2012 – IB Summit – Report to Members / Part Two

Part Two of the member report covers the following topics:

Lawyers Against Hunger

60 for Safety
–EndDD.org Campaign Updates
–Custom Campaigns for your State and Local TLA
–KidsAndCars.org

Read IB Summit – Report to Members / Part One

Lawyers Against Hunger

Session Three of this year’s Summit was a presentation and discussion from Tulsa member Hugh Robert on the Oklahoma non-profit, Lawyers Against Hunger, including opportunities for members to bring this (highly visible) good-works program to their own areas.

Lawyers Against Hunger (LAH) began as one-time effort to help feed local families in Oklahoma during a down economy and has grown to a statewide effort to break down stereotypes about trial lawyers and the hungry. The non-profit effort is led by three of our own IB members — Noble McIntyre (Oklahoma City), Hugh Robert (Tulsa) and David Bernstein (Norman).

Here’s a brief history of the organization:

In 2009, a number of agencies that feed the hungry had their funding cut for Thanksgiving. A group of Oklahoma Attorneys decided to step up and help these groups out by raising funds to purchase the needed turkeys.

In 2010, Noble McIntyre of McIntyre Law in Oklahoma City and Hugh M. Robert of Sherwood & McCormick in Tulsa decided to make the event even bigger. Noble contacted a food distribution agency about purchasing Thanksgiving meals to be distributed in Tulsa and Oklahoma City. More than 50 firms and attorney contributed to the effort and over 750 hundred boxes of pre-packaged Thanksgiving meals were purchased and distributed in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Over $30,000 was raised from lawyers/members of the Oklahoma Association for Justice which was used to purchase the meals. Those generous financial commitments came from lawyers all over the state allowed the group to provide food for 4200 hungry Oklahomans.

As the need to feed the hungry in Oklahoma grew, David Bernstein of Bernstein Law Firm in Norman joined efforts in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. The three formed Lawyers Against Hunger, Inc. a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting hunger. This allowed all three to fundraise for Thanksgiving and keep funds donated in each donor’s community.

During his presentation, Hugh shared how he and his firm first got involved with this effort, his own exposure to the grim statistics surrounding hunger in America and how he and the other lead firms have recruited firms throughout the state to partner with them to do even more. He also shared the overwhelming success that they’ve seen in terms of families fed, increased awareness of this issue, and positive media coverage for the lead firms involved.

Families Fed

The ultimate measure of success for any anti-hunger initiative is number of families fed. In 2011, their 3rd year of operation (and first as a formal non-profit organization), LAH served nearly 4000 families during their Fall/Thanksgiving giveaway. In 2012, they also launched a Spring campaign called Celebrate Spring, feeding another 1000 families.

Awareness and Positive Media Coverage for Trial Attorneys

Increasing awareness around the issue of hunger in awareness is another big part of the campaign and the media has covered LAH events, extensively, in all three cities.

Sample Coverage:

Tulsa Business Journal
Tulsa World
KOCO – Oklahoma City
Daily Oklahoman
News on 6 – Tulsa

Part of LAH’s mission is to increase positive media coverage of trial lawyers as they do good works in the community. Broad media coverage has certainly helped them accomplish that goal.

Opportunity for IB Members

Hugh reported that LAH is currently interested in partnering with IB members to grow this program in other states. To help members, LAH is offering step-by-step details, local “project” status under the LAH non-profit organization (i.e. local firms do NOT have to set up their own non-profit but can benefit from LAH’s status), and availability of the founders (Hugh, David and Noble) to help answer any questions and provide guidance along the way.

We think this is an incredible opportunity for our firms and IB fully supports the LAH mission.

STAFF ACTION — Staff will work with LAH to create a “quick-start” kit for member firms interested in starting their own local efforts and create awareness through member communications.

MEMBER ACTION — LAH suggests that members interested in launching a local campaign should consider starting with Celebrate Spring 2013. Members can learn more about LAH and begin developing a local campaign through these steps:

  • Visit the LAH website and Facebook page to learn more about the group’s efforts
  • Explore local food banks in your area
  • Contact IB or LAH to discuss the possibilities for a local campaign

Please contact Patrick Mickler (Membership) at pmickler@clarislaaw.com or Mason Alley (60 for Safety) at mason@60forsafety.org with your questions or for more information about launching a local campaign.

60 for Safety Update

60 for Safety (60FS) was launched as an IB project in January 2012 to support our members as they reach out to their own communities on safety issues and to promote injury prevention awareness. 60FS is a North American “speakers bureau”, highlighting trial attorneys as experts on safety and creating relationship and reputation-building opportunities for IB members, in particular.

60FS was launched in parallel with developing the End Distracted Driving campaign, which was developed and organized by a working group of IB Members, including: Wayne Parsons (Hawaii), Michael Monheit (Philadelphia), Jeff Weinstein (Athens, TX) and Joel Feldman (Philadelphia). Future safety campaigns are currently in development with/for our members.

End Distracted Driving

Mason Alley (60 for Safety) along with IB member and EndDD.org founder, Joel Feldman, provided an update on the highly successful End Distracted Driving campaign, to-date and plans for future growth.

In its first 6-months, the 60 for Safety/EndDD.org – End Distracted Driving Student Awareness presentation reached more than 41,000 students in 28 states as the campaign launched across North America. Response from student audiences, schools, parents and presenters has been overwhelmingly positive and more than 5,000 pre and post presentation student surveys have been collected to date.

Joel reported that the presentation and audience surveys were professionally developed with guidance from nationally recognized safety and youth development experts from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). This level of professionalism has led to an exciting development where CHOP researchers are using the survey data to create a national safety study which will provide new and significant insights into the effectiveness of teen-driver accident prevention related to distracted driving. This will be a nationally recognized report and the largest of its kind bringing significant positive attention to both the issue and trial lawyers who have underwritten and volunteered to bring this safety effort.

During the presentation, Joel presented an incredible and exclusive opportunity for members to be connected to this national safety report and the subsequent positive media exposure it will generate by helping to underwrite the cost of research and publishing. Because of our extensive network, IB members have the potential to fully fund this research at a relatively low cost per member capturing even more media attention to individual member firms as well as our organization as a whole.

Donations to this effort are also tax-deductible, and Joel’s non-profit The Casey Feldman Foundation and EndDD.org are also providing some incredible branding opportunities in the form of customized safety report brochures which can be used in lobbies, with local media, etc.

Custom Campaigns — State TLAs

Another incredible development, discussed in the presentation, was a new effort to create custom campaigns for use by our members with their state and local trial lawyer associations. Joel and IB-founder, Tom Young, had several meetings with state leaders at AAJ Chicago and Joel has followed up independently with about 30 state organizations.

So far, we have members in Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia executing or developing local campaigns, along with TLAs in Indiana, Kentucky, Delaware and other areas where we have no member representation, leading the way.

UPDATE — The week of 10/17/12, Joel and iB Member Anthony Leone (Providence RI) who is the newly elected president of Rhode Island Association for Justice (RIAJ) held a press conference at the Governor’s Mansion with Rhode Island’s Governor, Speaker of state house, chair of house judiciary committee and major from state police along with extensive print and television coverage to launch the RIAJ-led campaign. See local reporting here.

STAFF ACTION — Staff is hard at work with members, EndDD.org, state and local TLAs, etc. to develop and launch customized campaigns.

MEMBER ACTION — We HIGHLY encourage members to develop local custom campaigns to take advantage of this incredible media opportunity:

  • Read more about custom campaigns on 60forSafety.org
  • Contact us ASAP about opportunities in your area

Please contact Mason Alley (60 for Safety) at mason@60forsafety.org with your questions or for more information about launching a local, custom campaign.

KidsAndCars.org

The Blindzone Demonstration campaign is currently available to members and is an incredible way to promote child safety in your area. Member firms Gelber and O’Connell of Buffalo, NY and Arnold Pizzo McKiggan of Halifax, NS have already made these presentations locally and received considerable local press coverage:

WKBW – Buffalo, NY
CBC Canada – National Coverage

Thanks to Stephanie, Hirsch and Tim as well as John McKiggan for their efforts to lead the way!

MEMBER ACTION — We encourage all members to consider a local KidsAndCars.org Blindzone Demonstration. Contact mason@60forsafety.org for more details.

Anti-Bullying Working Group

At the meeting, members reinforced their interest in developing an anti-bullying campaign. We are currently putting together a working group for this topic. Members interested in being a part are welcome to take part in the first meeting, currently being scheduled for some time between Oct 30-Nov 8.

MEMBER ACTION — Members interested in sitting on the working group for the anti-bullying campaign can share their preferred dates by taking this online poll, or by contact mason@60forsafety.org with their availability or with questions/suggestions/etc.

NEXT WEEK:

Part Three

The Membership Debate — Growing IB

Roundtable Discussions

  • Agency Hours – How to get the most out of our (free!*) members-only “in-house ad agency”
  • Social Media/Twitter – The basics of Twitter and how to make it work for your firm
  • Blogging — How to turn practice areas and personal passions into great posts
  • Community — How to grow relationships and your reputation through community outreach

*Members receive 18 hours of agency services (graphics, web design, etc.) annually

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