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SHAW PITTMAN FOR CHANGE When Denise Cade joined Shaw Pittman in 1993, she was looking for a way to use her corporate expertise pro bono. After hearing in late 1994 about the nonprofit group Suited for Change, she called the organization and asked, “Do you have representation?” “No,” came the reply. “You’ll probably need it,” Cade recalls saying. Nearly a decade later, Cade now serves as Suited for Change’s general counsel and sits on the board of directors. The organization provides professional clothing to low-income women seeking jobs and is run by just two staffers. Cade pores over all the organization’s contracts and devotes an average of 250 pro bono hours each year. At any given time, she recruits several of the firm’s attorneys to help the organization in other practice areas, such as intellectual property and employment law. Executive Director Mary-Frances Wain says, “It’s like having the entire firm of Shaw Pittman as our attorney.” Through various fund-raising and outreach efforts � first collecting clothing and later money to buy clothes from firm colleagues � Cade introduced Shaw Pittman’s community outreach coordinator and deputy chief of human resources Maria Stanfield to Wain. Stanfield, a 20-year Shaw Pittman veteran in human resources, immediately began to think of how to help the women with developing professional skills. Her idea, which started as a scribble on a deli napkin after that first meeting with Wain, made a debut on May 6 in Shaw Pittman’s D.C. office. Partnered with Suited for Change, STEPS for Change brought 22 clients from Suited for Change and Second Genesis, a rehabilitation program, into Shaw Pittman for intensive career training. “The response was overwhelming,” says Stanfield. Roughly 25 female lawyers and staff signed up to mentor the women, and run workshops on basic office, customer service, and computer skills. The pilot program also covered r�sum� writing and interviewing. While most of the women left with a Shaw Pittman briefcase of office supplies and an invitation to another program in the fall, 23-year-old Laquita Claiborne of Southeast D.C. landed herself a job. Claiborne started working as Shaw Pittman’s receptionist in the D.C. office on June 1. Several days before, she visited Suited for Change’s boutique in the organization’s I Street office in Northwest Washington, where a volunteer helped her choose the three suits each client receives after finding work, in addition to the two suits each client is given for interviewing. Claiborne, after looking for work without success, says she is excited about her new job at Shaw Pittman. “I thank them very much,” says Claiborne. Executive Director Wain says that, as with Claiborne, finding work is becoming increasingly difficult for the women who are at varying degrees of job readiness and who lack personal networks for job opportunities. Also, many of the women qualify for entry-level jobs, which are often the first to be eliminated when the economy dips, she claims. Wain likes to say that the organization manages to “do a lot for a little.” Suited for Change just celebrated serving its 10,000th client, and has survived this long with the help of more than 200 volunteers like Cade and newcomer Stanfield. “I think it’s the power of women helping women,” says Wain. “It’s a very incredible thing to watch someone change their lives every day.” RACHAEL’S WOMEN’S CENTER Rachael’s Women’s Center has provided shelter and guidance to D.C.’s homeless women for 25 years. Now, thanks to a little help from their newest law firm friend, Gilbert Heintz & Randolph, they’re able to do a little bit more. Most recently, Gilbert Heintz has helped Rachael’s prepare for its annual open house � recruiting about 30 people, including named partners Scott Gilbert and Jerome Randolph, for painting and cleaning. Staff lent a hand, too: legal secretary Kathleen O’Keeffe recruited a design team to help with paint selection, and librarian Cameron Gowan is organizing supply drives. Rachael’s, which provides services up to 1,000 homeless women a year � many of whom suffer from mental illness or substance abuse or both � has been supported by law firms, says Executive Director Dawn Swan. Nixon Peabody; Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox; and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, among others, have given “immeasurable support” over the years, by serving meals at the day shelter or donating funds. Gilbert Heintz is the newest addition to that list. “Just in months, I’ve grown to treasure their support,” says Swan. Gilbert Heintz began to work with Rachael’s last November and was attracted to the organization because of its proximity to the firm’s New York Avenue office. Introduced to the center through the firm’s real estate broker, S. Bruce Pascal, who was a member of the center’s board, Gilbert Heintz brought in Swan to discuss volunteer opportunities. “It became evident that the center was understaffed in comparison to similar organizations and that they could really use some extra hands,” says staff attorney Allison Carle. The firm has helped Rachael’s in a landlord-tenant issue, and the firm’s executive director, Jeri Rhodes, is developing a business plan. Along with Rachael’s board of directors, Rhodes is helping expand last year’s successful ornament program. Maryland artist Gary Rosenthal, who works in mixed metals and fused glass, taught the women how to make ornaments he designed. The women were paid a stipend, and Rachael’s reaped the profits from sales of the ornaments. Swan marketed the ornaments through her law firm volunteers, among others, and sold more than 500. Rosenthal received Rachael’s annual Empowerment through Expression Award for providing “opportunities for the women of Rachael’s to heal through art and gain supplemental income for their hard work.” This year, the firm also recognized Nixon Peabody secretary Jeanette Campbell with its Volunteer of the Year Award. Rhodes and Swan say they hope to work with other local artists to develop projects they can produce quarterly. “They were so busy with survival and then this artist came along and gave them the opportunity,” says Rhodes. Pro Bono Bulletin Board is an occasional column covering developments in the public interest and pro bono communities. Alicia Upano can be reached at [email protected].

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