Tom Griffin was quoted in The American Lawyer, Law360, the ABA Journal, and Charlotte's NPR station on Parker Poe and 23 other law firms coming together to form the Carolinas Social Impact Initiative. The initiative aims to reduce systemic barriers to social and economic mobility in the Carolinas.
"These are generational issues that require generational solutions and generational energy," Tom told The American Lawyer. "We need to do systemic, programmatic good. I hope this will be an organization that exists a long time after I’m here."
Tom and the other law firm leaders first came together in June 2020 to discuss how they could help drive progress on racial equity and economic mobility in the aftermath of George Floyd's murder.
"We were all thinking about the same thing very passionately at the same time, which is we have these resources at our disposal," Tom told WFAE, Charlotte's NPR station. "How can we use them for change in our community?"
The coalition listened to community leaders and drew inspiration from the work of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Opportunity Task Force and Charlotte’s Leading on Opportunity Council in deciding where to focus its efforts.
"We have lawyers with certain skills and passions and a community with certain needs, and the key is to figure out where those two circles overlap," Tom told Law360.
The four areas the coalition is focused on are supporting minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs; advancing educational opportunities; supporting family stability and social justice; and improving access to social capital and career opportunities.
The coalition has announced its first program, the Charlotte Legal Initiative to Mobilize Businesses (CLIMB), which is providing pro bono legal services to minority entrepreneurs and small businesses in the Charlotte area. CLIMB’s mission is to support the individuals and enterprises whose success is essential to broadening economic opportunities in Charlotte.
You can find the full stories below. The American Lawyer, Law360, and the ABA Journal are three of the premier sources for legal news in the United States. WFAE is the NPR news source for the Charlotte region.
You can also learn more about the Carolinas Social Impact Initiative and CLIMB here.