By Dylan Jackson, Daily Business Review | July 08, 2019
Proceeds will go to the Hagan Kilby Foundation, a nonprofit arm of Florida Lawyers Assistance.
Florida litigation boutique Mark Migdal & Hayden has created a mental health social media campaign to help raise funds that will go toward the Hagan Kilby Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation that offers financial assistance to attorneys who are otherwise unable to obtain treatment offered by Florida Lawyers Assistance for depression, anxiety, alcoholism or any other mental health issues.
The firm, which wants to help end the stigma often associated with mental health issues in the legal community and also fund services for legal professionals in need, is raising the money by matching donations made in the purchase of black-and-white buttons sold by the Hagan Kilby Foundation—buttons designed to bring attention to mental health issues.
The buttons are being sold for a minimum donation of $5.
To receive a matched donation, those who purchase buttons are asked to post a selfie tagging Mark Migdal on social media with the hashtags #28LegalMinds and #LawRealigned. The firm’s Instagram name is MM&H, and on Twitter it is @mark_migdal.
The campaign, 28 Legal Minds, draws its name from a 2016 survey of attorneys released by the American Bar Association in which 28% of respondents said they were suffering from mental health issues. The buttons feature a pie chart with white representing the attorney population and black representing the 28%.
Mark Migdal co-founder Don Hayden said he hopes that wearing the button at legal events will spark curiosity and start conversations. The firm rolled out the campaign at the Florida Bar Convention in Boca Raton two weeks ago and said it has already matched over $1,500 in donations.
“What we want people to do is wear the pins to provoke discussion about what’s on their lapel,” Hayden said. “It’s both a fundraising effort and an educational effort.”
Two of the firm’s founders—Hayden and Etan Mark—are Big Law transplants. Hayden was an attorney at Baker McKenzie for over two decades, while Mark was head of litigation at Berger Singerman. Hayden said he knows very well the stress of working in the legal field. He pointed to his former mentor, Baker McKenzie chairman Paul Rawlinson, who died six months after stepping down as global chair of the firm following health issues caused by exhaustion.
“You’re seeing it more and more—that there’s a true need to realize there’s a problem and address the problem,” Hayden said.
The not-for-profit Hagan Kilby Foundation offers financial assistance to attorneys needing treatment for substance abuse who cannot get assistance through the Florida Lawyers Assistance program.