for Success and Independence, a treat-
ment center for teens facing addiction and
mental health issues.
At Jackson Lewis, Barnes led workplace
Christmas drives for the center, several
times making his modestly sized firm the
program’s most generous contributor.
“A lot of the kids are wards of the state
Some have gone on to become outspo-
and don’t have parents involved in their
lives,” he says. “We make lists of items they
want and find people willing to purchase
them so they can have a moment of joy
Barnes himself has had the plea-
sure of dropping off giant truckloads of
gifts—and of seeing kids transform from
reluctant to grateful center residents.
ken advocates for the center.
“We’ve had the opportunity to turn lives
“It’s a good way to give back to the
around,” he says. “Without that support,
they may have been back on the streets.”
In 2013, when Barnes and colleague
Teresa Valderrama were with Jackson Lewis,
they conceived the idea for an employment
law symposium for nonprofits in association
with The United Way of Greater Houston.
The annual half-day event draws between
50 and 100 attendees and teaches non-
profit leaders and HR directors about legal
issues that nonprofits often face, offering
information about best practices.
community in a way that we can use our
PRO BONO CONTINUED
own expertise,” Barnes says, adding that
Barnes says, “It’s great to get everyone
the material is especially useful for smaller
organizations. “They don’t usually have a
dedicated human-resources person, and
if they do, they’re wearing a lot of hats;
they’re not specialists like in bigger busi-
nesses. So it really gives them some infor-
mation to go back and make fixes with.”
Last year, Barnes and Valderrama joined
Fisher Phillips, where they recruit col-
leagues to present at the events, seeing it
as a team-building experience.
in the office involved in doing something
we think is very valuable.”
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