Passages of Hope andJustice 21 National Network to End DomesticViolence On the surface, a merger between the National Network to End DomesticViolence (NNEDV) andThe National Network to End DomesticViolence Fund, Inc. might sound like the most tech- nical of technicalities. But, for the organizations involved, the decision to merge raised important issues of culture and coalition, and for Mintz Levin, it gave strength to a group–and a cause–to which the firm is deeply committed. Incorporated in 1995, NNEDV grew out of a small working group of state domestic violence coalitions and advocates.“There were so many state coalitions all trying to do the same thing,” explains Daria Niewenhous, who has done pro bono work on domestic violence for almost 20 years.“The idea was to take all of those smaller voices and give them one, much stronger voice.” In that same year, the Fund, a sister organization, was formed to provide training and technical assistance to the coalitions and to further public awareness of domestic violence issues. Over time however, it became clear that running two separate organizations meant unneces- sary duplications of many administrative tasks. In 2008, the Network and the Fund began dis- cussing a merger. Collaborating with Daria were Kimberly Kirk and John Condon, who worked for months on this effort.Anthony Hubbard also contributed, offering guidance to his colleagues and sharing his experience. It’s very fitting that NNEDV turned to Mintz Levin, as the fledgling organization began its life in space borrowed from the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, and Mintz Levin attorneys have supported the organization from its inception. Helen Guyton has served as NNEDV’s outside general counsel since 2007, coordinating Mintz Levin’s pro bono work on amicus briefs, intel- lectual property and employment issues, legislative drafting, and other matters. It took many months, and many meetings, to come up with a structure that would still enable and respect input from the many organizations that have come together to form NNEDV.“You have this pull; one board was made up of coalition directors, the other was partly coalition members and partly corporate executives.It was great to be able to give them guidance on how to incorporate two boards into one,” says Helen. And while NNEDV has benefitted from Mintz Levin’s knowledge, it’s equally true that the firm has learned much from the organization.“NNEDV brings domestic violence issues to the fore- front at a national level,” says Helen.“We’re able to stay on the cutting edge of these issues by working with them.” Safety in Numbers “ Mintz Levin always answers the call when the domestic violence field needs help; they are unstinting in their volunteer efforts on behalf of victims and their children.” – Sue Else President National Network to End Domestic Violence