, pub-1971575927446776, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Greenberg Traurig Lawyer Helps Women - Connoisseur Magazine

Greenberg Traurig Lawyer Helps Women

Written by Aksel Ritenis


Philanthropy in the United States has always taken many different forms. As early as 1831, French writer Alexis de Tocqueville reflected on what to him was a founding principle of American democracy – forming associations with others to ensure the well-being of all citizens.

In Democracy in America, de Tocqueville wrote: “In the United States, as soon as several inhabitants have taken an opinion or an idea they wish to promote in society, they seek each other out and unite together once they have made contact. From that moment, they are no longer isolated, but have become a power seen from afar whose activities serve as an example and whose words are heeded.”Pamela Overton, a lawyer and shareholder with Greenberg Traurig’s Phoenix office, who chairs the Phoenix Litigation Practice, exemplifies today what de Tocequeville wrote about over two centuries ago. She recalls meeting with seven other community leaders to discuss how to help women from disadvantaged backgrounds in her city. The group was determined to use its expertise and business contacts to help other women. That meeting of eight women in 1992 lead to the formation of the non-profit Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, which today supports a full-service women’s resource center, serving more than 2,500 women a month in Phoenix.


“We believe in educating women. To do this, we have a mentoring program, an extensive library, a clothing resale shop, workshops and seminars on everything from financial planning to family law,” said Ms. Overton. In 2012, she received the Founder’s Award from Fresh Start and this February she will be honored by the YWCA in Phoenix with its award for “Community Service by a Corporate Leader.” In many ways, her work with these organizations complements each other. Both serve to empower women in a city decimated by the housing crisis, where one out of five people receives food stamps.

  1. 1) Pamela Overton, a lawyer and shareholder with Greenberg Traurig’s Phoenix Office who help found the Jewell McFarland Fresh Start Women’s Resource Center
  2. 2) Courtyard of the Jewell McFarland Fresh Start Women’s Resource Center
  3. 3) Two clients using the Employment and Education Computer Center to explore and apply for employment
  4. 4) Lobby of the Jewell McFarland Fresh Start Women’s Resource Center
  5. 5) Dress for Success area where clients are offered clothing to wear for interviews and for jobs

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Aksel Ritenis

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