Skadden Arps Donates Backpacks and Promotes Awareness About Pro Bono Legal Services

October 21, 2014


Happy winner of a backpack!           Stuffing the backpacks at Sakdden.

In September, during back to school orientation programs at DREAM Charter School, Skadden delivered 20 beautiful backpacks full of pencils, markers, rulers, folders, and other amazing school supplies.

During the summer, a group of pro bono lawyers at Skadden Arps worked with DREAM Charter School to garner excitement about the school's Free Legal Clinic with free backpack give away events at the school's Back to School Orientations. In addition to donating needed school supplies to families, the events also served the purpose of disseminating flyers to parents about the upcoming September free legal clinic. Claire James, a Skadden associate who coordinates the legal clinic at the school, said, "While we had fun assembling the backpacks to donate to the DREAM Charter School families, it was also an opportunity to recruit additional pro bono lawyers to staff the monthly legal clinics."

Working with the Volunteers of Legal Service School-based Children’s Project, Skadden Arps conducts a monthly legal clinic for parents of children attending DREAM Charter School in East Harlem. The Project helps low-income families resolve legal problems that interfere with their children's ability to learn. VOLS does this by building relationships between law firms and public schools. Parents receive legal advice and counsel on civil legal issues ranging from housing and public benefits to family law and immigration. In addition to conducting legal clinics, pro bono lawyers attend parent meetings and events for families as a means to get to know the families and build trust in the school community. Volunteer lawyers from the firms become part of an interdisciplinary team of parents, administrators, teachers, and social workers, which helps children succeed.

Emily Parkey, DREAM Charter School’s Family Engagement Director, said, "The school is extremely grateful for its partnership with Skadden Arps and looks forward to more fun ways to partner together to bring more awareness about free legal services to our families!"