“I have this piece of land, And I’ve always just tried to do something good with it.”

 I can’t tell you how often I hear it. At their wit’s end, I hear our clients give me that common refrain: “I have this piece of land, and I’ve always just tried to do something good with it.”

I’m the founder, Executive Director & Managing Attorney of Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services. I grew up in the foothills of the Appalachian Plateau. The people of all stripes who call the entire Appalachian Basin home are very special to me. Those people and their unique connection to their land are why I created Fair Shake.

At Fair Shake, we defend people’s dignity.

I think of our clients as the people who work hard for what they have and make do with whatever hand they are dealt. When a potential client contacts us, it’s because things have gone too far. They know that this isn’t how it’s supposed to work. They shouldn’t be hauling water for their family to use when it was fine before a mine started extracting nearby. They know that they shouldn’t live in a cloud of dust just because a sawmill started operations. They know that their government should be working with them instead of against them, but because government has failed to protect them, and they can’t just continue operating with what they have anymore because it was taken away from them, they turn to us for help.

In our first 4 years of operations we have:

  • increased services each year to modest means clients in the region by 30%;

  • maintained a yearly docket of 100-120 cases between our two office locations, about 22% of which are pro bono cases;

  • provided over 15,630 attorney hours of pro bono services, a value of $2.5 million;

  • incubated 6 attorneys into private and public interest practices furthering our access to justice goals; and

  • generated client-based revenue of $586,072 in our sliding scale services.

Listen to a few of our client’s stories here: http://www.fairshake-els.org/client-stories/

We’re the first and only nonprofit environmental legal services firm educating attorneys to fill the gap in access to environmental justice. Your donation to Fair Shake allows us to continue the work of defending people’s health and welfare no matter who they are, where they are from, or how much income they make. We need your support to sustain our current level of pro bono and public interest work. Please donate to support our mission of equal access to environmental justice.

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Thank you!