Launched in 2012, the Impact Project is a cutting-edge collaboration that combines Skadden’s experience with that of leading legal aid organizations and in-house lawyers to achieve a critical pro bono mass. The first-of-its-kind initiative aims to make pro bono outreach more efficient by creating partnerships where each group can bring their unique skillset to the table.
This unique endeavor frequently has been recognized, including by the Pro Bono Institute, which awarded Skadden the 2014 John H. Pickering Award, and the “Innovative Lawyers” report, which gave Skadden the top score in its social responsibility category for our work on this project.
Today’s teens must navigate complex issues relating to appropriate physical contact, cyberbullying and distribution of electronic content. In the wake of many high-profile tragedies involving teens and social media, Skadden’s Palo Alto office created an Impact Project that provides Bay Area high school students with legal guidance and resources to respond positively and effectively to illegal behavior. Since its launch in 2013, “Know Your Rights and Know the Law: Sexual and Social Media Misconduct” has provided approximately 10,000 Bay Area high school students with legal and practical information regarding the sharing of sensitive information on social media. In cooperation with the nonprofits Legal Advocates for Children and Youth and Legal Services for Children, Skadden attorneys are paired with in-house counsel and other legal professionals to take the interactive tutorial to high school classrooms. In 2016, we expanded the initiative to target the parents of teens, as well as educators and other adults who are interested in the issues raised by teens’ use — and misuse — of social media and technology. Geographic and other expansions are in development for 2017.
In 2014, our Impact Project efforts expanded overseas. Skadden’s London office, partnering with some of the most accomplished legal services agencies and international organisations, identified three areas where they can be most impactful: domestic violence, welfare benefits and public international law. In 2016, the office’s Domestic Violence Impact Project Group, in partnership with pro bono lawyers from five other law firms, helped launch a new Family Law and Domestic Violence Advice Clinic in Bethnal Green, London, which is jointly run by Account3 and the Legal Advice Centre (University House). The Welfare Benefits Group also partners with University House to provide ongoing assistance to residents of East London to bring appeals in relation to the rejection of Employment and Support Allowance claims. The Public International Law Group’s expertise includes human rights and advisory work for international organisations.
My work at the Landlord Tenant Resource Center ... constantly gives me perspective on my life and serves as a reminder to stay grateful and centered on my day-to-day. — Katherine Nakazono, associate