BY ERIN ARCHERD
This summer marked the innagural effort of a new form of charitable giving at HLS. One Day’s Work encouraged law students to donate a day of their summer salary to a charity of their choice. Co-Organizer Alec Karakatsanis, ’08, answered a few of the Record’s questions about the project.
Q: Where and how did the idea for One Day’s Work begin, and how does it work?
The organization was born in a spacious room on the third floor of a Gropius dorm. Many of us are involved in organizations doing great work but constantly struggling for resources. We realized that, like anything else, charitable giving increases when it is easy and when other people are doing it. We decided to create a forum for this kind of giving. We created a website, researched charities, and started recruiting.
You can join by going to the website at www.onedayswork.org. Fill out the short form, click to the charity of your choice, and donate through that charity’s website.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish through One Day’s Work?
We wanted to develop a culture of giving among law students and other young professionals. There are so many wonderful organizations working hard to help people, and law students have tremendous resources to commit to this effort.
We have begun a small, active community that is raising awareness about great charities and great causes. Participating in something like ODW can also add some much-needed perspective to the law school existence!
Q: What was participation like at HLS?
Participation was truly remarkable for a first effort. So far we have had 144 Harvard students participate and 35 [students] from other schools. Many of those participating were rising 3Ls, but there was also tremendous participation from the rising 2L class.
Q: How did HLS compare to other law schools?
Our recruiting efforts were focused on HLS. We did have students from dozens of other schools participate, but our first year was focused on creating a strong organization at HLS. We have been contacted by students at other schools interested in starting similar programs, and we think that working with those students and large firms will enable us to expand in the next couple years.
Q: Overall, how much has been raised for charity by One Day’s Work?
So far students have pledged over $78,000.
Q: Are there plans to continue One Day’s Work next year?
Yes, we hope to expand significantly. Keep finding great charities and telling us about them. Keep donating!