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Showing Up for Our Communities

Featured photo: The Clarkson team volunteers with Heal the Bay to clean a local beach.

December is a month of giving, not only to family and to loved ones but also to the important causes and communities in our lives.

Our team shares an unwavering belief in the power of people coming together to enable change. And this doesn’t happen only in the form of complaints and courtrooms. Outside of their legal work, many of our lawyers, paralegals, clerks, and support staff are deeply dedicated to nonprofits and charitable organizations that are working to transform lives.

This month we are excited to feature some of the initiatives and causes that our team members are devoted to. Our hope is to spotlight these remarkable organizations and to inspire you to give back to your communities in your own way this holiday season, and year-round.


Ryan Clarkson, Founder and Managing Partner, supports the Los Angeles Mission which provides food, shelter, medical services, rehabilitation, and advocacy to Los Angeles’ unhoused community. Ryan has made financial contributions, food donations, and served meals at the Mission.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is an important institution for Clarkson Partner Bahar Sodaify. She contributes to their mission to find cures for childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases, regardless of race, ethnicity, beliefs, or a family’s ability to pay. St. Jude has helped increase the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent when it first opened to more than 80 percent today.

Lauren Anderson, Senior Associate, actively supports Homeboy Industries, which provides training and support to formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated people looking to redirect their lives. Lauren participates in and fundraises for Homeboy’s annual 5k Run/Walk (learn more here). Lauren also supports Frost Valley YMCA Summer Camp, contributing annually to provide financial aid for families who cannot otherwise send their children to camp. Frost Valley believes that every child deserves time in nature and away from circumstance to foster independence.

The American Conference on Diversity (ACOD) seeks to build more just and inclusive schools, workplaces, and communities through awareness, education, and advocacy. Clarkson Partner Tim Giordano has previously served as a Board Member and a member of the Executive Committee. He continues to support ACOD as a general member and donor. This nonprofit organization was founded in 1948 as the National Conference of Christians and Jews to fight against religious intolerance, the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, and inequality in neighborhoods throughout the country.

Katelyn Leeviraphan, Associate Attorney, and Emma Rydholm, Legal Intern, participated in  Sudreau Global Justice Institute’s Prison Project (based in Uganda) through the Pepperdine Caruso School of Law. The Institute partners with governments around the world to implement equitable laws and systems and provides training to judges, lawyers, and key stakeholders along the way. In doing so, the Institute reaches out to those suffering injustice globally and invests in the advocacy abilities of legal professionals. SGJI’s Prison Project enables U.S. law students and attorneys to partner with their Ugandan peers to advocate for Ugandan prisoners.