Plaintiffs’ Law Firm, the Simmons firm, Recognized for Pro Bono and Philanthropic Work

The Simmons Hanly Conroy was recently recognized by the Illinois Bar Association with the John C. McAndrews Award, which honors members of the legal profession who have shown extraordinary commitment to providing free legal services to the poor. The Simmons Hanly Conroy represented more than 100 St. Louis-area homeless military veterans and worked diligently to secure more than $13 million in compensation for workers who contracted cancer via thorium exposure during nuclear weapons-work in Madison, Illinois.

The Simmons Hanly Conroy also collaborated closely with local judges to guarantee that downstate Illinois soldiers returning from Iraq would have access to legal services as needed. More details on the pro bono services provided to U.S. military men and women by Simmons Hanly Conroy are available at

“Our pro bono work is especially rewarding on a very personal level,” said John Simmons, Simmons Hanly Conroy founding shareholder and U.S. Army veteran. “To be recognized by the ISBA with the John C. McAndrews Award is such an honor felt at every level of our firm, fueling our passion to help others improve the quality of their lives.”

The most recent newsletter from the Veterans Legal Support Center & Clinic (VLSC) at the John Marshall Law School has also highlighted the work of Simmons Hanly Conroy attorneys Karoline Carstens, Amy Garrett and others in their pro bono work for U.S. military veterans through the John Marshall veterans advocacy-training course at the VLSC. Full details on the coverage are available at Simmons Hanly Conroy website at

Carstens and Garrett, a shareholder at Simmons Hanly Conroy, helped facilitate training for nearly 40 lawyers with the Madison County Bar Association and the VLSC. One of the country’s first law schools offering a clinic dedicated to the legal needs of veterans, John Marshall created the VLSC to provide veterans with access to their statewide network of pro bono attorneys, as thousands of veterans return from war with serious injuries and are not receiving the benefits they have earned and need.

“It is hard for attorneys in private practice to make the time for pro bono efforts,” explained Carstens. “To have a big firm get involved makes it easier for people who really need it to get the help they deserve. Because many of the clients of our firm are veterans and many of the attorneys and staff are ex-military members, this project is near and dear to our hearts.”

Last year Simmons Hanly Conroy made a record $10.2 million donation comprised of annual gifts and a multi-year pledge to help fund the development of The Simmons Hanly Conroy Cancer Institute at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, which hosted its grand opening on July 10. Spanning 63,000 square feet, the new institute consolidates most of the School of Medicine’s multi-disciplinary cancer clinics, now located in several hospital buildings, along with research and outreach services. More details on Simmons Hanly Conroy’s philanthropy and the new cancer institute at Southern Illinois University are available at

“It’s no secret that the legal profession gets a bad rap,” admits Simmons. “Titles aside, our ultimate goal as trial attorneys is the same goal of the doctors and nurses who will soon begin work inside Simmons Hanly Conroy Cancer Institute – to prevent and alleviate the suffering of others. And as a firm rooted in helping mesothelioma cancervictims, we are especially proud to be sponsoring this institute.”