MIAMI, FL – Joining the American Bar Association’s (ABA), global law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP has adopted shelters across the country in support of the new ABA Homeless Youth Legal Network created by firm Co-President Hilarie Bass in her role as President of the ABA.
Nationwide, the firm is working with Covenant House shelters in many of the cities where Greenberg Traurig has offices. Firm offices in Fort Lauderdale, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Houston, and Orlando will be among the offices that have committed to provide pro bono support for Covenant House youths.
In other markets, Greenberg Traurig offices are partnering with individual shelters, such as the Los Angeles office’s partnership with the Los Angeles LGBT Youth Center and the Northern Virginia office’s work with Second Story.
The ABA Homeless Youth Legal Network Pro Bono Initiative hopes to pair attorneys with homeless youth shelters to provide services in these matters, and deliver better outcomes for this highly vulnerable population.
Many of the more than 500,000 homeless youth in the United States need access to lawyers who can remove the legal barriers that prevent them from getting the education, employment, housing, health care, identification and other services that could transform their lives. But of the more than 350 shelters in the U.S. that serve homeless children, few have access to pro bono legal services.
The homeless youth pro bono efforts will include hundreds of Greenberg Traurig attorneys and represent a way for the firm to give back to the communities it serves in honor of the firm’s 50th anniversary.
“I am proud to be able to say that from Greenberg Traurig’s founding 50 years ago, my firm has placed a high priority on pro bono work and making a difference in the communities we serve. I am grateful – but not surprised – that my colleagues are supporting my efforts to make a difference in the lives of homeless youth,” said Bass, a Greenberg Traurig Miami Litigation Shareholder.
“Whether runaways from foster care, victims of sexual exploitation, or LGBTQ youth who left inhospitable home environments, we know that there are thousands of children in the United States who live on the streets and who need our help. Extending a helping hand to these children will change the trajectory of their lives at a time when they need it the most.”
During the ABA’s Pro Bono Week, many Greenberg Traurig attorneys will kick off their participation in the ABA program by visiting the local homeless shelters they have adopted to hold on-site meetings with shelter staff and other social services organizations offering support for the initiative. After that, Greenberg Traurig attorneys will hold regular legal clinics to meet the individual shelter needs.
“Our global platform allows us to give a voice to some of the most vulnerable in our society,” said Caroline J. Heller, Chair of Greenberg Traurig’s Global Pro Bono Program and a Litigation Shareholder in the firm’s New York office. “Greenberg Traurig has a long history of helping children with a variety of legal issues, from special education to immigration, and we plan to make our service to homeless youth a hallmark of our pro bono program this year and for years to come.”
The ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service chose to launch the National Celebration of Pro Bono because of the increasing need for pro bono services during these harsh economic times and the unprecedented response of attorneys to meet this demand. It is meant to be an effective strategic tool for enhancing and expanding local efforts to increase access to justice for all. Although national in breadth, the celebration provides an opportunity for local legal associations across the country to take the next step in their efforts to provide high quality legal services to those living on the social margins.
Greenberg Traurig lawyers across the firm’s offices provide pro bono legal services to the indigent and working poor, as well as to numerous civic and charitable organizations dedicated to assisting them. The firm focuses its resources on specialized and interrelated issues including civil rights and affirmative action, anti-human trafficking, family law matters, criminal appeals, immigration and political asylum, housing and homelessness.
Greenberg Traurig, LLP and P.A. has more than 2,000 attorneys in 38 offices in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East and is celebrating its 50th anniversary. One firm worldwide, GTLaw has been recognized for its philanthropic giving, was named the largest firm in the U.S. by Law360 in 2017, and among the Top 20 on the 2016 Am Law Global 100. Web: www.gtlaw.com Twitter: @GT_Law.