Unconventional Donations Find Many Grateful Homes


Eddie Houlihan (left) and Larry Moore (bottom right) helped representatives from Centro Romero pick up their “new” printer.

When we think of ways law firms can support our pro bono and legal aid community, we think of the big two financial support and pro bono attorney hours. But as Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom recently showed, support takes many forms, like in-kind contributions of equipment, supplies and services.

Several weeks ago, Skadden reached out to the CBF. After purchasing new equipment, the firm was getting rid of 40 high-speed, used but still perfectly-functioning printers. An email went to CBF grantee organizations and JEP participants. The response was swift and enthusiastic 13 pro bono and legal aid organizations and 6 JEP participants (and the CBF) each were thrilled to receive one or a few new printers.

Skadden Pro Bono and Community Relations Supervisor Eddie Houlihan coordinated the effort.

I was stunned by the response from Uptown People’s Law Center with their deep appreciation of their new printers and how those machines will €˜revolutionize’ the way that office works. We (or maybe just I do this) tend to take things like printers for granted, but the folks at Uptown were so passionate about their new machines that it hit me in a different place. I think this donation project has the potential to not only help the firm divest itself of some “old” machines and obtain goodwill for Skadden in the community, but, no joke, we have a chance to really help streamline the delivery of legal services in Chicago in a concrete way.

Skadden employees Larry Moore and Eusabio Rosas load a printer into the car of Danae Kovac of Lawndale Christian Legal Center.

Skadden’s printer contribution is just one example of how firms and companies are supporting legal aid through high-quality in-kind donations. If you or your law firm would like to consider similar in-kind donations for the benefit of legal aid, please contact Dina Merrell at dmerrell@chicagobar.org or 312-554-1206. For organizations sometimes operating on shoestring budgets, these types of contributions can make a world of difference.