WASHINGTON, D.C. – September 24, 2012Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP announced today the launch of the “Impact Project,” a novel pro bono service in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office.  The cutting-edge project will utilize Skadden’s expertise and resources in collaboration with leading legal aid organizations and in-house lawyers at Cisco Systems, Inc., LivingSocial and Northrop Grumman Corp. to provide desperately needed pro bono legal assistance on a broad scale to help low-income children and families in Washington, D.C.     

The Impact Project will focus on three specific areas of need: domestic violence, guardians ad litem for children and housing, which will be handled by three corresponding groups of lawyers within Skadden's D.C. office. Participants will be organized to address each of these areas, and may choose to join any of the three groups. Lawyers in the local offices of Cisco, LivingSocial and Northrop Grumman also will join one of the three groups.

The Project will be enhanced by partnering with three premier local legal aid organizations to support these efforts: 

  • Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia — Attorneys will represent domestic violence victims seeking protection orders.
  • The Children’s Law Center — Attorneys will serve as guardians ad litem for children in contested custody cases.
  • Bread for the City — Attorneys will represent indigent families facing eviction or living in sub-standard rental housing, and will work with tenant organizations striving to preserve affordable housing.

“The Impact Project reflects the firm's long-standing public service commitment and upholds the late Joe Flom’s belief that pro bono work is part of the basic role of lawyers,” said Executive Partner Eric Friedman. “Skadden celebrates our D.C. office’s determined focus to help underserved members of its community, and we hope to use this venture as a model throughout the firm.”

“For the first time, through our partnership with D.C. Legal Aid, the Children's Law Center and Bread for the City, Skadden's award-winning pro bono program will mobilize our resources and channel our time for a concerted effort on behalf of the neediest residents of D.C.," said Cliff Sloan, Skadden’s partner in charge of the Impact Project.

"We are very excited to partner with Skadden to help improve the lives of disadvantaged children and families in the D.C. area," said Mark Chandler, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary of Cisco. "Our partnership with Skadden also allows our team members to grow their skills and experience in a way that helps the community."

"Washington, D.C. is LivingSocial’s home and we take seriously our responsibility to positively impact the community in which we live," said Jim Bramson, general counsel of LivingSocial. "We are proud to play a part in the Impact Project and to work with this exceptional group of organizations in providing much needed pro bono support to our underserved neighbors. Our staff is eager to get started."

“Northrop Grumman is delighted to join the Children and Families Impact Project,” said Sheila C. Cheston, corporate vice president and general counsel of the company.  “We look forward to partnering with Skadden to serve the children and families in our nation’s capital who are most in need.”

"With the help of these flagship legal services groups, along with Cisco, LivingSocial and Northrop Grumman's support, Skadden will not only represent individual children and families in the three targeted areas, but also will seek out opportunities to pursue policy reforms to support the terrific work that our legal services partners perform on the ground every day," said Mr. Sloan.

Skadden’s D.C. office was honored in 2012 by the D.C. Bar as the “Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year” among large firms.