Join us as we celebrate our 25th year honoring our Bay Area veterans. Watch the video below or join us for a live watch party on YouTube at 5:30PM!
This year’s Profile of Courage recipient, Stephan Steffanides, joined the Navy at 18, serving from 1989 to 1993. Stephan comes from a long line of sailors – they have a family member who has served in every major U.S. conflict since the Spanish-American War. Following their footsteps, Stephan joined the Navy with pride for his country and the pursuit of service. While in the Navy, Stephan unfortunately experienced discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation and ultimately was discharged “other than honorably.” The mistreatment and trauma Stephan experienced while in service pushed them into substance abuse and homelessness for many years.
Stephan connected with Swords to Plowshares in 2016 and received help in finding a place to live, accessing healthcare and counseling, and ultimately getting his discharge status updated. Now sober and thriving, Stephan has found themself giving back to their veteran community in the Bay Area. They are involved with the American Legion post 448 – the only LGBTQ+ post in the country – where they are spearheading an archival project to preserve the histories of LGBTQ+ veterans.
As a member of the legal community, we at Seyfarth understand that we have a special responsibility to use the skills of our lawyers and staff to provide access to justice for those who could not otherwise afford it. We encourage all of our lawyers to devote time to pro bono legal work and we make a concerted effort to help them find pro bono projects that not only reflect their own unique values, interests, and personal styles, but also help address the unmet legal needs in our communities.
All Seyfarth attorneys, regardless of level, are encouraged to devote a portion of their time and professional services to pro bono matters. As a best practice, we encourage each attorney to devote an amount equal to at least 3% of his or her billable hours per year to pro bono work.
Since 2016, approximately 50 lawyers from Seyfarth have been involved with Swords to Plowshares’ Veterans Pro Bono Program by taking on individual veterans’ cases, staffing legal clinics, creating self-help guides, and serving on the pro bono advisory board.