By Jan Skutch for the Savannah Morning News
Savannah attorney Edward “Ted” Henneman Jr. does no trial work in his role as a partner in the HunterMaclean firm.
While that is usually a hurdle to fulfilling his pro bono commitment to the profession, Henneman has become a key figure in serving the needs of Savannah’s less fortunate through his leadership role with Step Up Savannah Inc./City of Savannah and its affordable housing trust fund effort.
Those initiatives have earned Henneman the State Bar of Georgia Pro Bono Project Award as the 2013 Business Commitment Pro Bono Business Law Award, which he will receive in October. He was nominated by the Savannah Bar Association as a “crucial partner” in the effort to establish a housing trust fund.
Henneman joined with Step Up and Georgia Legal Services in developing a long-term strategy to have the city of Savannah implement a housing trust fund with a $300,000 commitment from the city.
Access to affordable housing has been identified as a key factor in solving homelessness and poverty in Savannah where the problem often impedes those moving out of poverty.
Suzanne Donovan with Step Up called Henneman “a strong and stellar contributor to the advisory committee” in the trust-fund effort.
Henneman, 46, came to Savannah with his wife, native Savannahian Amy Parr, in 1994 after graduating cum laude from the University of Georgia law school and began his career handling real estate development and commercial finance matters. He said he got into affordable housing through a client and later found Step Up and its initiatives met his career expertise.
He conceded that for a non-trial lawyer, efforts at pro bono work are harder to find, but said the local opportunity, “Frankly … was right up my alley.”
“I’m not just sitting on the (advisory) board,” he said. “I’m very active in the effort.”