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Several law firms are lining up to contribute relief money to tsunami victims, with Howrey Simon Arnold & White apparently leading the pack by pledging more than $1 million to the cause. Many firms are making donations to a variety of charitable organizations to assist recovery efforts following last month’s devastating tidal waves that killed an estimated 150,000 people and injured as many as 400,000. Some firms are matching donations from their individual attorneys in addition to giving money under their firm name. Washington-based Howrey Simon’s managing partner, Robert Ruyak, said he wants his firm’s donation to spur others to dig deep to contribute. “If they know what we’re doing, I hope they will consider something more dramatic than $50,000 or $100,000,” Ruyak said. Firms are giving to relief groups such as AmericaCares, CARE, Doctors Without Borders, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, Save the Children Federation and other organizations. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom of New York is giving $100,000 to those groups and others, and is matching individual contributions from its employees. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher of Los Angeles is providing $100,000 to the Red Cross and is urging its employees to donate what they can. “The $100,000 is a meaningful commitment that we feel good about,” said Gibson Dunn managing partner Kenneth Doran. He added that the firm will seek to provide pro bono services if they are needed. Such tasks could include helping to rebuild infrastructures and even working on adoption matters, Doran said. Linking up employees Hundreds of thousands were left homeless by the series of tsunamis, which killed an estimated 100,000 in Indonesia and about 31,000 in Sri Lanka. Relief groups now are working to stave off outbreaks of malaria, pneumonia and infection. Another firm contributing to the effort is Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, which initially said it would give $25,000, in addition to matching employee contributions. The firm increased its contribution to $75,000 in addition to matching individual contributions. Orrick selected UNICEF based on its quick response to the disaster and its favorable ratings by two charity watchdog groups, said Marybeth LaMotte, manager of the firm’s community giving program. She reports to Orrick’s five-partner community responsibility committee. LaMotte added that Orrick would seek pro bono work to help victims, as well. Finally, Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe is giving $50,000 to CARE. The firm has also arranged an Internet link with CARE where employees can make individual contributions.

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