A Virginia personal injury firm donated $20,000 to a trio of legal aid organizations throughout the commonwealth earlier this year.
Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen donated $7,500 each to the Legal Aid Justice Center in Charlottesville and the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society in Richmond and $5,000 to Legal Aid Works in Fredericksburg.
David M. Williams Jr., managing partner of the firm’s Fredericksburg and Stafford offices, presented the donation to Legal Aid Works at the conclusion of the organization’s most recent board meeting.
“It was really near and dear to my heart to be able to present that to Legal Aid Works because I’ve been privileged to serve as a member of their board of directors,” Williams said.
Attorneys Ashley Davis and Scott Fitzgerald presented the donation to the Virginia Legal Aid Society, while Richard Armstrong and David Irvine presented the donation to the Legal Aid Justice Center.
“We are proud to support the important efforts of Legal Aid Justice Center and Central Virginia Legal Aid Society,” Armstrong said in a press release. “Both of these organizations aim to ensure fairness in the justice system for low-income individuals that cannot afford legal support. We are thankful for their work.”
Williams said Allen & Allen’s involvement with donating to legal aid organizations goes back to the firm’s mission to protect the injured and serve the community.
“It’s important to us to support organizations that work to provide civil legal services to low-income individuals because we see that as part of protecting the injured and therefore supporting our community,” Williams said.
“That’s the biggest thing — it champions fairness. For those who have the least access to the civil justice system, it gives them representation, and I think that’s important to leveling the playing field.”
— David M. Williams Jr.
Williams noted another common thread between the missions of the firm and legal aid — “protecting the little guy from the powerful guy.”
“In my work, we’re protecting injured people against these powerful insurance companies, and in legal aid, they’re giving a voice to the little guy as well — typically the most marginalized in our society,” Williams said. “And so in that sense, that’s why we do it, because I think it’s important and our missions are very much aligned.”
The firm has regularly contributed to legal aid organizations for years. According to Williams, the most recent donation was one of the firm’s largest donations to date.
Williams noted that the constitutional right to have representation does not exist like it does in criminal cases dealing with imprisonment. As such, legal aid can fill that gap and provide representation for those who may otherwise go without.
“I think that’s the biggest thing — it just champions that fairness. For those who have the least access to the civil justice system, it gives them representation, and I think that’s important to leveling the playing field,” he said.
Williams added that he is hopeful other attorneys and firms will get involved in helping legal aid.
“Hopefully they will make donations to whatever legal aid is serving their community or donate their services,” he said. “I know legal aid offices are always looking for pro bono work.”
In addition to the donations to legal aid, Williams noted that Allen & Allen has a variety of projects in the works to give back to the community. These include the George E. Allen Academic Scholarship, named after the firm’s founder, which awards 15 $2,000 scholarships to graduating Virginia high school seniors.
Other projects include the firm’s Hometown Heroes program, which recognizes “unsung heroes who live and work among us to show the good work that they’re doing for the community” and the Allen & Allen Cares program, which awards $1,000 to organizations of prior Hometown Heroes.
“We’re always looking to support our local communities where we serve,” Williams said. “We just want to solidify that partnership with the community and demonstrate our commitment.”