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LOS ANGELES –Today an effort started 25 years ago by two attorneys at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP surpassed the $1 million mark in support of international relief and development organization Oxfam America.
When Joseph Lee and Mike Soloff met at Munger Tolles in Los Angeles more than 25 years ago, they discovered a shared affinity for global philanthropy, international relief, and development. They put together an annual fund drive to benefit Oxfam America, encouraging their friends and colleagues at the firm to join them in making contributions to sponsor a different Oxfam project each year. This effort has now passed the milestone of raising more than $1 million.
“Joe and I shared a passion that was supported and encouraged by our law firm. Munger Tolles always has been committed not only to providing the highest quality legal representation to our clients, but also to making meaningful contributions to the local, national, and international communities of which we are a part,” Soloff said. “The first question I was asked during my first interview with the firm was what did I plan on doing beyond practicing law. I responded by discussing my work during college with the Brown University chapter of Oxfam America and my desire to continue working with Oxfam. The annual fundraising drive supported by the firm became the principal vehicle for my continuing involvement with the organization.”
In recent years the funds raised have gone to projects providing famine relief in East Africa and a micro-savings program, Saving for Change, that has affected the lives of more than half a million disadvantaged women worldwide.
“What I admire about Oxfam is that they work with local organizations − they do a great job of listening to people with local expertise, instead of trying to impose western solutions on non-western problems,” Lee said. “Oxfam's focus is on long-term development rather than immediate fixes, which is what we need to break the cycle of poverty in the developing world.”
During their tenure at Munger Tolles, Lee and Soloff have become partners and continue to be advocates to help those less fortunate.