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Dozens of lawyers from San Francisco firms were hard at work on the last weekend of April. But instead of brandishing pens and paper, the attorneys wielded hammers and paintbrushes. It was all part of Rebuilding Together, the city’s program to refurbish the homes of elderly, low-income and physically limited city residents, as well as the facilities of various nonprofit organizations. Among the firms lending a hand — and some sweat — to the cause were Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe; Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin; Farella Braun & Martel; and Morrison & Foerster. “It was a lot of work, and a lot of people who had never really painted before, but everyone just sort of rolled their sleeves up and did a really great job,” said Ruth Bond, a corporate associate at Heller Ehrman who organized her firm’s effort to repaint Sunnyside Elementary School. As a firm, Heller Ehrman donated $7,500 to the project for equipment and materials. Meanwhile, about 30 Heller employees, including partners, associates, paralegals and secretaries, showed up on Saturday to volunteer. Not far away, a team of 70 Howard Rice volunteers was hard at work on the Southeast Child-Family Therapy Center. “It’s an incredible team-building effort: associates working side by side with partners,” said Clara Shin, a Howard Rice litigation associate who also sits on the board of Rebuilding Together San Francisco. According to Shin, the organization mobilized 5,000 volunteers across the city to rehabilitate 40 homes and 20 facilities over the weekend. The child-family therapy center Howard Rice worked on is a great example of the project’s potential, Shin said. In addition to the firm’s $7,500 contribution, the Howard, Rice team garnered another $15,000 in in-kind contributions. This included truckloads of furniture from Pottery Barn Kids, as well as new flooring and gardening material from Floortrends and Sloat Garden Center. One company even volunteered to replace the building’s bullet-riddled windows. “In one day we turned this place around — from a dilapidated, run-down building to a warm, safe, inviting space for kids and families,” said Shin.

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