Lawyers Trade “Billing” For “Building”

As Buildable Hours program moves out, families move in.

August 01, 2012

Latham & Watkins joined teams from eight law firms in D.C. this summer who traded “billing” time for “building” time to help Habitat for Humanity build homes for those in need. This unique partnership called “Buildable Hours” joined law firms in June, July and August with local Habitat for Humanity organizations in committing financial and physical resources to build homes for deserving families.  

The projects took place in the Ivy City and Gault Place neighborhoods of Washington D.C. and included six new construction units and two unit rehabs. Two of the new construction units in Gault Place NE are the first passive (energy efficient) built homes in the District of Columbia and the second and third passive units to be built by any Habitat for Humanity affiliate in the United States.  Team members worked on flooring and insulating a partially built home, while others laid paving stones and painted the outside of a finished house. Four of the six housing units were finished in early July and the Habitat-selected families will soon be able to move into their new homes.   In D.C., a total of 115 Latham lawyers, summer associates, and staff participated this summer. 

The D.C. build sites are one part of Buildable Hours’ national operations, as hundreds of attorneys in D.C., Los Angeles, Sacramento, Louisville, Omaha, and throughout South Carolina participated in Buildable Hours this summer.  Many of these projects are expected to wrap up in the coming weeks.  

In addition to Latham, the participating firms in D.C. included the following, and other firms joined the nationwide effort: Caplin & Drysdale; Akin Gump; Arnold & Porter; Alston & Bird; McKenna Long; DLA Piper; and Sterne, Kessler, Goldsten & Fox.  

Buildable Hours, Inc. is a Washington, D.C.- based nonprofit organization founded in 2001 by Roger Goldman, a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Latham & Watkins, and Scott Michel, a partner in the Washington, D.C. firm of Caplin & Drysdale.  Latham & Watkins associates Matthew Cronin and Katya Georgieva are the program’s directors and supervise Buildable Hours nationally.

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