Pro Bono Initiative
Since 2000, Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP has continued a pro bono initiative to encourage employees to volunteer through the PSH Philanthropic Program to benefit clients of Children's Friend, the oldest child centered charity in Rhode Island.
No endeavors are more rewarding to us than those we do on behalf of our nonprofit clients. In 2000, we launched the PSH Philanthropic Program, a firm-wide initiative aimed to encourage employee volunteerism. The program focused on Children's Friend (CFS), an organization dedicated to helping disadvantaged Rhode Island children thrive. Taking a multi-pronged approach, the PSH Philanthropic Program provided aid to CFS in three ways. First, we provided pro bono legal services for CFS clients regarding a number of demanding issues, including custody, adoption and government benefits. Second, we adopted a CFS family for a full year, providing food, utility assistance, clothing, birthday presents and cake, and back-to-school supplies. Finally, we rallied our entire staff behind drives for new and used clothing, books and household items. What's more, our support staff, paralegals and attorneys got involved firsthand. We purchased, prepared, hosted and served a spaghetti supper for CFS clients. We provided childcare and children's entertainment. We coordinated educational programs focused on health and safety issues.
In 2003, PSH received the Community Involvement Award from the Providence Business News Business Excellence Awards Committee for our charitable efforts.
Fourteen years after its inception, the program is still going strong.
Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP leads pro bono collaborative pilot project with the Roger Williams University School of Law.
Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP is partnering with The Roger Williams University School of Law and nonprofit provider Casey Family Services to create a Special Education Advocacy Project to provide legal rights training and assistance to families that adopt at-risk foster children with special educational needs. The firm is committing approximately $75,000 of yearly legal services to this Project, and our team of attorneys currently includes Michael Gamboli, David Pellegrino and Devon Villarreal
Casey Family Services is a nonprofit family service agency committed to improving the lives of at risk children, offering services relating to foster care, post adoption, family support, and school to career opportunities. Casey was started by the Casey brothers, the founders of United Parcel Service (UPS). Casey has a facility in South Providence, Rhode Island and also operates in a number of other states. Of particular concern to Casey is securing appropriate educational accommodations for adopted students with special needs. Often these students, while in foster care, have advocates appointed and paid for by the State of Rhode Island. However, once these children are adopted they lose this help, and the economic circumstances of many adopting families make it virtually impossible for these children to receive the needed services. Of even greater concern is that most adopting families are ill equipped to navigate the legal and administrative maze of special needs rights and individual educational plans (IEPs).
PSH, with assistance from law students from Roger Williams and the valuable resources of Casey, is determined to eradicate any inequities in this system. PSH attorneys will be working on a weekly basis with Casey and Roger Williams to advocate for children with special needs, and will take an active role in attending group meetings and IEP meetings with school officials. If necessary, PSH attorneys will provide pro bono representation to these children and their families in mediation or court proceedings. In addition, PSH attorneys and Roger Williams law students are designing and will be presenting workshops for parents to ensure that they are familiar with their legal and educational rights.
PSH is very excited about this collaboration and for being chosen by Roger Williams to be a leader in marshalling the combined talents and resources of the legal community, law school and non-profit providers to address important social needs of the citizens of Rhode Island.