People are more willing to contribute and contribute more when there are fewer organizations asking for money. At least that was the thought of Parsons Behle & Latimer former president, James B. Lee, Lauren Skolnick and others when they established And Justice for All 20 years ago.
Today, AJFA functions as a single fundraising organization that raises money and solicits attorneys’ pro bono time to sustain three charitable legal organizations that serve low-income or disabled Utahns: the Legal Aid Society of Utah, Utah Legal Services, and the Disability Law Center. At 90-years-old, Mr. Lee’s leadership and influence was still evident at the recent AJFA 20th Anniversary breakfast, where Parsons Behle & Latimer was named the largest law firm donor of AFJA for 2018.
Juliette White, Parsons Behle & Latimer shareholder and newly-appointed AJFA president says Utah is very different from other states in its approach to providing legal services for low-income or disabled people. “Other states don’t have this level of umbrella fundraising organizations,” she says. “Our program is uniquely comprehensive and effective. AJFA is not federally regulated which gives us the freedom, mobility and flexibility to use the money where most needed. All funds go straight to the organizations. This year, AJFA raised more money than ever before at $454,000. These organizations are critically important to Utahns who need free or low-cost legal services.”
Many Parsons Behle & Latimer attorneys sit on community boards, accept chairmanships and volunteer at the three legal organizations or at AJFA. When asked why she thinks Parsons Behle & Latimer attorneys are so willing to get involved, White says, “Parsons Behle & Latimer has a long-standing commitment to support these legal organizations, beginning with our CEO Hal Pos and extending to our youngest associates. It is part of the firm’s culture. We believe it is incumbent upon the Utah legal community to ensure affordable, high-quality, access to legal services for individuals and families in need.”