Clifford Law Offices is committed to giving back to the community through law and philanthropy.
Clifford Law Offices’ philanthropy is a reflection of Robert A. Clifford’s professional values in law, ethics, philanthropy, and public service. Our firm recognizes and believes in its civic responsibility to support surrounding communities and extends our outreach beyond the courtroom walls.
Clifford Law Offices upholds the missions of numerous local and national programs ranging from educational funds and cultural organizations to the charitable and educational arms of hospitals and legal associations. Our attorneys contribute to the public good with the same talent and energy they provide to each client; generous with their time, experience, and knowledge in an effort to empower greatness and success in future generations of Chicagoans.
Pursuit of justice, social commitment, and philanthropic actions are necessary acts to extend to our community. Learn more about some of the many organizations we support.
Chicago Police Memorial Foundation
Robert Clifford and Clifford Law Offices are proud supporters of the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring the lives of fallen Chicago Police officers. The Foundation’s Mission Beyond the Memorial program assists families of fallen and catastrophically injured officers, providing emotional and financial support.
An initial contributor to the Memorial Foundation’s campaign to construct the city’s law enforcement memorial, Bob continues to provide his support to the organization. In addition, the firm has sponsored the Annual Valor Awards Luncheon, a fundraiser campaign to support the actions and mission of the Foundation.
Each year, the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation recognizes exceptional police work and service to the community by presenting the Award of Valor and the Award of Honor to deserving individuals at its annual Valor Lunch event. Bob was the 2015 recipient of this award for his continued support of the organization.
Kevin P. Durkin, partner at the law firm, is on the Executive Committee of the Foundation and has long been a supporter of the non-profit organization.
To learn more about the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, click here.
Naples Children and Education Foundation
Robert Clifford was the Chairman of the Board for the Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF) from 2013-2016. He is currently the Immediate Past Chair. This organization gives back to the community and “supports programs that improve the physical, emotional and educational lives of underprivileged and at-risk children.”
In 2016 alone, the Naples Children & Education Foundation awarded $11.9 million in grants to more than 30 organizations. The grants will help make a profound difference in the lives of underprivileged and at-risk children in southwest Florida. Learn more about it here.
WINK News interviewed Robert A. Clifford regarding early childhood care and how proceeds from the annual Naples Winter Wine Festival goes toward dental and eye care for children on behalf of the Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF).
Clifford Law Offices is a proud supporter of the Chicago High School for the Arts, a public college preparatory visual and performing arts high school that offers programs in Dance, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts to young aspiring Chicago artists. Established in 2009, ChiArts is dedicated to fostering scholar-artists through its intensive pre-professional training programs, combined with a comprehensive college preparatory curriculum.
Having taught in the Chicago public school system, Erin E. Clifford, partner at the firm, has a deep passion for education and the arts in Chicago. She serves as a board member for ChiArts, promoting the educational mission of the school as well as the cultivation of the arts throughout the city.
To learn more about ChiArts, click here.
St. Nectarios Greek Orthodox Church GreekFest
John Kalantzis is a first-generation Greek American who is an active volunteer with his church and a proud supporter of other Greek American community organizations. Growing up, he was witness to the challenges immigrants faced and experienced the importance of community in helping people to assimilate to a new culture.
Clifford Law Offices extends its support to the St. Nectarios Greek Orthodox Church GreekFest in their celebration of Greek culture within the Chicago community.
To learn more about St. Nectarios Greek Orthodox Church and GreekFest, click here.
The Chicago Bar Foundation
Clifford Law Offices is a Platinum Cornerstone Sponsor for The Chicago Bar Foundation (CBF).
The Cornerstone Sponsorship is designed in advancing CBF’s mission.
The CBF ensures that the justice system is fair and accessible for everyone. It is a place where colleagues in Chicago’s legal community can come together to make a powerful collective impact in this cause that none of us could on our own.
To view the list of other Cornerstone Sponsors, click here.
American Writers Museum
Clifford Law Offices is an avid supporter of educationally diverse initiatives from schools within the Chicago Public School System to community arts programs. At the intersection of education and the arts is the American Writers Museum which aims to educate and engage the public in celebrating the countless writers who have impacted American history, identity, culture, and our daily lives.
The firm is a sponsor of the museum’s 2023 OnWord Annual Benefit which supports the mission and efforts of the organization and honors local and young writers.
Joan Clifford, the wife of Robert A. Clifford, sits on the Museum’s Board of Trustees, serving as the Benefit Events Leadership Chair. As a career educator, Joan, along with Clifford Law Offices, wish to motivate and inspire the Chicago community and beyond with the creative impact of the written word.
To learn more about the American Writers Museum, click here.
Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to Youth is a Chicago-based nonprofit organization, partnered with the Chicago Bar Foundation and the Chicago Bar Association, that works with lawyer volunteers to provide educational opportunities, mentorship, and literacy tutoring to children in the Chicago area.
Erin Clifford and John Kalantzis have been involved with the program as volunteers, connecting with students in the program and providing insight into different perspectives of the city and the world. In 2023, John delivered a presentation about his home country of Greece to children in the program, and Erin helped chair and host the program’s Spring Awards Celebration.
To learn more about Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to Youth, click here.
Misericordia is a Catholic Charity of the Archdiocese of Chicago with the mission of providing a quality of life for residents of the city by offering care that maximizes the potential for persons with mild to profound developmental disabilities, many of whom are also physically challenged.
Clifford Law Offices has supported the organization’s mission over the years through significant sponsorships of Misericordia’s Annual Benefit and the Misericordia Women’s League benefits. These events aim to raise funds to further the work of the organization.
To learn more about Misericordia, click here.
Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital Women’s Board
Clifford Law Offices is a proud supporter of The Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital Women’s Board and their efforts to provide fundraising, volunteerism, education, and advocacy for the hospital. The Board organizes fundraising events including an annual benefit and a holiday boutique to enhance the facilities and services of the hospital, helping to ensure that the highest quality of healthcare is available.
As a Triple Crown Sponsor of the organization, Clifford Law Offices wholeheartedly supports the efforts of the Board and is proud to help make a difference in the lives touched by Lake Forest Hospital. Rachel Baker, Executive Assistant of founder and senior partner Robert A. Clifford, serves on the Scholarship Committee of The Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital Women’s Board, which allocates funds to support the higher education goals of the hospital’s medical staff as well as immediate family members and volunteers.
To learn more about Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital Women’s Board, click here.
Respiratory Health Association
The Respiratory Health Association is a long-standing local public health leader in Chicago, working to prevent lung disease, promote clean air, and help people live better through education, research, and policy change.
An advocate for general health and bike safety, Clifford Law Offices is a diamond sponsor of the RHA’s 27th Annual CowaLUNGa™ Charity Bike Tour, which promotes active lifestyles for all as well as helps to keep others safe and healthy.
To learn more about the Respiratory Health Association, click here.
Women’s Bar Association of Illinois
A staunch supporter of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois Sarah King has been a leader in the organization, now serving as the association’s First Vice President and carrying on its mission to support and promote the interests and welfare of women lawyers. Sarah has also been instrumental as the WBAI’s arm of Women Everywhere, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating opportunities for women and children in need across the Chicago area through education and community service.
Clifford Law Offices has been a donor and supporter of the program for multiple years, sponsoring the association’s Annual Installation Dinner & Awards Gala as well as being a Gold Sponsor of the 2022 Top Women Lawyers & Legislators in Leadership Awards and the Executive Bar Sponsor of its Judicial Reception.
To learn more about the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, click here.
Hellenic Bar Association of Illinois
The largest and oldest Greek-American bar association in Illinois, the Hellenic Bar Association is committed to establishing and maintaining the honor and dignity of the profession of the law, promoting the general welfare of its members, and improving the public understanding of the role of Hellenism in the law.
In its support of the association, Clifford Law Offices is proud to have been a Gold Sponsor for the Hellenic Bar Association Foundation’s 70th Annual Scholarship Ball which brings together community leaders, businesses, and donors throughout the Chicago area to raise funds for scholarships for deserving law students of Hellenic descent. The firm is also a Platinum Sponsor of the HBA’s annual Judge’s Night, honoring the exemplary work of leading judges and attorneys.
To learn more about the Hellenic Bar Association, click here.
Illinois Bar Foundation
The Illinois Bar Foundation is the charitable arm of the Illinois Bar Association, dedicated to providing legal services to families living below means, encouraging attorneys to provide pro bono services, and educating the public about their legal rights.
Robert Clifford is a Bronze Champion supporter of the organization and has attended numerous events and fundraisers coordinated by the Foundation to further its mission.
To learn more about the Illinois Bar Foundation, click here.
American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants
The American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants promotes the professional advancement of registered nurses consulting within the legal arena by providing a forum for education, research, and exchange of information.
Keith A. Hebeisen and Clifford Law Offices understand the value of professional expertise in medical malpractice cases and proudly support the organization’s mission and efforts to provide medical consulting services on legal cases.
To learn more about the AALNC, click here.
American Bar Association
Clifford Law Offices is an ongoing supporter of the American Bar Association (ABA) and the organization’s efforts to promote legal excellence, education, and commitment to the pursuit of justice.
The firm is an annual sponsor of the association’s Thurgood Marshall Award Celebration which recognizes long-term contributors to the profession. Robert A. Clifford, founder and senior partner of Clifford Law Offices, is a past chair of the ABA Litigation Section and has served as a panelist for a number of continuing legal education events presented by the association.
To learn more about the American Bar Association, click here.
National Hellenic Museum
The National Hellenic Museum houses more than 20,000 artifacts, photos, books, historical newspapers, and recorded histories that preserve and portray Greek history and the Hellenic legacy, educate guests and the community, and inspire thought in future generations.
John Kalantzis and Clifford Law Offices are proud to sponsor the annual National Hellenic Museum Gala which serves as a fundraiser to support the museum’s mission to connect visitors to the legacy of Greek culture and history and the Greek story in America.
To learn more about the National Hellenic Museum, click here.
RAND Institute for Civil Justice
Bob Clifford is one of the Board of Overseers at the RAND Institute for Civil Justice.
According to the RAND website, “[The Board of Overseers] advises the staff on the development of new research projects, consults researchers on issues of impartiality and autonomy in reporting results, and helps to build support for the Institute and its mission.”
The RAND Institute for Civil Justice is focused on making the civil justice system more efficient and more equitable through objective, empirically based, analytic research.
To learn more about the institute, click here.
Chicago Public Television
Through the generous support of Robert Clifford and Clifford Law Offices, WTTW, Chicago’s public television station, was able to purchase equipment for the hearing impaired. Bob sits on WTTW’s Board of Trustees, and for the first time in the station’s history, local programming is now closed-captioned. As part of his personal commitment to community involvement.
Additional Community Sponsorships
Robert A. Clifford and Clifford Law Offices are among the proud sponsors of the Second Annual Phi Alpha Delta (PAD) and Vincent Vitullo Ethics and Professionalism Seminar.
Robert A. Clifford and Clifford Law Offices are proud supporters of the 2009 Legacy Award Campaign honoring Elzie Higginbottom sponsored by the Jane Addams Hull House Association.
Making the Holidays a Bit Brighter for the Homeless
In an effort to raise community awareness and involvement, Kevin Durkin and Keith Hebeisen made a sizable donation to the Immaculate Conception Parish, 81st and Commercial Avenue, on Chicago’s Southeast side in honor of Robert A. Clifford. Their Christmas gift to Bob Clifford was a monetary gift in his name to the needy and homeless in that community. Regardless of faith or walk of life, the sponsorships help the parish operate a daily food kitchen open to all those in need.
All of the attorneys at Clifford Law Offices also made a large donation to the Franciscan Outreach Association sponsored by the Franciscan Order at St. Peter’s Church in Chicago’s Loop. The Franciscans operate a facility at 1645 W. LeMoyne St., Chicago, which tries to assist the homeless and indigent with long-term service care. This facility houses an emergency overnight shelter, dining facility, laundry, and case management service.
Pictured is Robert Clifford, partners Kevin Durkin and Keith Hebeisen, and Father Michael Enright of Immaculate Conception Parish. Also pictured is attorney Karina Ayala-Bermejo, Managing Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Human Resources for the City of Chicago, and a parishioner of Immaculate Conception. She introduced the firm to Father Enright’s program for the needy, which continues to be an important community involvement effort through program sponsorships.
Making a Positive Impact in Women’s Healthcare
Clifford Law Offices is a sponsor of the Friends of Prentice. Since 1983, Friends of Prentice has made a tangible, measurable difference in women’s healthcare and is dedicated to funding superior healthcare for women of all ages and stages in life.
Erin Clifford, Partner at Clifford Law Offices, serves as a board member for Friends of Prentice.
Marist High School
Robert A. Clifford, who graduated from Marist High School in 1969, is still very connected to his school. He was named honorary chair of the Mock Trial Club, which aims to provide an educational experience to those interested in pursuing a career in the legal profession. He also sponsors the Marist Law Association’s annual Christmas social and golf outing. Recently, with Bob’s assistance, the group organized a virtual golf outing to benefit current school families, who are experiencing financial hardship related to the pandemic. In addition, Bob and his wife Joan invested in the school’s Faith and the Future campaign, which transformed the Marist Brothers’ Monastery into a 28,000-square-foot science center and planetarium. The forensics crime lab is named in their honor.
Run/Walk To Remember
Clifford Law Offices participates annually in the Run/Walk To Remember hosted by the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation. This annual event raises money for the Mission Beyond the Memorial, which provides assistance to the families of our fallen and catastrophically injured officers.
Cristo Rey High School Student Work Program
For over a decade, Clifford Law Offices sponsors a student and also hires five students each semester part-time and, later as full-time employees at the firm. The academic sponsorship level is the equivalent to the cost of educating one student at a private school for a year. Cristo Rey boasts a 100 percent acceptance rate of its seniors into college. Total enrollment at the school is 400, allowing young people from a struggling community to be able to get a quality education for families who otherwise would not be able to afford it.
CBA Letters to Santa Program
Each Christmas season, Clifford Law Offices participates in the Chicago Bar Association’s Letters to Santa Program, which serves the city’s underprivileged children and families. The staff at the Chicago law firm adopts a classroom, answers letters written to Santa by the boys and girls, and delivers gifts before Christmas so the children can put them under their trees at home. If you would like to “adopt” a family or help distribute letters at your firm, call (312) 554-2032 or email email@example.com.
CBA’s Young Lawyers Section Book Donation Drive
The CBA Young Lawyers Section holds an annual book donation drive to help incarcerated children and teenagers. Thousands of children’s paperback books are generously donated for the Nancy B. Jefferson Alternative School Library located at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center. As part of our commitment to community-wide involvement, the staff at Clifford Law Offices contributes time and several books to this worthy cause.
Lawyers Lend-a-Hand to Youth
As a Board Member of Lawyers Lend-a-Hand to Youth, an attorney from our Chicago law firm helps in deciding where grants are awarded to Chicago-area youth tutoring programs.
Investing in Justice Campaign
Clifford Law Offices continues to be a strong supporter of the Chicago Bar Foundation’s (CBF) Investing in Justice campaign. Bob Clifford is one of the founding and sustaining members committed to helping pro bono and legal aid organizations through this important community involvement program. The Investing in Justice campaign relies upon Chicago area lawyers, law firms and corporations to donate personally in an effort to expand the capacity of the area’s pro bono and legal aid organizations, and to underwrite innovative projects that make the justice system more user-friendly and accessible for those in need.
DePaul University College of Law Center for Public Interest Law
Kevin P. Durkin, partner at Clifford Law Offices, was named the first President of the DePaul University College of Law Center for Public Interest Advisory Board in 2008 when the Center formed an Advisory Board to accomplish its objectives. The Center for Public Interest has a long tradition at the school, working to serve the poor and underrepresented with a sense of commitment; while encouraging and mentoring others to help the underprivileged in the community.
Law Enforcement Aviation Coalition (LEAC)
In 2009, Bob Clifford was named to be on the Board of Directors of the Law Enforcement Aviation Coalition in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. LEAC is a not-for-profit charitable group comprised of cooperating fire/rescue and law enforcement agencies that provide no-cost, 24-hour helicopter support to law enforcement and fire/rescue agencies.
Illinois Victims’ Group
Bob Clifford spearheaded the organization of a victims’ group in Illinois, in an effort to help empower those victimized by faulty products, negligent doctors and avoidable accidents. This group, now comprised of hundreds of people from across the state, is an organization based in Springfield dedicated to helping the injured fight anti-consumer legislation. Many of them, some wheelchair-bound, have made the trek to the state’s capital in a plea to legislators to vote against tort reform bills. They, together with lawyers like Bob, were at the forefront of getting the so-called “tort reform” legislation overturned in Illinois in December 1997. This group continues to be of great importance to the Chicago area and the law firm.
Christmas at West Pullman School
Each year, Bob Clifford accompanies other judges and lawyers in delivering Christmas spirit and holiday gifts to low-income children at West Pullman Elementary School in Chicago’s South Side.
St. James Parish Coat Drive
Every Christmas morning, Michelle, Elise and Mark Menaker, children of Clifford Law Offices’ Communications Partner Pamela Sakowicz Menaker, help their mom feed the homeless and pass out clothing donations to the underprivileged at St. James Parish on Chicago’s South Side. This event has been part of the law firm’s community involvement interests for a number of years.
Cycle for Survival
Emma Krzak was born with a rare form of cancer. Thanks to early detection and advances in medicine, she is a cancer survivor. Cycle For Survival is a cancer research fundraising event where teams of cyclists, including Emma’s team – Emma’s Eight, which includes her dad – ride indoors for four hours. All funds raised go to research efforts at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. In one year, “Emma’s Eight” raised nearly $20,000. If you would like to be part of Emma’s fundraising efforts, you can go to www.cycleforsurvival.org and donate to the Emma’s Eight team. Emma was the 2012 poster child for this community involvement event on a national scale.
Red Watch Band Program
The mother of a Northwestern student who died from toxic alcohol poisoning is reaching out to colleges and universities everywhere to try to help others be saved from such a tragic death.
At the recommendation of Chicago law firm Clifford Law Offices, Loyola University is participating in this important community involvement program which includes a four-hour training session for participants to learn how to recognize alcohol emergencies and to respond effectively.
The mission of this program is to provide campus community members with a greater knowledge, involvement, awareness and skills to prevent student toxic drinking deaths and to promote a student culture of kindness, responsibility, compassion and respect. The national movement is intended to train students on appropriate steps to take when a fellow student passes out from consuming too much alcohol.
Red Watch Band Program Expands to DePaul University
At the recommendation of Clifford Law Offices, DePaul University, alma mater of senior partner Robert Clifford, implemented the Red Watch Band Program.
Continuing Legal Education
Bob Clifford also finds time to give back to the professional community through his involvement in continuing legal education. He endowed his alma mater, DePaul University College of Law, with the first Tort Law and Social Policy Chair in the largest single gift to the school. Since 1995, the Chicago law school – with the help of the firm – conducts an annual two-day seminar where experts from around the country debate issues important to the civil justice system. Mr. Clifford has always insisted that the two-day symposium be free to the public. He then sees to it that the DePaul Law Review staff publishes the written materials in a special edition of the Law Review, so that more people can share the efforts of this monumental task and highly educational program. It has become the 44th most quoted publication throughout the United States.
Clifford Law Offices, a Chicago law firm, has been approved by the State of Illinois as an accredited provider of mandatory continuing legal education (CLE) programs in the state. The first program, offered in February 2008, was a two-hour ethics/professionalism seminar with Northwestern University Professor Robert Burns.
In 2009, a two-hour program was offered with a panel of speakers on The Ethics of Lincoln the Lawyer, in commemoration of the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln. Held at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield as well as on the web, the program featured: Roger Billings, Professor, Chase College of Law, Northern Kentucky University; Mark Steiner, Professor, South Texas College of Law and author of “An Honest Calling: The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln”; and Vincent Vitullo, Professor Emeritus, DePaul University College of Law. Hundreds of Illinois lawyers took advantage of this free program either in person or electronically.
In 2010, nearly 1,000 people registered to attend a cutting-edge seminar entitled, “The Ethics of E-Discovery and Social Media”. Presenters John Barkett, author of “E-Discovery”, and James Grogan, ARDC Chief Counsel, spoke for two hours in a lively question-and-answer session that was offered at no charge to all lawyers in the state.
DePaul Alumni Association
Bob Clifford has been active with DePaul as the President of its Alumni Association where he served as the youngest member of its Board of Trustees. Mr. Clifford also was selected as Chairman of DePaul’s College of Law Capital Development Fund, which is raising thousands of dollars to improve the law school’s Chicago campus.