Community / Pro Bono
Commitment to Our Communities
Stites & Harbison actively encourages the attorneys in all 11 of its offices to take leadership roles in civic and charitable organizations in their communities. Members of the firm have served on charitable and civic boards ranging literally from A to Z: from the Atlanta Chapter of the American Red Cross to Land Trust for Tennessee to the Louisville Zoo. More than half the firm's lawyers currently serve on at least one board or in a similar capacity, and the firm's staff shows the same kind of commitment. In 2020, the firm donated 4,826 pro bono hours.
Members and associates of the firm participate actively in the affairs of their local Bar Associations and serve as members of its governing bodies and presenters for continuing legal education programs. Members have served as Presidents of the state, county and local bar associations.
Stites & Harbison has a rich tradition of pro bono service in the communities where our attorneys work and live. Our firm has been recognized annually by the Nashville Bar Association for its pro bono contributions. In Louisville, we were recognized as a Public Service Challenge Pacesetter by the Louisville Pro Bono Consortium, based on the firm's commitment to devote 50 hours per lawyer annually to pro bono publico causes.
The United Way has recognized Stites & Harbison for the firm's role in multiple record-breaking campaigns.
Our attorneys donate time and counsel equaling more than $1 million in pro bono legal services.
By community, here are examples of ways Stites & Harbison attorneys and staff have made a difference in their hometowns.
ATLANTA - Under the leadership of Dan Douglass, the attorneys and staff continued their commitment to the Initiative for Affordable Housing (IAH), which provides housing and social services for the homeless and low-income families. The team helped to save IAH's largest multi-family structure – a home to over 500 people – from the threat of foreclosure due to the market collapse by renegotiating an interim loan on the property and, later, helping secure permanent financing on IAH's behalf.
LEXINGTON - Steve Ruschell and Charlotte Turner McCoy assisted the Kentucky Volunteer Lawyer Program by providing legal assistance to families affected by the Newtown Pike Extension Project, a construction project to connect one of Lexington's busiest thoroughfares from the city’s downtown to Interstate 64. The project temporarily displaced persons in low-income housing, but Stites & Harbison attorneys have worked closely with these families to explain relocation options. They also helped the families get settled into temporary housing until permanent housing becomes available.
LOUISVILLE- Stites & Harbison has had long and celebrated relationships with a myriad of agencies and service organizations in the community. As a result of the breadth of pro bono services provided and our long-standing financial commitment, the Legal Aid Society named Stites & Harbison "Outstanding Law Firm of the Year" in 2009.
NASHVILLE - Working with the Nashville Bar Association, our attorneys helped with the escalating problems of people who had recently lost their jobs. Focused on providing assistance with unemployment appeals, the attorneys helped individuals receive unemployment benefits after their applications had been contested by their former employers. In all, more than 70 appeals were resolved, earning Lauren Paxton Roberts, who headed the effort, recognition by the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands.