Friday, March 03, 2006

Good Lawyers


John Greenan and Ken Koonce are really good guys who also happen to be extremely smart and excellent attorneys. Both have enjoyed productive careers in large, downtown law firms here in Dallas. John graduated from law school at the University of Minnesota, Ken from Pepperdine University.

In late 1998, both decided that they wanted to do something completely different with their time, talents and lives. At that time they didn't know each other.

Both found their way to Central Dallas Ministries and in February 1999, they helped us establish our public interest law firm, Legal Action Works or the LAW Center.

The mission of the LAW Center is to represent people who cannot afford counsel, primarily in civil matters.

Last evening we enjoyed a celebration reception honoring the accomplishments of the firm. The track record since the beginning has been impressive.

--1,675 of our neighbors have been advised through the end of 2005

--1,100 cases have been accepted and closed

--79% of the cases involve family law

--21% some other civil law matter

--Of the family law clients, 40% are escaping family violence

--Demographically our clients are 80% female; 41% Hispanic; 30% African American; 26% Caucasian

--The LAW Center provides bilingual staff, since 20% of our clients speak Spanish only

--10% of our clients are undocumented immigrants

--In the last 3 months alone, our actions have brought stability to the lives of 69 children

--During the last 6 months, our lawyers have secured child support judgments in the amount of $1.2 million

--Our team tackles difficult and complex cases, with 33% of the cases actively contested

--7% of our cases go to trial

--Since January 1, 2006, we have opened 45 new cases

Much has changed since the beginning days. We now have 5 full-time attorneys. In addition to John and Ken, our team includes Janice Schwartz, Natalie Gregg and Jennifer Fogel. We also have four support staff members.

Currently, four of our attorneys have 175 open cases working.

John Greenan has shifted the majority of his work toward developing fit and affordable housing through the efforts of the Central Dallas Community Development Corporation, which he leads as Executive Director.

The LAW Center owes its origins to many supporters. Had it not been for the vision and generosity of Jim Sowell, this firm would not exist. In addition, the commitment of the Koonce Family Foundation has joined from the start to underwrite a significant portion of our effort. We are grateful for these urban leaders!

Our little firm is a bustling place!

Great and liberating work goes in the courts of Dallas because of these good lawyers!

3 comments:

Jason Coriell said...

It is inspiring to see such efforts initiated and sustained by God's people, who are willing to serve in meaningful ways.

steve said...

I see the Prophet AMOS smiling right now. Once Justice flows, then God will accept our worship services.

Anonymous said...

We are very blessed to have the L.A.W. Center in our community...

See a video about some of the women we have served here:

http://www.centraldallasministries.org/law/