Since our Houston office opened four years ago we’ve really worked hard to make ourselves a part of the city through our work with local companies, hiring graduates from local law schools, volunteering and holding leadership roles in the community.
It’s our home -- where we raise our children, where we got married, where we went to school. Our move to a new building shows an increased commitment to the growth and development of Houston.
That’s why what has happened in Houston due to Hurricane Harvey has been so sad and why we feel a responsibility to do as much as possible to help.
Our initial focus has been on ensuring that members of the Kirkland team and their extended families are all safe. Eleven people from our office were evacuated by boat or helicopter due to the flooding. And while many lost all their belongings, luckily no one was injured seriously. The Firm is committed to supporting them and their families financially and through any other support requested.
Kirkland attorneys in the city are trying to do whatever they can to help neighbors and others who need immediate help. Multiple attorneys and staff have volunteered through rescues or helped lead efforts at shelters. Our lawyers and staff opened their homes to colleagues, friends and strangers in need of a place to live. Work this past week had been secondary. But while the office was closed, many lawyers not impacted by the storms and floods worked remotely on matters where possible to assist clients.
Kirkland has also asked employees worldwide to donate to its Disaster Relief Fund, the American Red Cross and Team Rubicon, an organization that unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. The Firm’s Foundation is matching donations to the Red Cross and Team Rubicon up to $250,000 for a total donation of $500,000. But beyond that, the office and the Firm will be making further investment in long-term recovery efforts for rebuilding our community long after these organizations have tackled the immediate needs.
We’ve also given significant contributions to local civic and charitable organizations such as St. Thomas School in Meyerland and the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, which has taken the lead on actively fundraising for all of the legal aid programs impacted by Harvey, including Lone Star Legal Aid, the main legal aid program serving the Houston area. The money will also help Lone Star Legal Aid rebuild its legal aid building, which was destroyed in the storms.
We have also offered up our office space to multiple displaced local charities and a few have already taken us up on the offer. We are giving our Astros tickets for the month to the children of first responders as a thank you for all the work their parents are doing to help our community rebuild.
The Houston office takes its responsibilities as a local corporate citizen very seriously and will continue to be absolutely committed to doing anything short- and long-term to help the city rebuild once the immediate difficulties have passed.
And while we are saddened by what is going on, we are also moved by the level of compassion and hope exhibited by everyone in Houston. And we are committed to helping our community rebuild.
- Kirkland & Ellis Houston Office