A founding principle of The Geller Law Group is giving back to the communities in which we live and work. For years, the firm has held numerous in-person volunteer days where we close our office, and instead of working, our employees donate their time. Our community efforts span the gamut: our team has organized food pantry donations at the Lorton Community Action Center, packed diapers at the DC Diaper Bank, chopped & packed vegetables at the Capital Area Food Bank, and prepared and served meals at Carpenter’s Shelter, to name a few! We also encourage employees to serve on local boards of nonprofits and immerse themselves in community projects.
Every year, the GLG team performs over 750 hours of legal pro bono work. Examples of our pro bono efforts include providing legal services to help low-income victims of domestic violence with family law matters, assisting refugee immigrants with getting settled into the U.S., helping tenants with landlords, voting rights, and legal assistance for moms who are unlawfully told they cannot breastfeed their children in public places. Firm attorneys also volunteer over 50 hours of time annually at the Center for Business Partnership in Springfield, VA, teaching monthly seminars and providing ongoing pro bono legal counseling to non-profits and new entrepreneurs.
Additionally, GLG supports its employees’ philanthropic interests outside of work through the firm’s donation matching program. To date, the firm has donated over $1 million in money and legal services towards organizations and causes in which our employees are interested. Giving back brings our employees a sense of pride in their work and belonging in a firm that truly cares about its team and community. In 2019, The NoVA Chamber of Commerce nominated the firm as an Outstanding Small Business for our service to the community.
The Geller Law Group strives to think differently about what community service and giving back look like and how we can integrate this commitment into our everyday work.
When the pandemic struck, firm Owner/CEO, Rebecca Geller knew that the 136,000+ local food-insecure families, including children relying on school-provided meals, would be at risk of going hungry. With in-person activities indefinitely canceled, Rebecca quickly organized an online food donation matching program via Amazon.com benefitting Lorton Community Action Center (LCAC). On March 13, Rebecca launched the Amazon wish list in conjunction with LCAC to motivate GLG clients/referral partners to donate much-needed food items on the list. For every single food and supply item donated, The Geller Law Group matched the donation.
Through the support of GLG team members, partners and friends, we collected, assembled, and donated over 150,000 pounds of food totaling about $200,000 in value to families across Fairfax County.
In early 2019, we witnessed many of our clients and friends who work for the federal government struggling during the government shutdown and weeks of furlough. At the same time, we were overhauling the firm’s filing system and needed help, so we posted on Facebook that we would hire short-term temporary workers to help with office projects.
Within two days, the firm received over 200 resumes. We quickly processed and hired 25 furloughed government workers to provide temporary employment during a challenging time for many families. Local television stations ran stories about GLG hiring furloughed workers, inspiring other businesses to reach out and help their neighbors and friends by providing job opportunities.
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2019, the firm held its first-ever family-friendly day of service where employees, their spouses and kids came into the office to make 2,000+ meals for low-income families in DC that were donated to Martha’s Table. GLG continued the tradition in 2021, where we collected and donated over 150lbs of food to Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC).
On September 11, 2019, we closed the office to volunteer with our friends and families for AARP’s Rise Against Hunger project on the National Mall packing hundreds of meals for low-income senior citizens in the community.
The firm has continued to hold regular family-friendly service projects virtually throughout the pandemic.
In May 2019, GLG closed for a day so our team could work with Women Giving Back organizing clothes for domestic violence survivors and their kids, and to help women find jobs.
The firm has stayed in touch with Women Giving Back and now provide pro bono legal help to some of the domestic violence survivors with whom they work. Additionally, GLG Senior Associate Rachel Rubinstein now serves as a board member of the organization.
In March 2017, GLG organized a training for 150+ lawyers to take pro-bono cases assisting unaccompanied immigrant children fleeing trafficking and violence to obtain asylum. The firm also took on several of these cases pro bono as well. We have worked extensively with community partners to facilitate the legal component of several immigration outreach clinics to help undocumented immigrants complete the necessary paperwork (such as Power of Attorney documents) to ensure their children will be taken care of in case the parents are deported.
In May 2015, Rebecca Geller delivered a speech at the U.S. Capitol during a press conference with Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi to advocate for women’s economic security issues, including paid leave, flex schedules, and telecommuting. Rebecca also led efforts to pass legislation in Virginia to allow women the right to breastfeed children in public places. Her leadership was profiled in the Washington Post.
Managing Partner, Maria Simon regularly participates as a panelist at the Own It Summit, held yearly at Georgetown University. The summit brings together influential women to address the leadership gap and provide college students with opportunities to learn from and connect with industry leaders. Maria shares her insights on women in the law and the complexities and real-life struggle to obtain work-life balance with future female leaders.
In July 2015, Maria Simon was asked to sit on a panel at the New American Foundation with Anne Marie Slaughter and others to discuss work-life balance and whether women can have it all. The fact that this question persists to be novel and something that is discussed to this day, shows how far we still need to go in bridging equity gaps while also showcasing the revolutionary strides The Geller Law Group has made in this realm.
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