Our Community Involvement
Following are a few examples of community involvement by Jennings Strouss and its personnel.
Society of St. Vincent de Paul
Each month, Jennings Strouss personnel participate in pro bono legal advice clinics during St. Vincent de Paul’s Family Assistance Ministry’s Evening Meal at its Watkins Campus in Phoenix. A firm representative coordinates attorney and paralegal volunteers to participate in these monthly clinics. In addition, since the clinics coincide with the Evening Meal, another program offered by St. Vincent de Paul, other personnel can volunteer as well.
The pro bono legal advice clinic at St. Vincent de Paul helps families who are struggling to meet their basic life needs. For many, when faced with a legal issue, they cannot afford to hire an attorney, so these clinics are the only opportunity to receive expert legal advice on issues that threaten their family’s stability, such as landlord/tenant disputes, workplace discrimination, the immigration process, judgments, criminal charges, and family law. Some need legal advice to understand their rights, while others need direction on where to go and how to solve their problems. Some simply need reassurance and support to deal with the challenging issues they face. The purpose of the clinic is to provide people with the information they need to be able to take the next step in solving their problem. Jennings Strouss attorneys and paralegals take time to understand the needs of clinic clients and work diligently to provide expert advice, treating everyone with the utmost respect and dignity.
In December of each year, Jennings Strouss hosts a toy drive for St. Vincent de Paul’s Holiday Party. This event provides every child who attends a new gift. Donations are made by firm personnel, who then gather for a wrapping party, topping every gift with a candy cane. On the day of the event, Jennings Strouss volunteers attend the party and pass out gifts.
In 2018, during the Restoring Hope Breakfast, St. Vincent de Paul’s largest annual fundraiser, Jennings Strouss provided a leadership gift to sponsor the event. Also, the firm sponsored a table at the event. The Jennings Strouss attorneys who attended enjoyed the breakfast and made additional personal contributions in support of the St. Vincent de Paul’s mission to feed, clothe, house, and heal.
In addition to the firm’s collective support of and pro bono work for St. Vincent de Paul and its clients, Jennings Strouss assists the organization with its estates and trusts work.
Arizona Equal Justice Foundation and Support of Arizona Law Schools
Jennings Strouss contributes annually to the Arizona Equal Justice Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and funding for Arizona’s three federally funded, civil legal aid programs: Community Legal Services, Inc., DNA – People’s Legal Services, and Southern Arizona Legal Aid, Inc. The three legal aid programs are the only programs that make attorneys available at no cost to clients with critical, civil legal problems impacting their basic human needs and rights.
The firm supports Arizona law schools, including an endowment with Arizona State University to be used by the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law to award scholarships, and a financial contribution to the University of Arizona Law Commons Project.
Gateway Elementary School
One of the main beneficiaries of support from Jennings Strouss and the Jennings Strouss Foundation (the “Foundation”) is Gateway Elementary School in the Creighton School District. Gateway serves more than 850 students in grades kindergarten through 8th, and has a 98% minority enrollment with 90% of the students on the free or reduced fee lunch program. Over the years, Jennings Strouss and the Foundation have worked closely with Gateway to provide assistance with unfunded programs and projects, and develop initiatives geared at helping students who might not otherwise have access to the resources and support needed to succeed. Recently, Jennings Strouss donated over 30 computers and 15 printers for classroom use.
Philanthropy is so ingrained in the firm, that personnel, recognizing that charity begins “at home,” organized the Holiday Helpers, a loosely formed group of Jennings Strouss employees who host fundraising events, with the firm’s support, to assist firm personnel who need extra financial assistance due to crisis, such as serious medical conditions, accidents, and deaths of immediate family members.
Additional Community Involvement
Jennings Strouss has a long history of rendering legal and other assistance to the local community, including representation of individuals, non- profits, religious establishments, and civic, community, governmental, and educational organizations on matters designed to:
- address the needs of persons of limited means
- secure or protect civil rights, civil liberties, or public rights
- assist when payment of standard legal fees would significantly deplete an organization’s funds or would otherwise be inappropriate
Also, firm attorneys provide pro bono services individually and through the Volunteer Lawyers Program (VLP), State Bar of Arizona and District of Columbia Bar, the Judiciary, and other volunteer legal services programs.
Specific areas in which the firm has performed pro bono work in the past year include:
- dispute resolution and counseling to underserved individuals on general legal matters, such as family law and government welfare issues
- social security claim issues
- general civil matters
- general corporate and transactional matters
- landlord/tenant issues
- debtor collection practices
The firm also helped numerous nonprofits, including a volunteer organization that assists cancer patients and their families, and an organization dedicated to helping veterans get access to higher level education.