Friday, July 28, marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of Chesterfield Smith, the founding partner of Holland & Knight. To mark the occasion, Holland & Knight announced a major gift of $100,000 to Legal Services of Greater Miami Inc. to continue the legacy of Mr. Smith, a legendary lawyer and vocal advocate for pro bono legal services for the poor.
During his long career, Smith promoted his commitment to pro bono and continually challenged the legal profession to “Do Good!” In 1999, Legal Services dedicated its office building as the Chesterfield Smith Center for Equal Justice in honor of his role as chair of the Legal Services Campaign for Justice, which raised funds to purchase the building.
“Holland & Knight has always been a leader in the legal profession,” said Marcia K. Cypen, Legal Services executive director.
“We are so very grateful to the firm for this extraordinary lead gift to our Building the Cornerstone Campaign. The firm’s vision and philanthropic leadership will make a lasting impact in our community for generations to come,” she added.
“We could think of no better way to honor Chesterfield’s memory than to ensure that his adopted hometown of Miami would continue to benefit from the great work of Legal Services,” said Steven Sonberg, Holland & Knight’s managing partner. “Access to the legal system is a critical issue in our community, and we hope that our contribution will help those in desperate need.”
The gift will help ensure that our most vulnerable neighbors will have representation in our civil justice system. The representation provided by the Legal Services staff will protect their rights to safe, affordable, decent housing and access to health care.
Holland & Knight has had a long partnership with Legal Services. Partner Tiffani Lee currently serves on the board of directors. Partner Tracy Nichols served as co-chair and Rodolfo Sorondo and Wifredo Ferrer serve on the Building the Cornerstone Campaign committee. Partner Bill Bloom also provided pro bono real estate services to the organization during its recent headquarters relocation.
Legal Services of Greater Miami is a non-profit organization providing free civil legal services for vulnerable members of the community with nowhere else to turn for help, including women, children, seniors, veterans returning from combat, people with disabilities, low-wage workers and the homeless. We provide assistance with problems in the areas of tenants’ rights, homeownership, health, income maintenance, employment, special education, tax and consumer rights. Visit www.legalservicesmiami.org.
Holland & Knight is a global law firm with more than 1,250 lawyers and other professionals in 27 offices throughout the world. The lawyers provide representation in litigation, business, real estate and governmental law. Interdisciplinary practice groups and industry-based teams provide clients with access to attorneys throughout the firm, regardless of location. Visit www.hklaw.com.