On October 13, 2017 the entire team of lawyers and staff of Smiley Law Firm participated in a volunteer rebuilding project with the charitable organization SBP. The program and day are an effort that SBP likes to call “buildable hours” which is a play off law firm’s billable hours traditional set up.

This clever name is a good way for attorneys and law firms to relate to the effort and act of giving back. For an entire law firm to take off a full day of work, there are a number of billable hours that are sacrificed in the process.

However, here at Smiley Law Firm we offer many other fee arrangements, in addition to the traditional and antiquated billable hour set up. We offer flat fees, subscription/continuity and contingency fee arrangements in an effort to find ways to help clients afford legal services.


SBP or previously known as “St. Bernard Project” is a non-profit entity that was established in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans back in 2005. In the decade plus since Katrina, SBP has blossomed into a first-class disaster recovery and relief organization.

Whenever disaster strikes you can count on SBP to be there mobilizing efforts to aid in recovery and rebuilding. The project Smiley Law Firm worked on was to rebuild a home that was devastated by tornados in New Orleans back in 2016.

Smiley Law Firm TeamThe family who owns the home did not have the proper insurance, like many Americans, and basically had to abandon the home. Without the aid of an organization like SBP, the home, like many others nearby would still be in shambles.

Entire Team Effort

Smiley Law Firm is a team and we preach team and family spirit as one of our core values. We know that in order to give back in the most meaningful way we would need all hands on deck for the construction project. So all eight team members of Smiley Law Firm took off the entire day, put the email vacation responder on and notified our overflow call center that we would be working for a different cause on that Friday in October.

I would like to thank Amanda, Andy, Bradley, Jack, Matt, Meriem, and Sarah for the fine effort to work on this house. We work with our hands daily, but we use keyboards and trackpads. On this Friday we used skill saws, nail guns, tape measures, speed squares, and step ladders just to name a few.

Smiley Law Firm Giving BackLike always, the team handled the task in the typical Smiley Way. We work hard and we play hard. We may not have been great contractors but we did learn a lot and we worked together as a team to accomplish a goal.

Why We Like To Give

Giving back to the community is important. Smiley Law Firm likes to emphasize giving in our daily actions and in efforts like this one with SBP. Typically the firm gives by making financial donations to organizations like SBP. Further, financial donations are likely more important than physical acts like our buildable hours day. Financial funding is always a challenge for recovery efforts.

However, on this day, the physical act of giving was more important. The psychology behind going outside and getting your hands dirty helps the giver feel the impact of giving. Further, the impact on the recipient is also powerful knowing that the full community is behind their cause and creates a deeper sense of community as a whole.

Attorney Matt Thomas SawSo here at Smiley Law Firm, we give. We give not to get a pat on the back for a job well done. We give so that we can perpetuate the act of giving as an example for others to do the same. We were all helped at some point and morally it is our duty to keep paying the giving forward.

Future Plans And Importance

The firm and its members plan to keep working with organizations like SBP in efforts to help devastated areas. We are a construction, business, and injury law firm. The rebuilding of our community touches on all three of our focus areas.

The future plan is to give more and more each year, both financially and with our time so that we can champion the cause of giving. We challenge other businesses to get out into the community and give back because giving is the right thing.

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