For Rima Ghandour, owner of Ghandour Law LLC, giving back is something she learned as a struggling law student. “When I was in law school, and living off student loans, a friend rented her apartment to me for half the rent she could have charged,” she says. “Ever since, I’ve always felt that spreading the wealth and spreading support is the way to go.”

Like many professional services, the pandemic has created uncertainty for her and her firm. “COVID has definitely tightened cash flow and just made it harder to operate with our employees working from home. A law firm runs on team cohesion, and this has been tough,” she says.

Yet that same lesson she learned in law school is still guiding her actions. And that’s why she knew she couldn’t pass up an opportunity to join in on Columbia’s Pass It On Project. Rima and her team are providing free legal services to two local non-profits and Columbia Bank is paying the bill. “I am passing it on to two nonprofits – Race Talks and PCC Clear Clinic,” says Ghandour. “The first facilitates discussions on race issues, and the second helps people expunge issues on their permanent record. By Columbia Bank passing on funds to me, I’m passing on funds to these important organizations in our city.”