As a leading national law firm with a coast-to-coast presence, Dykema is committed to serving the communities in which we live and work. This commitment extends well beyond the pro bono work our lawyers and other professionals provide. It includes donating time, providing financial support and helping advance the causes of organizations and individuals who seek to make their communities better.
While not an exhaustive list, activities include:
Ann Arbor—Dykema’s involvement ranges from one of our attorneys serving as Attorney and Member of the Board of Directors of the Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation to staffers who volunteer several times a year, preparing and serving food to the homeless at Food Gatherers, Michigan’s first food rescue program and the primary distributor of food in Washtenaw County. Dykema is also very involved in the Leslie Science and Nature Center, a nonprofit organization devoted to fostering understanding, appreciation, stewardship and respect for the natural world. Indeed, one of our Members serves as Attorney and chairs the Board of Directors of this most esteemed local organization.
Austin—Our Austin lawyers and staff have been involved in a variety of local causes—from helping with pro bono work and pet food donations for Austin Pets Alive (Austin’s “no-kill” animal shelter), to volunteering time at the Central Texas Food Bank to help support hungry residents in the Austin area. In addition to group efforts, several individuals donate their personal time to other causes impacting the community.
Bloomfield Hills—Leader Dogs for the Blind, a “Best in America” charity which provides guide dogs to people who are blind or visually impaired, benefits from having two Dykema attorneys as committee members. One of our lawyers serves as Governing Member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Another serves on the Board of Judson Center, a nonprofit community resource that provides more than 400,000 personalized support services each year for individuals and families in Southeast Michigan. The office has also been a long-time sponsor of Angel's Place, an organization that provides homes and professional support for adults with developmental disabilities.
Chicago—Sixty percent of our Chicago attorneys participated in the 2011 Chicago Bar Association's Investing in Justice Campaign, a fundraising effort designed to narrow the gap between the 1.3 million area residents who qualify for—but have trouble procuring—civil legal aid. This year, our lawyers donated their time to the “Wills for Heroes” program, freely helping draft wills and providing other estate planning assistance to first responders. The Firm’s Chicago office also actively supports a diverse array of nonprofit organizations, including Mercy Housing (helping provide quality and affordable housing to those in need), Friends of Prentice (funding leading edge initiatives designed to improve the quality of health for women and infants) and Kids in Danger (helping create secure environments for children by ensuring safer products are manufactured and encouraging parents and caregivers to remove dangerous or recalled products from homes and childcare facilities).
Dallas—A host of Dykema lawyers participate in the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program (DVAP), an organization dedicated to providing legal services for the poor. Dykema attorney participation has ranged from helping resolve landlord/tenant disputes to handling divorce and custody matters to retrieving significant remuneration from the German government for two Holocaust survivors. For years, the office has been a vigorous supporter of Dallas Summer Musicals (DSM), the preeminent not-for-profit presenter of Broadway musicals in North Texas since 1941. Dykema’s Dallas Office Managing Member will serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors of this organization in 2012, helping extend the DSM’s community outreach and education efforts, enriching the cultural landscape of the greater Dallas/Ft. Worth community.
Detroit—From our immediate past Chairman, who serves on the Board of Directors for the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, a nonprofit organization tasked with revivifying Detroit by helping bring new companies and investments to the city, to a Department Director who donates time as Treasurer of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, the state’s oldest and most respected public policy research organization, to a Member who sits on the Board of Directors of Gift of Life, Michigan’s federally designated organ and tissue recovery organization, the Detroit office of Dykema is deeply committed to its community. Last year, the Detroit office not only helped support the Rhonda Walker Foundation (helping inner city teen girls become strong, confident, successful and moral future leaders), but enabled four RWF teens to gain valuable summer internship experience at the Firm.
Grand Rapids—Dykema was a lead sponsor for “Soup's On for All,” a fundraising event for Catholic Charities of West Michigan, whose mission is to help change the lives of those most in need, regardless of background or religion. Last year, this group’s meal and pantry programs helped nourish over 200,000 individuals. The office is very involved in the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, with one of our Members chairing this organization’s Tax Policy Committee. And our Office Managing Member was recently named Vice President of Opera Grand Rapids, West Michigan’s only resident and professional opera company since 1967.
Lansing—For years, Dykema has actively sponsored the Mayor’s Camp initiative, which sends dozens of inner-city youths to the Lansing YMCA summer camp in northern Michigan. Dykema not only hosts the annual donor breakfast, but provides financial support throughout the year. Our Office Managing Member serves on the Attorney’s Committee for the Greater Lansing Food Bank, helping lead fundraising activities for this non-profit, which annually serves tens of thousands of citizens–many of them seniors and children..
Los Angeles—Dykema’s involvement in the Los Angeles community is broad and diverse, ranging from pro bono work for HALSA (HIV and AIDS Legal Services Alliance) and Planned Parenthood to active support of Para Los Niños (a 30-year-old nonprofit designed to promote academic success and social well-being for thousands of at-risk children in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties) and The Midnight Mission (one of the oldest continuously operating human services organizations in Los Angeles, helping take individuals off Skid Row and providing self-sufficiency to the homeless). For years, the Los Angeles office has also been a strong supporter of the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST). This California-based organization provides legal, social and advocacy services to those victimized by human trafficking.
San Antonio—Every month, San Antonio employees volunteer with the Meals on Wheels program. Several teams of co-workers throughout the firm assist Christian Senior Services (a United Way Agency) and its caregivers by providing hot nutritious meals and companionship. We also have been honored with the San Antonio Bar Association’s (SABA) President’s Award in recognition of our commitment and hard work on behalf of the bar. Lawyers have volunteered their time at SABA's Community Justice Program pro bono legal clinics for more than a decade. We recently spearheaded the largest-ever blood drive in downtown San Antonio, partnering with several clients in order to make the event a success.
Washington, D.C.—This Dykema office involves itself in a host of community outreach activities. Among the most prominent: supporting the Tahirih Justice Center (which represents immigrant women and girls who have fled from gender-based violence and require legal services, advocacy and public policy assistance), donating time and money to the Arlington Food Assistance Center (a community-based non-profit that provides groceries to neighbors in need) and providing financial help to Bright Beginnings (a nationally accredited child and family development center serving more than 180 children annually, whose families live in crisis shelters or transitional housing).
Giving of ourselves. Helping those in need. Working hard to ensure that the communities in which we live and work benefit from our talents and time. We’d like to think that these contributions, freely donated, help enrich and improve the lives of those around us.