of five dollars (or more) to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. We are pleased to report that in 2008 we raised $15,227.
In 2005, Schiff Hardin LLP was honored to be among the top 50 — in terms of funds raised — out of 29,000 companies participating in Lee National Denim Day — one of the largest single-day fundraisers for breast cancer. Each October, Lee Jeans encourages millions of people nationwide to slip into their favorite jeans and make a five-dollar donation to support the fight against breast cancer. For the October 7, 2005 program, Schiff Hardin raised more than $12,000.
The firm's cumulative total since it began participating in these annual events exceeds $100,000.
For more information about Passionately Pink for the Cure, visit http://ww5.komen.org/GetInvolved/PassionatelyPink.html.
For more information about Lee National Denim Day, visit http://www.denimday.com/.
Thomas Kelly High School Debate Team
Schiff Hardin makes ongoing annual donations to the Thomas Kelly High School Debate Team to help support this Chicago public school, located in the diverse Brighton Park neighborhood on the city's southwest side. These donations help the school to field a debate squad that can continue to grow and compete with better-funded programs locally and nationally.
The Thomas Kelly High School Debate Team has achieved significant success and is considered among the leading Chicago-area high school debate programs. It also has received publicity from the WBEZ-FM (Chicago Public Radio) "Against All Odds" program and the Chicago Tribune. In fact, it was such media coverage that brought the squad to the attention of Ronald S. Safer, Schiff Hardin's Managing Partner, when he learned that the Kelly High School debaters had insufficient funding to travel and compete with other schools that were more fully financed.
In addition to donations, Schiff Hardin hosts an annual luncheon at our firm's Sears Tower headquarters in Chicago for the Thomas Kelly High School Debate team to honor their accomplishments and encourage the students to apply the debate skills they are learning to future higher education and career goals.
For more information about Thomas Kelly High School and the Debate Team, visit their Web site at http://www.kelly.cps.k12.il.us/
United Way of Metropolitan Chicago
Schiff Hardin attorneys and staff have long supported the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago.
United Way of Metropolitan Chicago improves lives by mobilizing caring people to invest in the community where their resources are needed most. Spanning 238 communities across five counties, United Way of Metropolitan Chicago is the largest non-governmental funder of health and human service programs in the region.
For more information on United Way, visit their Web site at