CHARLESTON – Spilman Thomas & Battle recently received the 2017 Legal Aid of West Virginia Law Firm Pro Bono Award.
Founded in 1864, Spilman now has seven offices in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina. Serving clients both nation and internationally, the firm provides free legal services including basic legal advice, protective orders and divorce cases, among others. In 2016, they handled at least 20 Legal Aid cases alone.
“We are honored to receive this award from Legal Aid,” Eric W. Iskra, member in charge of client relations at Spilman Thomas & Battle PLLC, told The West Virginia Record. “It’s reflective of our longstanding commitment to pro bono work and our recruiting of attorneys who are community-minded.”
In 2008, Spilman received the West Virginia State Bar Pro Bono Firm of the Year award and is known for hiring attorneys who are invested in their communities. Iskra said the firm's lawyers also contribute to other organizations in service-related forums.
“Spilman’s history stretches more than 150 years, and attorneys in our firm have always devoted part of their careers to pro bono work, whether that means through service on local nonprofit boards of directors or offering other forms of legal assistance to causes they believe in,” he said.
Iskra said they specifically hire “more than just good lawyers,” but individuals who are active in and believe in their mission of giving back.
“We look for recruits who have a strong work ethic,” he said. “We believe well-rounded individuals make better lawyers and advisers, and lawyers who integrate into and personally invest in their communities are more satisfied and more productive in all areas of their lives.”
Spilman provides litigation at the commercial and corporate levels and strives to be a different kind of law firm. Its “client-first philosophy,” aims to provide value in the form of solutions and partnerships. Still, its exceedingly proud of its pro bono work – even if it doesn’t formally keep track of how many or what types of cases its attorneys work on.
“We’ve never done it for recognition,” Iskra said. “(Especially since), Spilman lawyers are involved in a wide range of (other) community service organizations including United Way, Boys and Girls Club, Dress for Success, Rotary Club and many, many more.”