(Philadelphia, PA, March 11, 2005) – Saul Ewing LLP announces it has recently launched an ambitious, firm-wide pro bono initiative dubbed, “We’re All In (SM).” Philadelphia attorney Karen L. Forman assumes the reins of leadership of the program as its pro bono counsel. In this position, Forman will advance the firm’s demonstrated commitment to provide for the unmet legal needs of the poor and disadvantaged. “We’re All In (SM),” the Saul Ewing Pro Bono Initiative, will focus on providing legal assistance to the elderly and veterans and will partner with organizations that currently serve these populations.
Stephen S. Aichele, managing partner of Saul Ewing LLP stated, “The Pro Bono Program is a vital component of Saul Ewing’s overall strategic plan. If our firm is going to be great, and be a truly dominant regional firm, then it has to give back enthusiastically to the region.” Of Forman he commented, “Karen was our top choice to assume the leadership role of our pro bono initiative – she was the exceptional stand-out from an executive search that identified many skilled and qualified candidates. We are thrilled to welcome her on board.”
William M. Janssen, who is the firm’s executive committee pro bono liaison, concurred. “Karen is a wonderful addition to the Saul Ewing family. She brings with her a daunting record of genuine pro bono achievements, a deep familiarity with pro bono resources and contacts, a proven skill in functional, creative leadership and a seemingly boundless enthusiasm.”
The concept of providing pro bono service is contained in the Rules of Professional Conduct, which acknowledge that lawyers have a basic responsibility to “render public interest legal services,” either without a fee or at a substantially reduced fee. Many firms across the country do provide some level of pro bono assistance, but Saul Ewing is convinced that “We’re All In (SM)” has important differences.
Forman said, “The commitment and enthusiasm from the firm’s management and partnership are extraordinary. We are asking each of our attorneys to donate 25 hours this year, credited toward billable targets. We will provide training on issues relevant to the elderly and our veterans, and will match attorneys with cases and matters.”
Immediately prior to joining Saul Ewing, Forman was the founding director of the Office of Public Interest Law Programs at Temple University Beasley School of Law. In this capacity, she managed the department created to support law students who volunteer their time to public service, and pioneered many public interest innovations, including the highly regarded Public Interest Scholars Program. Previously, Forman served as assistant director of Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent Program (VIP).
A popular speaker and author of topics relating to pro bono service issues, Forman has personally distinguished herself in undertaking a variety of pro bono representations. She earned her undergraduate degree from Syracuse University, a Master of Science degree from Lesley College Graduate School of Education and her law degree from Temple University Beasley School of Law.
The “We’re All In (SM)” Program takes the pro bono effort to an impressive new level of organization and structure. Janssen stated, “’We’re All In’ is firm-wide and unifying, and we believe by targeting our efforts to a few signature causes, we will have a tremendous impact.” He continued, “But the most exciting thing about it is that together, we at Saul Ewing are helping people in need – and that is just the right thing to do.”
Saul Ewing LLP is a mid-Atlantic law firm with 250 lawyers in seven offices in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware and the District of Columbia. The firm serves businesses throughout the United States and internationally, including recognizable names in corporate America, exciting start-ups and an array of closely held and privately held companies, as well as nonprofits, governmental and educational entities, and federal contractors and subcontractors.