Thousands of runners and walkers come together to raise more than $1.3 million

Lawyers Have Heart 2024 brought together 4,500 runners and raised $1.3 million for the American Heart Association’s lifesaving mission.

9-year-old survivor, Brady Petrauskas takes the stage with his family

On May 18, 2024, runners, walkers and survivors convened for the 34th annual Lawyers Have Heart, returning for the second year at the scenic West Potomac Park. After completing the 5k, 10k and fun walk course, runners, walkers and families enjoyed a post-race party with games, a kids zone, pet party and a variety of activities.

This year’s Lawyers Have Heart participants raised over $1.3 million. To date, Lawyers Has Heart has raised more than $21 million to support the American Heart Association’s mission to save and improve lives.

Runners cross the start line for the race

Lawyers Have Heart has two important messages at its foundation: Lawyers do have heart; across the DC area, the legal community comes together for this annual event to raise money and awareness for the American Heart Association. The focus on running, walking and physical activity is intentional; physical activity can improve mental health and well-being, both of which are related to heart health. Understanding the link between high-stress professions, including those in the legal industry, and creating an intention to adopt healthy behaviors like exercise can lead to improved heart health. The event, though started by lawyers, is for everyone interested in getting out in the community, getting active and supporting an important cause.

One of the race reams poses for a photo at the finish line

The event was led for the fourth time by co-chairs John Harrity of Harrity & Harrity LLP and David Jaffe of American University Washington College of Law. This year was like no other because it also celebrated the centennial year of the AHA’s founding.

John Harrity, a survivor of a widow-maker heart attack at 49, expressed his gratitude, saying, “As a survivor, it’s inspiring seeing my peers in the legal community come together year after year to support such a special cause. I’m thrilled that sponsors and thousands of runners and walkers raised $1.3 million to advance the AHA’s mission.”

David Jaffe highlighted the event’s broader impact: “Law students and professionals often struggle with stress, which affects overall health. Lawyers Have Heart brings the community together to promote healthy behaviors that benefit total well-being. Being a part of this event has been so special to me.”

Notable participants included Andrea Wongsam, the Greater Washington Region’s Woman of Impact; Priti Langer, an executive and recent survivor who returned to the race 20 years after first participating; and 9-year-old Brady Petrauskas, born with a congenital heart defect called Aortic Coarctation, along with his family.

The AHA is grateful for the tremendous efforts of Harrity and Jaffe, the executive leadership team and event sponsors including, Harrity and Harrity, Credibility International, Latham & Watkins, Bloomberg Law, McDermott Will & Emery, Akin, DC Bar, iDiscovery Solutions, Pillsbury, Sheehy Auto, Wiley, WASH-FM and many more that made the event a success.  Stay tuned for updates on a 2025 event at: www.LawyersHaveHeartDC.org.

Event co-chairs, John Harrity and David Jaffe take the stage with AHA GWR Executive Director, Soula Antoniou