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Despite the wintry unpleasantness, four associates from Latham & Watkins plan to urge colleagues from rival firms to think summer and sweat at a special luncheon on Wednesday — as well as commitment to the third season of a runaway pro bono success called “Buildable Hours.” Under the program, summer associates roll up their sleeves and help construct houses for low-income families. Their firms pay $5,000 to Habitat for Humanity, allowing an entire summer associate class to work on site for a day under the supervision of skilled tradespersons from AmeriCorps. The idea of involving young lawyers in Habitat began two years ago as a pilot project launched by Roger Goldman, a partner in Latham’s Washington, D.C., office. With the help of Elizabeth L. Flanagan, Buildable Hours expanded last year to three additional cities, including New York, where young lawyers from 21 firms helped a single mother and her three children make a new home in the South Bronx. “We’re looking for eight cities this summer, and commitment from 40 firms in New York alone — and two houses,” said Flanagan, an associate in the finance and real estate section of Latham’s New York office and a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law. “Buildable Hours is not a hard sell. I’ve already got six reservations from firms that reached out to me. It’s the administration part of it that’s work.” Helping Flanagan with this year’s workload are her fellow New York Latham associates Elena R. Shifflette, 33, James F. Van Doren, 28, and Rajani Gupta, 26. Scheduled to drive home the meaning of pro bono during the informational luncheon is Kim Summers, the grateful owner of a tidy new house that went up last August in the Bronx.

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