This year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, it’s important to honor the legacy of the man who spearheaded the Civil Rights Movement and whose teachings have inspired millions of Americans. Equally important is understanding how each person, company and organization can continue to build on his legacy, furthering the goals King famously outlined in his “I Have a Dream” speech.

Simmons Hanly Conroy is dedicated to its clients and employees and the local communities it serves. Since its founding in 1999, the firm has made it a priority to give back to the people and communities it represents.

As a leading national law firm, Simmons Hanly Conroy is a firm believer in promoting justice and fighting on behalf of historically marginalized communities that have all too often been subjected to inequality and injustice. The firm holds diversity and inclusion as core operating values and continues to explore ways in which it can utilize our resources and influence to affect meaningful, positive change and social reform.

Fighting for Justice

One of the most important ways Simmons Hanly Conroy promotes equal access to justice is through its commitment pro bono work. Often considered a professional responsibility for attorneys and other legal professionals, pro bono work — or legal counsel provided free-of-charge — is vital to the function of a healthy justice system.

Throughout the years, Simmons Hanly Conroy has dedicated itself to pro bono work, having developed a can-do culture that focuses on giving back to those who live in the communities we call home — and beyond.

A firm believer in second chances and in lifting individuals above barriers to employment, the firm participated in two local pro bono events in 2021 to help level the playing field for individuals with criminal records.

Road to Work

As part of National Celebration of Pro Bono Week in 2021, during the first week of November, Simmons Hanly Conroy hosted a “Road to Work” event alongside the Alton Police Department and the Madison County State Attorney’s Office.

The event offered local residents the opportunity to receive free legal counsel for traffic-related misdemeanors and warrants, with the goal of decreasing some of the barriers to employment faced by individuals with criminal records.

Expungement Day

More than 100 people received a “second chance” during this year’s expungement day event, which was held in East St. Louis in late November. Billed as the Transformational Justice Expo, the event was supported by Simmons Hanly Conroy and organized by the United Congregations of the Metro East and Land of Lincoln Legal Aid.

People not only received help with getting their criminal records expunged and sealed, but also with renewing their driver’s licenses and registering to vote.

Moving Forward

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a time to celebrate the importance of justice for Americans of all ages, cultures, colors and backgrounds. As we enter the dawn of a new year, it’s imperative for all Americans to continue Dr. King’s unfinished work toward giving all workers and consumers their say in safety, equality and justice.

Everyone has an important role to play in shaping a brighter, healthier and more just and inclusive future. Let us honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and let us promote the values of justice, freedom, and equality for all.

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