CR Insider: John “Jay” Neukom

Children’s Rights Board member John “Jay” Neukom — partner in the law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP – values giving back to society. Turns out, it runs in his family. Together, Jay, his father and three sisters established the Neukom Family Foundation, which supports non-profit organizations in the fields of healt, human services, education, justice and the environment. The foundation is one of CR’s largest funders. Jay recently took time to discuss why supporting CR is important to him.

John Neukom BW

CR: You and your family are very philanthropic. Why?
Jay: My father instilled in us that we all have a duty to participate in our society and to help make it better. That means not just raising your own family and not just showing up to work every day and doing your duties well, but looking for ways to help make our society more fair and richer with opportunities for everyone.

CR: We are fortunate that the Neukom Family Foundation has been so generous. Why has the foundation donated to CR?
Jay: Children’s Rights is dedicated to advocating for a segment of the population that has no ability to stand up for itself. It is exceptionally well run, and leanly staffed with extremely smart lawyers. Organizations that have big front offices are less appealing to us–the smaller the team, the more efficient they are. We have confidence that the dollars we give to CR are being used wisely, and going where they are needed most.

CR: Do you think litigation is an effective tool for fixing child welfare systems?
Jay: Yes, I believe the law can be used by lawyers for really noble ends. There is a great tradition of that in our country. We’ve had civil rights litigation, and we have voting act litigation still going on today. The work that CR is pursuing right now–to defend the rights of kids in foster care–is important and yields life-changing results.

CR: Why are you concerned about kids in foster care?
Jay: These are children, and they have nobody watching out for them, and it is our duty to care. Somebody needs to stand up in the crowd and say this needs to be changed. That is what CR is doing. I am just so proud to be affiliated with this organization.