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Big Law Firms Use Foundations to Give Back to Their Communities

12/31/14

Big Law Firms Use Foundations to Give Back to Their Communities


Quite a few law firms in the Top 100 have created foundations worth millions of dollars that are focused on giving back, according to The American Lawyer.

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At Kirkland & Ellis, the firm's foundation supports law-related and charitable organizations. The foundation, founded in 1982, has handed out more than $9 million to some 1,000 organizations in 2014.

The firm made a $5 million donation to the Northwestern University School of Law. It is a multi-year pledge involving 31 of the firm's partners. It creates the Kirkland & Ellis Scholarship Fund for students who are enrolled in the J.D.-MBA program at the school.

Kirkland also donated money to The Legal Aid Society, the National Center for Law and Economic Justice Equal Justice Works and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

At Jones Day, the firm's foundation hit a record high for the number of organizations it donated to in 2014.

The Jones Day Foundation was created in 1987 in an effort to support the rule of law in developing nations, the impoverished, innovation in academics, medicine, the arts and victims of natural disasters.

Jones Day issued some 30 grants in 2014.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom's operates a fellowship foundation. The firm has close to $10 million in net assets in its foundation.

The latest class of Skadden Fellows was announced early in December, with 28 graduates and judicial clerks who will receive financial support to work in public interest jobs for two years.

At Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, its foundation has a little under $10 million to work with right now. The foundation has previously donated close to $2 million to Prep for Prep, which places students of color at independent schools across the Northeast.

The firm has also donated money to the Prodigal Sons and Daughters Redirection Services, the Melanoma Research Alliance Foundation and New York University. The money sent to NYU went to the NYU Langone Medical Center and the Mount Sinai NYU Medical Center.

The Sidley Austin Foundation has just over $10 million in net assets, according to filings from 2013. The firm issued grants totaling $3 million in 2012.

Summary: Quite a few law firms in the Top 100 have created foundations worth millions of dollars that are focused on giving back.

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