Stepping up to the plate.
According to Rich Valladares, administrative shareholder and chair of litigation at the Greenberg Traurig law firm, pro bono work is in the firm’s DNA. “We want the cities we sit in to get the benefit of our legal work, especially in underprivileged or impoverished communities,” he says. “It allows us to collaborate with our clients to maximize their efforts and pass down opportunities to our associates.”
Valladares is heavily involved in those efforts. Recently, Gov. Brian Kemp appointed him to the Judicial Nominating Commission that fills the seats of judges who have left the bench between elections. The governor also tapped him for a seven-year term on the State Board of Education representing the sixth district.
One of his pet projects is acting as pro bono outside counsel to Open Doors Atlanta, an organization that connects nonprofits with real estate operators to help people on the cusp of becoming homeless. “Housing is imperative in the community because we’ve seen a rise in rents and housing issues along with a rise in homelessness,” he says.
The Buckhead resident also honors his Peruvian heritage by serving as outside counsel to the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. As the first in his family to go to college, he understands the pressing issues in the community, including language struggles and difficulty in navigating the rules and regulations needed to establish businesses.
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