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Michigan Auto Law receives recognition for attorneys giving back to the community and charity work

June 26, 2013 by Steven M. Gursten

Our attorneys to be featured in “Trial Lawyers Care” by the American Association for Justice for doing what we do —  we help people

Michigan Auto Law volunteers at Forgotten Harvest food bank.
Michigan Auto Law volunteers at Forgotten Harvest food bank.

We’ve been fortunate enough to receive a number of legal honors and awards. But it’s a recent recognition that I was informed about last week that I’m more proud of than most.  Our attorneys are being recognized by the American Association for Justice (AAJ), for our charitable work and contributions to helping people in Michigan.

The AAJ is a national group of consumer protection and trial attorneys that help people in need, and the organization will be highlighting special law firms and trial attorneys around the U.S. who are giving back to their communities, through their “Trial Lawyers Care” project.

Our story will be released this summer. But as I was doing my interview with the American Association for Justice, it got me thinking about why we as lawyers do what we do.

The attorneys at Michigan Auto Law have been protecting people injured in car, truck and motorcycle accidents throughout the state of Michigan for 60 years. Our mission is to protect auto accident victims, as well as to help those in need.  We do this by giving back and helping to make Michigan a better and safer place.

We also put our money where our mouth is.  And we’ve backed it up with hundreds of hours of free, pro-bono legal work and financial contributions to help make our roads safer and our communities stronger.

How we’re giving back

Our attorneys take giving back to the community very seriously. Here are some of our recent charitable endeavors that the AAJ will be highlighting:

Our work at food banks: Michigan Auto Law volunteers at Forgotten Harvest in Oak Park, Michigan. Last December, our attorneys and legal team  packed 4,182 pounds of food for families around the metro Detroit area. We also volunteer with other metro Detroit Food banks and charities at least once a year, like Gleaners Community Food Bank  of Southeastern Michigan in Detroit.

Our donations through the  U of M/MSU attorney rivalry: Since most of our attorneys went to either the University of Michigan or Michigan State University for their undergrad degrees or law school, the rivalries heat up during football and basketball seasons. So each year, our firm has a U of M/MSU “rivalry challenge” during the football and basketball games. The rivalry ends with a charitable donation by the lawyers who went to the losing school making a financial contribution to the charity chosen by the attorneys who attended the winning school. The most recent contribution was to the University of Michigan Mott Children’s Hospital. Our whole office has a lot of fun with this rivalry.

Helping law students: Our lawyers also provide scholarships to law school and college students every year. We have a diversity scholarship and a scholarship for a car accident injury victim who has had to overcome real challenges because of the pain and financial ramifications of a terrible auto accident. And in efforts to prevent distracted driving car accidents, our attorneys also volunteer to speak about the dangers of distracted driving, and especially texting while driving, to high school students  schools across the state of Michigan.

Helping charities: We donate to several charities, including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Consumer Vehicle Safety Alliance, Michigan Wheelchair Athletic Association Challengers and the Michigan Humane Society.

Helping car accident victims pro-bono: A large and very important part of our practice is helping auto accident victims pro-bono.

Here’s a full list of our charitable endeavors.

Why we give back

I told the American Association for Justice that we are proud to be lawyers who help people. That is what we do. And giving back is just one more way that we can demonstrate our values. It’s why we became attorneys in the first place, and why our attorneys chose to work with people, not corporations or big insurance companies.

It’s also important to show that our attorneys are different from the awful stereotypes that we see today, usually those that are encouraged in the media by deep-pocketed insurance company propaganda campaigns that are meant to alienate the jury pool and society from the core values of trial by jury and compensation for harms.

Because I care about the image of the legal profession, I will be speaking to the Michigan Association of Justice this October on the subject of “Battling the Misperceptions of Tort Reform.”

Giving back is a way of life for the attorneys at Michigan Auto Law. We will continue to do whatever we can to help these important causes, and to protect our clients.

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