Recognizing the ethical obligation that all lawyers and law firms have to provide service to indigent clients and not-for-profit organizations, the firm increasingly handles matters on a pro bono basis that apply our professional skills, creativity and influence.
Founded in 1977, the Support Center for Child Advocates is one of the country’s most successful child service volunteer models, providing abused and neglected children of Philadelphia County with necessary legal assistance and social service advocacy. Child advocates volunteer their time and resources to protect these vulnerable children and help them obtain the services they need. Advocates assist with securing alternative housing arrangements, social services assistance, and helping children testify in necessary court proceedings. The organization has trained more than 10,000 attorneys, who have generously contributed more than $5 million annually in pro bono legal services.
Faber is proud that one of our attorneys has committed her time to such a worthy and necessary cause. Donna Wren has dedicated her knowledge and skill to the Support Center for Child Advocates for more than 10 years. As a child advocate, she provides legal representation to children who have been classified as dependents, due to situations of abuse and/or neglect. We support her dedication to this program and work with her to ensure that she continues to have the time and resources necessary to assist the children of Philadelphia. Our attorneys and specialists have also given to the Support Center’s holiday toy drive, as well as other financial donations. We appreciate and thank Donna for her contributions to this wonderful organization that does such important work for children.
Cure GM1 Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for GM1 Gangliosidosis, a rare disease that robs children of necessary bodily functions and skills. This autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disease attacks the brain and spinal cord, causing the body to produce insufficient amounts of the enzyme beta-galactosidase. GM1 is a degenerative condition and includes a wide range of life-altering symptoms and complications. Children diagnosed with GM1 often lose the ability to speak and swallow, as well as movement of their limbs. Loss of sight and hearing are also commonly associated with this debilitating disease. Weakened immune systems and respiratory complications make GM1 patients highly susceptible to pneumonia, resulting in alarmingly high fatality rates among children.
With hopes of ending the suffering of children with GM1 by finding a therapeutic treatment, a group of parents formed the Cure GM1 Foundation. The organization provides funding for various research initiatives, including lentiviral gene therapy, enzyme replacement therapy, and AAV gene therapy. Faber provides transactional support for the foundation’s goals, which includes working with academia and industry to bring together organizations that have relevant scientific interests and assets for this disease space. We help the organization strategize the most appropriate use of funding it receives, as well as funding it gives out, to achieve its overarching goal of finding a cure.
The recently launched Faber Fellowship Program is designed to galvanize innovative pro bono initiatives targeting the critical needs of indigent populations. Open to recent law school graduates, it will award a two-year fellowship to a candidate whose creative collaboration with a nonprofit could have substantial impact in a critical area of need. The fellowship will fund the attorney’s salary for a new full-time position, along with benefits and law school loan repayments. Recruitment will begin in fall 2017 for the 2018-2020 fellowship.
“Plans are still taking shape,” explains principal Joe Faber. “The firm’s staff will be actively involved in deciding which social issue to focus on, selecting the first fellow, monitoring the initiative and seeking ways to provide pro bono assistance from our own lawyers and contracts specialists. We have every expectation that this will become an ongoing program.”
For the program’s initial phase, Faber will partner with Equal Justice Works, which supports hundreds of public interest attorneys annually, enabling them to work on such diverse issues as immigration, civil rights, healthcare and domestic violence. Over 80 percent of the fellows remain involved in public interest law at the end of their fellowships.
Faber recently helped the not-for-profit Partners in Health (PIH) negotiate contracts for several clinical trials in Eastern Europe and Africa. One of the projects, “endTB,” seeks to alter the way in which multi-drug-resistant TB is managed worldwide. It’s a collaboration involving PIH, Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), Interactive Research and Development, and financial partner UNITAID. Faber also drafted clinical trial agreements for a multi-center trial that focused on expanded access to Hepatitis C treatment in Rwanda. PIH is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing quality healthcare to the world’s poor and medically underserved populations through community-based efforts.
We have assisted Energy Science Education, an energy conservation organization, with its initial incorporation and licensing activities.
Our lawyers and contracts specialists have provided corporate and transactional support for the Usher III Initiative, which promotes research into treatments for a relatively rare group of inherited diseases that lead to the progressive loss of vision and hearing.