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Law Firm Uses Social Network and Billboards to Raise Money for Client’s Cause

Posted Oct 22, 2010 6:00 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The environmental law firm Earthjustice is raising money to help endangered species with the help of a generous donor, free billboards and a social networking website.

The law firm’s billboards at San Francisco transit stations feature the American pika, a “cute rabbitlike” creature that may be most at risk from global warming in the United States, the New York Times reports.

The billboards urge commuters to use their smartphones to check in at Foursquare, a social networking service that lets people broadcast their location, the Times explains. Every time someone checks in to the “Earthjustice ad” at Foursquare, an anonymous donor will give $10 to help protect endangered species, the billboards promise.

Earthjustice decided to try out the campaign after it was offered free space to run public service ads at several rapid transit stations in the Bay Area, the story says. The law firm represents the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group fighting to place the pika on endangered species lists.

The law firm met its fund-raising goal—the anonymous donor had capped his contribution at $50,000—and also had some success in the courts this week. A California judge ordered the California Fish and Game Commission to reconsider a decision to deny state endangered species protection to the pika, the New York Times Green blog reports in a separate story.

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