Jenner & Block Partner Robert L. Graham was honored for his commitment to social justice and community service by the Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice at its “Bridging the Gap” gala that was attended by over 200 people on Wednesday evening. Mr. Graham has served on the Fund's Board of Directors for many years, helping to guide the organization in its mission to identify social justice and government effectiveness issues.
Randall E. Mehrberg, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of the Exelon Corporation and former Jenner & Block Partner, presented the Appleseed award to Mr. Graham. Among other things, Mr. Mehrberg highlighted Mr. Graham’s commitment to the legal issues of the less fortunate and his encouragement of others to take on pro bono matters and otherwise help the needy.
Stephen F. Gates, Senior Vice President Legal and General Counsel of ConocoPhillips Co. and former partner at Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP, was also honored at the event. Debora de Hoyos, managing partner of Mayer Brown, noted Mr. Gates’ work promoting the public interest by reforming the civil justice system and maintaining focus on pro bono cases.
Fay Clayton, a celebrated advocate of civil rights and women’s issues and former chair of the Fund for Justice, delivered the keynote address. In addition to praising the honorees’ history in public service, Ms. Clayton emphasized that pro bono was not only a duty but also an honor. She encouraged the audience to remain focused on pro bono work as it is one of the best ways to make a positive change in society and help bring justice to those with the greatest need.
Partner Daniel R. Murray served as co-chair of the “Bridging the Gap” gala. Jenner & Block also sponsored the event.