Last night, Greg Craig, Honorary Chair of this year’s Generous Associates Campaign, hosted a reception for Co-Chairs and Coordinators at Skadden. Legal Aid Board members, staff, and other Skadden associates were also in attendance, making for a fun and energetic evening.
Executive Director Eric Angel opened the reception by thanking those who were able to make it and expressed his deep gratitude for all the Co-Chairs and Coordinators who are working hard this summer to make justice real through the Generous Associates Campaign. Eric noted that he would try to keep his remarks this evening short, since he was still hoping to be invited to talk at additional Generous Associates Campaign firms – events are still being scheduled into July!
Marc Bohn of Miller & Chevalier, a Co-Chair and veteran of the Campaign, spoke about his introduction to the Campaign as a coordinator at his firm. He talked about how Miller & Chevalier has been able to beat their own firm record year after year, and how that was indicative of the city-wide trend that has brought the Campaign goal from $600,000 only a few years ago up to $1 million this year. “Every year I’m blown away by the number of associates who get out there, and spend their time and energy raising significant sums of money [for Legal Aid],” Marc said, and added, “We, as a collective of law firms, can continue to help fund Legal Aid’s work, which is integral to the city. With that, I have no doubt we can break a fundraising record this year.”
Eric then introduced Honorary Chair Greg Craig, who, despite his career representing important people in important contexts (including President Clinton in the context of the Senate impeachment proceedings), confided to those present: “Some of my most important clients – in some of the most meaningful cases – have been people you have never read about.”
Greg paid tribute to Legal Aid staff for the important service they provide in the District and thanked Co-Chairs and Coordinators working on the Campaign to help us reach our million dollar goal. He talked about Skadden’s long-time relationship with Legal Aid and its commitment to poverty legal services, highlighting Don Salzman’s recent recognition as a Servant of Justice Award recipient and the fact that Skadden has two partners (Marty Klepper and John Nannes) serving on Legal Aid’s Board. He talked about the importance of poverty lawyers, referencing the heated political battle in the early 1990s that caused legal services organizations to shut down in several cities. The result was a significant increase in the number of emergency room visits, evictions, and incidence of violence and crime in those cities. “That was a testament to the importance of legal aid services,” he said. Greg added that some of the best attorneys in America do what Legal Aid attorneys do: “It’s unsung [work], but it is so vital to the profession and to the quality of life in the community.”