Making Justice Real

The Official Blog of the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia

Generous Associates Campaign Shatters Record, Raises $2.15 Million for Legal Aid

Back in May when we sat down with our Co-Chairs to set the goal for this year’s Campaign, and we decided on a cool $2 million, we did it with the understanding that it was ambitious, and that we were comfortable with the possibility that we were misjudging how much we could raise. Well, we did misjudge it:

Friends, you have gone beyond our wildest expectations and raised $2.150 million for Legal Aid!!!

That beats our 2017 total by more than $350k. It’s a humbling, stunning result for us at Legal Aid, and it’s so much more meaningful for our client community. You haven’t just provided them with more resources to address their legal problems. You’ve done so in way that will give Legal Aid the flexibility to help where and when we are needed most. More thank yous to come later on.

I’ve already buried the lede and made you wait for this long enough. So without further ado, here are the final results of the competition (click here for the Top 5 in each category):

301+
Latham & Watkins – $205,720

251-300
Williams & Connolly – $118,647

201-250
Kirkland & Ellis – $81,600

151-200
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman – $57,114

101-150
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe – $95,436

51-100
Kelley Drye & Warren – $46,214

1-50
Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz – $33,892

First, congratulations to the Golden State Warriors (or would they prefer the L.A. Lakers?) of the Generous Associates Campaign, the now three-time defending champion Latham & Watkins. Latham became the first firm ever to raise over $200k in this Campaign, overcoming a tremendous effort by now three-time runners-up WilmerHale, which finished at $149k and led right up until the final day.

Legal Aid Executive Director Eric Angel speaks at a campaign lunch at Jenner & Block

For the second-consecutive year, the Campaign had three six-digit teams, with Williams & Connolly winning the 251-300 Attorneys Category and finishing third overall at over $118k. The big surprise, and maybe the most impressive, came from the 101-150 category, where Orrick nearly joined them and raised more than $95k to finish fourth overall. They did it behind the strength of three truly generous associates who combined to donate more than $20,000.

The finalists in Kelley Drye & Warren’s GAC cornhole tournament, including Legal Aid board member Christie Grymes Thompson, pose for their admiring fans

The two most competitive categories were 1-50 and 51-100. Wilkinson Walsh ($33.9k) is now 2 for 2 in winning the 1-50 category, overcoming late pushes by Bryan Cave ($29.2k) and Zuckerman ($28.7k). And in the 51-100 category, Kelley Drye won its category for the first time with a record $46k, squeezing by Paul Weiss ($43.8k) and Miller & Chevalier ($43.2k).

Finally, in the 201-250 category, Kirkland & Ellis ($81.6k) set a new record to beat Mayer Brown ($65.5k), which set a record of its own. And in the 151-200 category, Pillsbury ($57.1k) continued its run of dominance, beating its nearest competitor by more than $30k.

Legal Aid board member Jenny Levy energizes her colleagues at Kirkland & Ellis’ record-setting GAC auction

Some other highlights from the most successful Generous Associates Campaign ever:

  • For the first time, seven firms raised at least $70,000, with Skadden ($76.6k) and Steptoe ($70k) joining several of the above mentioned firms.
  • Also for the first time, an astonishing 18 firms raised at least $40,000, including Venable ($57.7k), Jones Day ($46.9k), Covington ($45.1k), Sidley ($43.3k), Crowell ($40.5k) and Alston & Bird ($40k).
  • Kirkland had the biggest year over year growth (+$38k), followed by a very impressive showing by Morrison & Foerster (+$32k). In fact, 12 firms grew their campaigns by at least $10k, including Dechert (+$16k), Simpson Thacher (+$11k), and O’Melveny (+$10k).
  • At least on a percentage basis, and among firms who raised at least $10k, Covington had the most generous associates – associates made up 43% of the firm’s contributions. Hughes Hubbard was close behind at 41%.
  • Some 800 non-partners gave at the $300+ “Outstanding Generous Associate!” level, and more than 90 non-partners gave at least $1,000 to become a part of the “Making Justice Real Giving Circle.” More than 500 donors overall joined Legal Aid’s Making Justice Real Giving Circle.
  • And there’s one more record that’s a testament to your dogged fundraising efforts: we received nearly 5,000 donations overall, about 600 more than 2017.

Phew. That’s a lot of numbers! But most importantly, that’s a lot of families who will keep their homes in the face of eviction, mothers who will reach safety from domestic abuse, parents who will get the healthcare they and their children need, immigrants who will secure asylum, and so many more people who will benefit from Legal Aid’s systemic litigation and advocacy.

Once again, the District’s legal community has come out and said, in a big way, that you care about your neighbors and their equal rights under the law. Thank you for making justice real this year, to a record degree.

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