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Shook Scholarship Program for Kansas Foster Children Reaches $1 Million Dollars


Shook Scholarship Program for Kansas Foster Children Reaches $1 Million Dollars

PR Newswire

KANSAS CITY, Mo., July 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Shook, Hardy & Bacon reached an important milestone as part of its commitment to serve children and families. The Kansas Foster and Adoptive Children Scholarship Fund, founded by Shook, has reached $1 million in scholarships awarded since the program began in 2001. Kansas high school students formerly in the foster care system are able to receive scholarships for university, college and trade schools. In addition to some private donations, the program is primarily funded by state-paid fees for pro bono adoption cases completed by Shook.

Shook lawyers mark $1 million in scholarships to Kansas high school students formerly in foster care. The AmLaw 100 firm has provided nearly 800 students scholarships for college and technical schools by donating state-paid fees for pro bono adoption cases. Recipient Brook Barney is featured with the lawyers and staff.

"It is a key aspect of our culture at Shook for attorneys to do significant pro bono work and to give back to the community," said Shook Chair Madeleine McDonough. "Gene Balloun crafted a novel model by converting state-paid fees into scholarships. The Kansas Foster and Adoptive Children Scholarship Fund stands out as a great success."

Recently retired Shook Partner Gene Balloun, who continues to do pro bono work, started the scholarship program while providing pro bono adoption assistance, together with other Shook attorneys, to families and children. In addition, Balloun and his wife have been foster parents to 29 children, and adopted a son and a daughter who were in foster care.

"We're honored and humbled to meet this milestone," said Balloun.

Shook supported Balloun's idea to use his state-paid fees – averaging about $600 per case – to fund the scholarship program. Balloun and a number of other Shook attorneys have completed 1,315 Kansas adoption cases, helping hundreds of families complete the legal process of finding forever homes for deserving children. More than 800 scholarships have been awarded.

One of the scholarship recipients, Brooke Barney, now attends the University of Kansas in part because of the scholarship program.

"Foster children can feel very alone," stated Barney, who is studying community health. "This scholarship means a lot because it recognizes what foster children have been through and gives us hope that we can attend a university."

About Shook, Hardy & Bacon

Founded in 1889, Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. has 12 offices in the United States and London, with attorneys and professional staff serving clients in the health, science and technology sectors in areas ranging from product liability defense and commercial litigation to intellectual property prosecution and litigation, environmental and toxic tort, privacy and data security and regulatory counseling.

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SOURCE Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P.

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