Simmons Hanly Conroy attorneys Karoline Carstens, Rebecca Hausman and Perry Browder receive the Illinois State Bar Association’s 2020 John C. McAndrews Pro Bono Award on behalf of the firm from ISBA President Dennis Orsey.
ALTON, Illinois – As part of National Pro Bono Week, Simmons Hanly Conroy, one of the nation’s largest mass torts firms, is pleased to announce it has received the 2019-2020 John C. McAndrews Pro Bono Award from the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA).
Conferred by ISBA’S Standing Committee on Delivery of Legal Services, the award recognizes meritorious efforts of law firms, bar associations and lawyers. Simmons Hanly Conroy was honored as a Law Firm/Corporate Law Department with more than 25 employees.
“Our firm believes in giving our best not only to serve our clients but also to those living in surrounding communities, and we are honored and humbled to be recognized by the ISBA,” said Chairman John Simmons.
Through its pro bono committee, which is led by Assistant Managing Shareholder Amy E. Garrett, Simmons Hanly Conroy gives back at both firm and individual levels, providing a wide variety of legal services.
“Our attorneys and staff have donated countless pro bono hours dedicated to ensuring people from every walk of life have access to equitable justice,” Garrett said. “Our pro bono programs serve veterans, children, the homeless, domestic abuse victims, immigrants, foster children, and people seeking a second chance through the expungement process.”
Starting in 2016, Simmons Hanly Conroy played a key role in organizing the first Madison County Expungement Day by partnering with Madison County agencies to help hundreds of people expunge and/or seal nonviolent offenses from their records. The annual event continues today with Second Chance Saturdays, organized by the Land of Lincoln Legal Aid (Land of Lincoln).
In addition to its support of Second Chance Saturday, a number of firm attorneys also volunteer to represent prisoners whose constitutional rights have been violated. Simmons Hanly Conroy attorneys helped form the Madison County Pro Bono Attorney List, which specifically trains attorneys to help veterans navigate the VA claims process, and several firm paralegals assist domestic abuse victims who don’t have attorneys, helping them obtain orders of protection.
Other firm employees volunteer their time pro bono as Guardian Ad Litem attorneys in custody cases, at the 3rd Judicial Court’s Ask a Lawyer Clinic, and for the Southern Illinois Immigrant Rights Project. The firm regularly provides civil legal services through Land of Lincoln; multiple firm attorneys serve on its board and committees.
As part of the award from ISBA, the Illinois Bar Foundation awards a $500 grant to an organization through which Simmons Hanly Conroy provides services. The beneficiary will be Land of Lincoln.