Pro Bono & Community Service
A New Era of Commitment to Pro Bono Work
Our Pro Bono Committee's firmwide pro bono initiative assists Sedgwick attorneys in securing meaningful pro bono work. Many of our attorneys serve as volunteer settlement referees, mediators and arbitrators for local courts . Others serve on the boards of directors for local and community nonprofit organizations. The Pro Bono Committee focuses its efforts on serving the overwhelming unmet legal needs of children.
Focus On Children’s Rights
Sedgwick attorneys have a long history of providing legal services to needy children and supporting children’s organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club. So when members of the firm’s pro bono committee began brainstorming ways to energize the firm’s pro bono efforts, they immediately identified opportunities for Sedgwick lawyers to serve the overwhelming unmet legal needs of children. Guardianship proceedings. Immigration status. School disciplinary hearings. Medical benefits. Effective legal representation in these and other proceedings can shape a child’s future. And, by focusing efforts firmwide on children’s rights, Sedgwick attorneys learn from one another’s similar experiences and see the cumulative impact of their pro bono services.
Other Law-Related Public Interest and Community Service Programs
Our attorneys pursue a wide range of interests in their volunteer work. Many serve as volunteer settlement referees, mediators and arbitrators for local courts; others serve on the boards of directors for local and community non-profit organizations; and many of our associates participate in public high school mock trial programs.
Specific programs supported by Sedgwick attorneys include:
Sedgwick Women's Forum. In 2004, Sedgwick launched the "Sedgwick Women's Forum," a group designed to provide a platform for Sedgwick's female attorneys to voice their professional development needs, recommend programs to enhance the role of women in the firm and the profession, and develop programs related to the advancement of women in the firm. Women's Forum activities in 2005 included sponsorship of the San Francisco Business Times' annual "Top 100 Women-Owned Companies" honors reception, which honors the fastest-growing segments of the top women-owned businesses; the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession's "Annual Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Awards Luncheon," which pays tribute to talented women attorneys; and the "National Association of Women Lawyers Annual Award Luncheon," which recognizes the professional achievement, positive influence and valuable contribution to women in the law and in society. The firm is also member of Catalyst, a nonprofit research and advisory organization working to advance women in business, which provides strategic consulting services to help firms advance women and build inclusive work environments.
United Nations’ International Fund for Agricultural Development -- Burundi, Africa. A Sedgwick partner is a member the team formulating a mission for a United Nations’ International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) loan program in Burundi, Africa. After spending time in Burundi in 2004, our attorney developed the legal portion of the team's recommendation to IFAD’s managing council, which included education about the citizens’ rights and duties, particularly in areas of family law, inheritance rights, land law, and personal injury.
SurfAid International, USA. A Sedgwick partner is a founding member of the Board of Directors for SurfAid International, a federal nonprofit organization that has been of particular relevance following the December 2004 earthquakes and tsunami, as its operations were already focused on the remote islands off the west coast of Sumatra.
Sedgwick also supports a variety of community legal and charitable organizations. For example, in 2005 the firm sponsored the African-American Insurance Professionals Association luncheon, "Meeting African-American Judges, Mediators, and Plaintiff's Lawyers," in Los Angeles; the Big Brothers, Big Sisters 4th Annual Moose Brown Memorial Golf Tournament; the MCCA Midwestern "Employers of Choice" Awards Dinner in Chicago; the Anti-Defamation League "Larry Schoenbrun Jurisprudence Award Luncheon" and the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund’s Annual Awards Gala, "Broadening the Reach of Justice" in New York, for which firm chair Kevin Dunne was an event co-chair.
We Know We've Made a Difference When …
- We finalize nine adoptions in one “Adoption Day” held at our Los Angeles office.
- Our attorney’s representation of a boy at a school disciplinary hearing allowed the student to prove he was innocent of violations leading to expulsion.
- A special needs child is receiving an appropriate, individualized education due to our attorney’s advocacy at a department of education hearing.
- Several hundred youths were able to take their long-planned trip to a youth event in Germany thanks to the work of our attorney, who obtained a release of seized funds earmarked to pay for the trip.
- A young boy advances one step closer to obtaining special immigrant juvenile dependency status in the United States after our attorney helped obtain records from his native country, Honduras, that verified the deaths of his parents.