CHICAGO (December 1, 2008) — McDermott Will & Emery has signed on to the committee to run the "Equality for Kids Campaign" launched by the Firm's pro bono partner Equip for Equality. Jeffrey Stone, head of McDermott's Trial Department, will serve as the Firm's representative on the committee. Todd Solomon, partner and co-chair of the Firm's Pro Bono & Community Service Committee in Chicago, is a member of Equip for Equality's Parent Council that oversees, assists with planning for, and evaluates services and new sources of revenue for Equip for Equality's Special Education Clinic. The Firm is one of nine Chicago law firms that signed on to the Equality for Kids Campaign committee.
The Equality for Kids Campaign is a volunteer-driven campaign comprised of legal and business community leaders raising funds to support Campaign efforts. The Campaign funds will be used to support the Special Education Clinic, to build an effective pro bono initiative, and support other disability rights efforts at Equip for Equality.
Funds raised by the Equality for Kids Campaign will be put toward the recruitment, training and support of pro bono attorneys who want to help protect children with disabilities as well as the staffing of a telephone helpline to provide legal advice, self-advocacy assistance, information and referrals. In addition, Campaign funds will help provide training seminars for parents and students on issues relating to special education and will develop a website with easy to understand rights information for parents, teachers and others.
McDermott Will & Emery strongly encourages its lawyers and staff to participate in pro bono activities, volunteer services and charitable activities. Its Pro Bono & Community Services Committee seeks to ensure that the same Firm standards of quality, service and care that are given to its paying clients are also afforded to those it serves on a pro bono basis. A major part of McDermott's pro bono program is its Kids First program, a Firm-wide initiative that provides at-risk children across the United States and abroad with legal representation for a variety of needs, including special education, school access and registration, school discipline, guardian ad litem services for children in the abuse and neglect system, and law reform and legislative policy. The people of McDermott Will & Emery understand their unique obligations as lawyers to enhance the lives of those in need and are committed to ensuring that low-income and disadvantaged individuals have access to justice.