At Buckley Sandler we are proud of our growth and success, and are equally proud that we have remained true to our vision of creating a premier law firm with a distinctive firm culture that defines who we are and how we work. A huge part of that ethos involves giving back — to the community, the planet, and to those who are in dire need of legal services but simply cannot afford them.
Giving back is not an empty phrase; it’s a firm effort. The initiatives our firm takes on are not staffed by a handful of “do-gooders,” but rather by a cohesive, unified assembly of lawyers and staff who are driven by the belief that they can — and do — make a difference.
Our efforts range from handling complex pro bono matters to tutoring first graders. We clean up the riverfront and donate diaper bags to indigent mothers. When we make sandwiches for the needy, the assembly line features partners, associates and support staff working side by side. This is not lip service for us. It is rolling up our sleeves and making a difference.
We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.- Winston Churchill
Buckley Sandler’s approach to pro bono is simple — we believe that all people are entitled to legal representation, and we are committed to presenting all of our lawyers with the opportunity to provide pro bono legal services.
Our pro bono efforts focus on providing legal services to economically disadvantaged individuals as well as to non-profit organizations in our surrounding communities and throughout the United States. We partner with more than a dozen legal service organizations that provide pro bono support for a wide range of clients, including immigrants, children, veterans, senior citizens, and the needy as well as those caught up in the criminal justice system.
Our work includes representing tenants and landlords in residential housing disputes, assisting in the preparation of wills and powers of attorney for low-income, elderly residents, representing indigent defendants in criminal appeals matters, handling family law cases — including serving as guardian ad litem in custody cases — and assisting victims of mortgage and foreclosure rescue scams.
By offering such easy access to pro bono assignments and by providing one-for-one billable hour credit for every hour worked on pro bono matters, we have seen a steady growth both in the number of hours and participating attorneys since the establishment of our pro bono program in 2012.
In each of the cities where we have offices, we consider ourselves active participating members of the community and, as such, seek to make each of those communities a better place. We regularly contribute our time, energy and resources to those ends.
Our activities are far-ranging and diversified. We tutor first graders and then bring them into the office for an end of the year party to celebrate their progress. The chefs among us participate — and usually place first — in a yearly bake sale to raise money for a neighborhood elementary school. Our firm’s rock band, Total B/S, participated in a “Battle of the Bands” to raise more than $14,000 for the homeless. We are not adverse to losing our suits and ties, kicking off our heels and spending a Saturday cleaning up the Anacostia River waterfront. When we form an assembly line to make sandwiches for a non-profit organization that feeds the poor, we have to turn volunteers away.
We donate our suits and dress clothes to Dress for Success so economically challenged women can have the clothing they need to go on interviews, get jobs and gain financial independence. We support the American Heart Association by participating in the Lawyers Have Heart race. We support the fight against breast cancer by participating in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
Good citizenship is not about talking. It is about giving back.
When we founded our firm in 2009, we simultaneously established the Kolar Foundation of Buckley Sandler. The Foundation supports charitable initiatives of importance to the members and employees of the firm, as a way of giving back. Funded by a contribution of a percentage of the firm’s profits, the Kolar Foundation focuses its giving to support and encourage members and employees of the firm who themselves are reaching out with their time and resources to help others in need. Any member or employee of Buckley Sandler can apply for a donation for a cause that he or she participates in and/or supports. Since its inception, the foundation has donated more than $2.3 million to the charitable endeavors of our people. If the cause is important enough for them, it is important enough for us.
To play our part in the ever-growing movement to conserve resources, reduce waste, and take other steps to ensure a more sustainable environment, the Buckley Sandler “Green Team” meets throughout the year to raise awareness, exchange ideas, and suggest practical steps that can help lighten our ecological footprint, both at work and at home. The Green Team has been instrumental in encouraging double-sided printing, recycling paper, using ceramic mugs instead of plastic cups, and instituting a composting program that reduces waste and helps sustain the planet.