Making a positive impact on the communities around us is central to our values. We’re active citizens in the local legal community, the region’s social services community and the personal communities of our employees.
Stokes Lawrence Charitable Foundation
The mission of the Stokes Lawrence Charitable Foundation is to support Northwest public charities that promote social justice and provide essential services such as food, housing, clothing, education and health care to individuals in need. The Foundation, which is primarily funded by donations from shareholders and employees of Stokes Lawrence, matches qualified gifts made by our employees to public charities. Donations to the Foundation from the general public are also accepted. In 2012, the first year of the Foundation, the primary recipients of donations from the Foundation were the Campaign for Equal Justice, the Washington State Bar Foundation, the Future of the Law Institute and Northwest Harvest.
We give generously of our talent and financial resources to local organizations that promote social justice and help less fortunate individuals and families. Stokes Lawrence was recently recognized by the Puget Sound Business Journal as one of the state's most generous charitable donors. Our contributions help increase access to legal services as well as provide the basic necessities of life: food, housing, clothing, education and health care. We are enthusiastic participants in the legal community's annual "Food Frenzy," which benefits local food banks, raising several thousands of dollars each year.
Matching Gifts Program
We match employee contributions to qualified charitable organizations. This program has benefited nearly 100 charities. Individually, many of our employees participate through payroll deductions in the United Way and the Women's Funding Alliance.
Recent recipients of Stokes Lawrence giving include:
- Campaign for Equal Justice /
- The City Club
- Downtown Seattle Association
- Food Lifeline
- Generating Hope Inc.
- Heritage University
- Legal Voice
- Northwest Harvest
- Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
- Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences
- Union Gospel Mission Open Door Legal Services
- United Way
- University District Food Bank
- Washington Apple Education Foundation
- Washington Coalition For Open Government
- Washington State Bar Foundation
- Yakima Greenway Foundation
- Yakima YMCA
Pro Bono Activities
Our attorneys give generously of their time on community and pro bono activities. Following are examples of volunteer activities by our attorneys and the firm:
- We contribute financial and pro bono legal services to Union Gospel Mission's Open Door Legal Services Clinic, which serves less fortunate members of the Seattle community.
- Our attorneys regularly provide free legal services at King County Neighborhood legal clinics.
- Many of our attorneys take on pro bono matters for low-income clients through various organizations, including Yakima Volunteer Legal Services, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, the Federal District Court's Pro Se Civil Rights Panel, the ACLU, and Legal Voice.
- Several Stokes Lawrence employees spent a Saturday volunteering at an event hosted by the City of Seattle’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs. The event, the Seattle United for Immigrants and Refugees Mega-Workshop, assisted more than 1,000 people with immigration matters, including helping eligible individuals with citizenship applications, and counseling others on ways to stay in the country legally.
- One of our lawyers provided pro bono assistance to the family of a woman who was shot and killed when reporting to work one morning. The lawyer arranged for the woman’s fiancé to be appointed personal representative of her estate, and secured the proceeds from the woman’s life insurance policy so that they were distributed and reserved for her two young children.
- A team of Stokes Lawrence lawyers and staff successfully persuaded an immigration judge to allow a young Honduran man seeking asylum to stay in the country indefinitely. The young man faced years of violence and threats of death in his home country before seeking safety in the United States. The ruling allowed the young man to not only remain in the United States, but to also obtain a work permit in order to find employment.
- Another team of Stokes Lawrence employees successfully represented a Mexican family at their asylum hearing. The family became the target of a drug cartel after resisting the oppression and violence the cartel inflicted on their community. After receiving death threats and having extended family members kidnapped or murdered, the family fled to the United States and applied for asylum. The Court granted the asylum request, permitting the family to remain in the United States and eventually apply to become U.S. citizens. Achieving this ruling is significant because very few of these requests are granted. In 2016, only 4% of asylum applications from Mexico were approved.