United States: Vinson & Elkins Forgoes Gifts To Clients
Last Updated: January 7 2003

(Houston, TX) December 20, 2002- Each holiday season, law firms across the country spend significant amounts of money remembering their clients, through gifts such as crystal vases, wine, golf clubs, and over-priced mouse pads.

But this year, Vinson & Elkins LLP, an international law firm, has decided to channel a significant portion of its holiday gift money – more than $300,000 – to a series of charitable organizations that help educate homeless women and children in five U.S. cities and around the world.

In addition, V&E announces that its associates, or non-partner lawyers, have voted to forgo the traditional wine, cheese, turkey, and fruit basket the law firm gives them every year. Instead, the associates have asked that the $50,000 normally used to buy the gift baskets be donated to shelters to help feed the homeless.

V&E lawyers cite the downturn in the economy and the resulting decline in charitable contributions across the country as the reason for the decision.

"Vinson & Elkins greatly appreciates the support of its clients and traditionally shows its appreciation through remembrances during the holiday season," says V&E managing partner Joe Dilg. "Due to the economic climate and the hardships experienced by so many people, we believe it appropriate this year to honor our clients by sharing our good fortune with those in need."

"Giving to these programs provides educational opportunities to children and women that can help them help themselves later in life," says Mr. Dilg.

Rob Walters, the co-managing partner in V&E’s Dallas office, says he hopes the donations will help spotlight these incredibly needy projects. V&E clients will be receiving a greeting card informing them that the donations are being made in their honor to specific programs.

"Our clients strongly support V&E’s decision to give this money to these charities," says Mr. Walters, who specializes in antitrust litigation. "These programs make a real difference in the lives of children."

V&E’s donations include:

  • $35,000 to the Austin Children’s Shelter to expand its educational program for children living at the shelter.
  • $70,000 to provide new playground equipment to the Vogel Alcove Childcare Center for the Homeless in Dallas to help children develop their motor skills.
  • $25,000 to the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center to help fund an education position.
  • $35,000 to equip a special art, speech and therapy room at the House of Tiny Treasures in Houston. The money will also help the center refurbish its infants and toddlers room, which was destroyed in Tropical Storm Allison.
  • $35,000 for the Job Readiness Program of the Safe Horizon, which ministers to victims of domestic violence throughout New York.
  • $35,000 to the Reading Connection in Washington, D.C. to help purchase two 15-passenger vans to transport children living in homeless shelters to educational and cultural events and sites.
  • $15,000 to Children International’s Project Africa Program, which provides textbooks to tens of thousands of children, many of whom have been orphaned by the AIDS epidemic in Uganda, Zambia and Kenya.
  • $7,000 to the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas in Austin
  • $9,000 to Trinity Works, which serves about 300 meals daily in Dallas
  • $12,000 to the Houston Food Bank
  • $12,000 to the End Hunger Network in Houston
  • $5,000 to the City Harvest in New York City
  • $5,000 to So Others Might Eat (S.O.M.E) in Washington, D.C.

For more information regarding Vinson &Elkins’ holiday charitable gift program, please contact Melissa Carroll at (713) 758-2171.

Vinson & Elkins was established in 1917 and is one of the world’s largest international law firms. The firm has more than 870 lawyers practicing in Austin, Beijing, Dallas, Houston, London, Moscow, New York, Singapore, and Washington, D.C. The firm offers a wide range of legal services. Clients include public and private companies, financial institutions, municipalities, governments of sovereign nations, entrepreneurs, families, and individuals. For more information on our areas of practice visit the Vinson & Elkins website at www.velaw.com




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