2021 Pro Bono Award Recipient: White and Williams LLP
White and Williams LLP has partnered with various civil legal aid organizations in Philadelphia to provide pro bono support for more than three decades. As a supporter of the Philadelphia Bar Association's One Day Pledge, every firm attorney devotes 24 hours annually to pro bono and community service efforts.
Firm attorneys have volunteered with Philadelphia VIP for 35 years serving more than 100 clients with legal issues, including custody, divorce, debt, eviction, guardianship, name change, and nonprofit and business transactional matters. In 2007, White and Williams launched their tangled title practice group to work on VIP’s more complicated probate and real estate cases. Collectively, the firm’s attorneys have made a tremendous impact through their homeownership and tangled title legal work allowing dozens of deserving Philadelphians to stay in their homes.
In partnership with the Homeless Advocacy Project's (HAP) adopt-a-shelter program, the firm provides compassionate legal assistance to residents of Bethesda Project's Our Brothers' Place, where single men can secure emergency housing. White and Williams’ support and dedication to Our Brothers’ Place (OBP) through bi-monthly clinics has helped make it HAP's most successful long-term legal clinic site. Firm volunteer attorneys and paralegals have provided legal representation to more than 870 vulnerable residents of OBP. They have advised hundreds of clinic attendees on matters such as veteran benefits, disability benefits, child custody, and housing. White and Williams’ work has allowed many shelter residents to obtain the income and services needed to access stable housing and independence. During the pandemic, the firm transitioned quickly to staffing virtual, remote HAP legal clinics. The firm has been a trusted partner to HAP for more than 25 years.
White and Williams has been a partner to Support Center for Child Advocates for more than 35 years representing children in abuse and neglect matters. The firm’s lawyers, paralegals, and support staff have represented more than 100 children in the dependency system. Numerous firm attorneys have served on the Child Advocates board, and three have been recognized with their Distinguished Advocates for Children Award.
White and Williams has been a critical partner to Chubb's Pro Bono Program since 2015, assisting Chubb’s staff with running SeniorLAW Center's estate planning clinics. Lawyers and paralegals dedicate many hours to the pro bono program, and the firm provides logistical support, including space for clients and clinics, notarization services, and technology.
“Year after year, the White and Williams volunteers have demonstrated an exemplary pro bono commitment and passion that ensures access to justice for individuals impacted by extreme poverty, homelessness, mental illness and substance use disorders.” - Dean M. Beer, Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP)
“Because of the firm's tireless work, many Philadelphians are now able to pass their homes onto their loved ones, creating intergenerational wealth that can serve as the bedrock of bettering our neighborhoods.” - Rida Haq, Kelly J. Gastley, Lindsay H. Schoonmaker, Philadelphia VIP
“A leader in delivering innovative, consistent pro bono services to individuals in and around Philadelphia, White and Williams is an institution with a proud and worthy tradition of philanthropic commitment and community engagement.” - Frank P. Cervone, Support Center for Child Advocates