It’s not just lip service at Much Shelist.

Social responsibility is an important part of our mission. From personal causes to firmwide efforts, we believe in the importance of engaging with our community. We never tire of rolling up our sleeves to serve others.

The causes we support are broad, and the ways we support them are diverse. Pro bono legal services, charitable contributions, volunteer activities: If our people support it, we support them.

"Our attorneys and staff have always been involved with a vast array of community service organizations. As a firm, we support one another and the various activities that members of the Much Shelist family engage in every day."

– Steve Blonder, Chair, Social Responsibility Committee

One way we give back is by lending our legal talents to the larger community, whether through our support of organizations such as Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS) and the Center for Conflict Resolution, or by serving as general counsel for non-profit organizations such as Shalva and Children’s Oncology Services. We also support individual attorneys’ pro bono commitments to groups and individuals that are important to them. 

For nine consecutive years, Much Shelist has been named by the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) to the organization's Pro Bono Recognition Roster, which celebrates law firms and corporate legal departments for their pro bono contributions to individuals and the community at large. Selection criteria include the percentage of attorney participation in pro bono activities, a significant increase in the number of pro bono hours from the previous year, innovative steps to expand the firm's pro bono program and participation in the Chicago Bar Foundation's Leadership Circle.

Investment in the community comes in the form of financial support and contributions of our time. From major national organizations, such as the Jewish Federation of North America and the United Way, to grassroots organizations like Opportunity Knocks and Back 2 School Illinois, we strive to make an impact locally and in the wider world. 

We’re proud that many of our attorneys and staff serve in leadership roles in organizations of importance to them. You’ll spot Much Shelist team members contributing their time and talent to a variety of organizations.

  • Charitable: Knights of Columbus, United Way
  • Civic: Chicago Community Trust
  • Health: Children’s Oncology Services, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy
  • Media and the Arts: The Joffrey Ballet, WTTW11/WFMT98.7
  • Sports: Equip for Equality, Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association 
  • Youth and Education: Jewish Council for Youth Services, Junior Achievement, Special Kids Network

Some of our most rewarding experiences are hands-on activities with attorneys, staff and clients. The Much Shelist team has volunteered annually for various organizations, including Chicago Cares, Lakeview Pantry, Lawyers in the Classroom, Playworks and Ronald McDonald House. Individual efforts abound, too, such as mentorships, board positions and leadership roles with local and national non-profit organizations.

No one is more passionate about social responsibility than our firm’s chairman, David Brown. In 2012, in recognition of his ongoing commitment to philanthropy, Much Shelist established an annual award that bears his name. Each year, one staff member and an attorney are honored for their ongoing dedication to the community, and the firm donates $2,500 to each recipient’s charitable organization of choice. Among the diverse organizations that have benefited are Girls of Grace, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy and Direct Effect Charities. Read more about the most recent recipients of the David T. Brown Community Service Award.

"The longstanding backing of corporate partners like Much Shelist provides vital support for our work helping the needy and building our community here in Chicago and throughout the world. For decades, Much Shelist attorneys have been among our organization’s strongest leaders."

– Steven Nasatir, President, Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago

Social Responsibility Insights

“Playworks Illinois is thrilled to count Much Shelist as one of our loyal partners. Through our work together, we have beautified play spaces at several partner schools, transforming playgrounds and the lives of Chicago Public School students.”

– Lee Ann Eiland, Development Manager, Playworks Illinois