While searching on the topic of good deed lawyers undertake, I noticed the same problem I am sure a lot of others faced throughout history. People simply do not have nice things to say about lawyers, however; you can find a lot of jokes and numerous malicious comments aimed at lawyers.
The people who give the bad rap about lawyers when faced with injustice, who do they run to for help? The truth is many lawyers are doing good things to help others all the time, whether it’s fighting for injustice, human rights, taking pro bono cases, or lobbying for the environment they take on these cases because it’s their job as the social engineers of our time. Just as in every profession there are few bad apples and just because they have a strong rotting smell, it does not justify throwing all the good apples in the same basket.
Recently,Lawyers to the Rescuewas approached by an organization seeking pro bono legal representation for an environmental case and a few emails later,Kelly Brooks Smith, Esq., a member ofLawyers to the Rescue was eager to help with this case without hesitation . After BP’s oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, Dr. Shezad Malik and Miami personal injury attorney Spencer Aronfeld both attorneys who are also members of Lawyers To The Rescue took it upon themselves to fly to New Orleans not for legal reasons, but rather for environmental, humanitarian and civil right reasons which they believed needed to be addressed immediately. When the two lawyers arrived at ground zero, they roll up their sleeves and unpack their suitcases with the intention of figuring out how and where they can help the fisherman, shrimpers, dock hands and dock builders recover from this tremendous loss.
“These victims have not received any assistance and have heard nothing but words and empty promises from BP and the local representatives” explained Dr. Shezad Malik. Both Mr. Malik and Mr. Aronfeld became the voice for the victims protecting their rights and met with BP and city officials on their behalf to work towards getting their lives back on track. Also, Mr. Aronfeld contacted United Way and created a fund to help address the oil spill victim’s immediate need, putting food on their tables.
Brian Lerner, Esq. a member of Lawyers to the Rescue is another great example of lawyers doing good deeds. One of the many pro bono cases Brian took on with three of his colleagues was a case where he represented an employee suing the Department of Homeland Security for disability discrimination. The case was recognized by the Daily Business Review as pro bono Case of the Year. Brian contributed over 450 hours of pro bono legal work alone.
When Haiti suffered the catastrophic earthquake back in January, 12, 2010 many lawyers contacted us to offer pro bono immigration help as well as financial assistance the same thing happened when Chile went through its tragic earthquake. The examples of good lawyers doing good deeds are everywhere and every day, unfortunately; most of these charitable acts go unappreciated and without recognition. Lawyers are simply too busy fighting for others to sing your own praises and fight for their reputation.