The PBEye

Pro Bono As We See It
September 26, 2016

It’s Pro Bono Podcast Monday

Leaves are falling, the PBI Podcast Network is calling. Tune in to Law Firm Pro Bono Project’s podcast, the Pro Bono Happy Hour, and learn about exciting and meaningful developments in the world of law firm pro bono and access to justice.  Want to learn more about the world of in-house pro bono? Check out Corporate Pro Bono’s new podcast, the CLO & Pro Bono Series, which features Chief Legal Officers discussing the importance of pro bono and equal access to justice.

Podcast Box LFPDon’t miss our recent interview with George Kendall of Squire Patton Boggs, one of the leading death penalty and indigent criminal defense lawyers in the United States. Subscribe to the Pro Bono Happy Hour in iTunes or YouTube for more episodes!

 

cpbo-podcast-box-1400-dclMarcus Brown, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Entergy Corporation** talks about the dramatic growth of Entergy’s pro bono program and the development of the Self Help Resource Center which has served nearly 8,000 individuals in just three years. Entergy and its partners will be receiving the 2016 CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award at the PBI Annual Dinner for their work on this project.  Subscribe to the CLO & Pro Bono Series in iTunes or YouTube for more episodes!

Listen along and let us know what you think. Send your comments, thoughts, feedback, questions, and suggestions to probono@probonoinst.org. Be warned: we might just read them on the air.

† denotes a member of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project

** denotes a Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatory

September 22, 2016

Grateful to Our Members

thankMany thanks to the law firms that have joined the Law Firm Pro Bono Project for 2016-2017, and welcome back to the following member firms: Choate Hall & Stewart†, Debevoise & Plimpton*†, and Foster Pepper†. Member firms have publicly demonstrated their leadership and commitment to pro bono service.

It’s not too late to join! Submit your enrollment form today and you’ll have access to a variety of high-quality resources to help you strengthen and grow your firm’s pro bono program. The Law Firm Project’s mission is to support and enhance the pro bono culture and performance of major law firms in the U.S. and around the world. We make available to our members an online Resource Clearinghouse, programming, confidential consultations, and more to ensure that their pro bono efforts remain vibrant, responsive, and effective. Be sure to take full advantage of your membership benefits. Please contact Law Firm Pro Bono Project Assistant Elysse DeRita, if you have any questions.

We appreciate our member firms’ dedication to pro bono and to our work, which is 100 percent supported by membership dues and law firm contributions. As the number of underserved persons locally and globally continues to climb, we must continue working together to do more pro bono, to do better pro bono, and to use our collective skills and resources to promote access to justice for all. We look forward to welcoming your law firm as a member soon.

denotes a signatory to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®
† denotes a member of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project

September 20, 2016

Guest Blog: Boston Scientific Makes an Impact

We at The PBEye are inspired every day by the  Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatories. In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the launch of the CPBO Challenge® initiative, we are showcasing some of their projects with the hope that they inspire you, too.

At Boston Scientific Corporation**, a global medicalboston-scientific-logo device company dedicated to transforming patient lives through innovative medical solutions, one of our credos is “Everyone Makes an Impact.” This statement rings true not only with respect to the company’s commitment to patient care but its philosophy on corporate citizenship, including contributions made through its pro bono program. Although Boston Scientific’s pro bono program is relatively young, it has already made a meaningful impact in its surrounding communities.

Boston Scientific’s legal department historically participated in pro bono activities, but in 2014, Tim Pratt, Boston Scientific’s Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel and Secretary, decided he wanted to do more. That year, Pratt commissioned the establishment of a pro bono committee to lay the foundation of a formal pro bono program within the company and signed Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® statement.  As noted by Pratt, “We are privileged to be members of this extraordinary legal profession, and we must never forget what inspired us to join it—the opportunity to help others in need.  In no group is that more important than for those who can’t help themselves because of their life circumstances or other challenges.  For them, we must be there to provide legal services, not just because it makes us feel good about ourselves, but also because it’s the right thing to do.  I exhort my lawyers to make an impact by engaging in pro bono activities.  It’s part of our Company’s mission of helping others.”

Since that time, the pro bono program has matured and developed several meaningful partnerships with various nonprofits and law firm partners located near our principal U.S. office locations in California, Massachusetts, and Minnesota. In California, Boston Scientific partners with the Alliance for Children’s Rights to provide legal assistance to children in need, including guardianship and immigration cases. In Massachusetts, where the company is headquartered, Boston Scientific is an annual participant in the Clinic in a Box® program co-sponsored by CPBO, the Northeast ACC Chapter, the Lawyers Clearinghouse, and Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo†*.  Boston Scientific also staffs legal clinics for the homeless sponsored by Lawyers Clearinghouse and has partnered with the Victim Rights Law Center, the first nonprofit legal center dedicated to providing legal representation to victims of rape and sexual assault. In Minnesota, the company partners with Faegre Baker Daniels†* to staff the Hennepin County Conciliation Court Clinic, which provides information and counseling services to pro se litigants.

Boston Scientific is happy to be one of many corporate legal departments giving back to their communities. Whether you have a large or small legal department, getting involved in pro bono is easy. CPBO has a variety of resources available to help you as well as information on the CPBO Challenge® initiative. Every pro bono hour contributed makes an impact!

Thank you, Boston Scientific Corporation, for contributing to The PBEye.

† denotes a Member of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project
* denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® signatory
** denotes a Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatory

September 19, 2016

It’s Pro Bono Podcast Monday

Need an antidote for the Monday blues? Tune in to Law Firm Pro Bono Project’s podcast, the Pro Bono Happy Hour, and learn about exciting and meaningful developments in the world of law firm pro bono and access to justice.  Want to learn more about the world of in-house pro bono? Check out Corporate Pro Bono’s new podcast, the CLO & Pro Bono Series, which features Chief Legal Officers discussing the importance of pro bono and equal access to justice.

DoPodcast Box LFPn’t miss our recent interview with Josh Toll of King & Spalding*†. Josh talks to us about his career, the firm’s pro bono program, his pro bono role models, and more. Subscribe to the Pro Bono Happy Hour in iTunes or YouTube for more episodes!

 

cpbo-podcast-box-1400-dclListen to Michael Holston, executive vice president and general counsel of Merck & Co., Inc.**, provide insight into Merck’s pro bono program and share why being a CPBO Challenge® signatory is important.  Subscribe to the CLO & Pro Bono Series in iTunes or YouTube for more episodes!

 

Listen along and let us know what you think. Send your comments, thoughts, feedback, questions, and suggestions to probono@probonoinst.org. Be warned: we might just read them on the air.

* denotes a signatory to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® (Washington, D.C. office only)
† denotes a member of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project

** denotes a Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatory

September 15, 2016

Partners Versus Associates

We’ve previously shared highlights from the 2015 Report on the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®, such as information about attorney charitable giving and participation by firm size. Challenge signatories visibly acknowledge their institutional, firm-wide commitment to provide pro bono legal services. They agree that they “will use [their] best efforts to ensure that a majority of both partners and associates in the firm participate annually in pro bono activities.” Participation rates in 2015 increased for both partners and associates: 66.0% of partners and 83.6% of associates participated in pro bono, with an overall attorney participation rate of 74.6%.

attorney-parp

Many law firms struggle with how to involve more partners in pro bono work. The PBEye believes that it is critical to attain meaningful participation by partners — it broadens a firm’s pro bono capacity and helps ensure the long-term vitality of pro bono by sending a clear message that pro bono is an important and lasting firm value. If you are looking for suggestions to increase partner participation, we’ve prepared several helpful hints and best approaches for doing so.

Check out the complete Challenge Report, including analysis of the data, detailed graphs, and more. Also, tune in to the Law Firm Project’s discussion of the State of Law Firm Pro Bono on its podcast, the Pro Bono Happy Hour. If your firm of 50 or more lawyers would like to join the Challenge, please contact Law Firm Pro Bono Project Assistant Elysse DeRita.

September 13, 2016

You’re Invited: “Chief Legal Officers on the Intersection of Pro Bono and CSR” at the ACC Annual Meeting

ACC-AM-16The 2016 ACC Annual Meeting is only a month away! As The PBEye has reported previously, there will be a number of in-house pro bono-related events, including the session “Chief Legal Officers on the Intersection of Pro Bono and Corporate Social Responsibility” (Tuesday, October 18, 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm). PBI President and CEO Eve Runyon will lead an interactive discussion with the following general counsel to explore the intersection of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and pro bono, with a particular focus on how legal department leaders can develop pro bono programs to complement their companies’ CSR efforts and increase impact:

  • Susan Lees, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Allstate Insurance Company**
  • Amy Weaver, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Salesforce.com, Inc.**

In addition, don’t forget to register for the Clinic in a Box® Program – Nonprofit Employment Policies (Monday, October 17, 9:00 am – 12:30 pm) and the pro bono breakfast (Tuesday, October 18, 7:45 am – 9:00 am) with CPBO Project Assistant Virginia Lyon.

To find out more about in-house pro bono, stop by CPBO’s Booth #618 in the Exhibit Hall, or contact CPBO at cpbo@probonoinst.org. We look forward to seeing you in San Francisco!

 

**denotes a Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatory

 

September 12, 2016

It’s Pro Bono Podcast Monday: Now with Two Times the Pro Bono!

Interested in the world of in-house pro bono? Tune in tocpbo-podcast-box-1400-dcl Pro Bono Institute’s newest podcast series, the CLO & Pro Bono Series, and listen to chief legal officers of CPBO Challenge® signatories discuss the importance of pro bono and equal access to justice.

Our very first interview is with Craig Silliman, Executive Vice President of Public Policy and General Counsel of Verizon Communications**. Silliman shares highlights from his department’s pro bono efforts and why he is passionate about access to justice.

Like what you hear? Then subscribe to the CLO & Pro Bono Series Podcast in iTunes. Have you rated us on iTunes yet? Would you consider doing it now? The podcast is also available on YouTube. Links to this and all future episodes can be found here. Join the conversation today!

We’re brand new so listen along and let us know what you think. Send your comments, thoughts, feedback, questions, and suggestions to cpbo@probonoinst.org.

 

† denotes a Member of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project
* denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® signatory
** denotes a Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatory

 

September 8, 2016

Call for Ideas

confPlanning is well underway for the 2017 PBI Annual Conference, which will be held on March 8 – 10 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. Some of the perennial highlights of the Conference are the “Marketplace of Ideas” sessions, fast-paced opportunities for presenters to share cutting-edge pro bono projects and for attendees to learn about new opportunities, offerings, infrastructure, and other replicable pro bono developments. Presenters identify real-world legal needs and explain how their projects are successfully addressing them. Click here to read a summary of the 2016 Marketplace of Ideas presentations.

Interested in serving as a presenter? We invite you to submit a brief proposal describing your initiative so that we can ensure adequate time and capacity for all presentations. Please send submissions to Law Firm Pro Bono Project Assistant Elysse DeRita. Due to time limitations, we may not be able to accept all proposals this year.

We look forward to learning more and sharing new ideas and projects at the 2017 PBI Annual Conference.

September 6, 2016

Guest Blog: Growing Pro Bono Work Around the World

We at The PBEye are inspired every day by the Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatories. In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the launch of the CPBO Challenge® initiative, we are showcasing some of their projects with the hope that they inspire you, too.

By Erica Wang, General Counsel, 3M China and Hong Kong

3M Company’s** General Counsel Ivan Fong likes to quote Marian Wright Edelman, president and founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, to describe our legal team’s approach to pro bono work: “Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life and not something you do in your spare time.”

Perhaps that’s why pro bono legal work, which has long been a growing focus at our company’s Minnesota headquarters, is spreading to our attorneys around the world – even some parts of the world where it’s still a developing concept. In China, we recently organized our first pro bono workshop with international law firm Hogan Lovells*† at the 3M Shanghai Innovation Center.

Social enterprises are booming in China, along with increasing attention and care to the underprivileged population and China’s societal sustainability, but they often lack legal and other professional support. At our workshop, 3M and Hogan Lovells attorneys advised five charitable organizations on their business operations. The five organizations that participated in the workshop are:

  1. Shanghai Ju Shan Zhu Can Public Welfare Development Center. Its Chinese name, Ju Shan Zhu Can, means “collection of kindness to support the disabled.” The Center created China’s first online charity store five years ago, which takes in unused clothing and household items or business inventory, and then sells them online. The organization provides employment opportunities to people with disabilities and also uses the revenue to run charitable programs.
  2. Netspring Social Enterprise. It collects used computers from companies to distribute to rural schools, which not only supports the education of children living in poverty, but also reduces e-waste by continuing the usefulness of the computers.
  3. Shanghai Laogang Town Beilan Environmental Protection Service Center. The name “Beilan” in Chinese refers to ensuring a blue sky for younger generations. It focuses on environmental protection by way of recycling used clothes.
  4. GeiLi Giving. The name “Geili” in Chinese means giving power. It collects donations, sells goods for charity and conducts other charitable activities via a public service web platform.
  5. Shanghai Yi Tu Wu Zhang Ai Art Studio. The name “Yi Tu Wu Zhang Hai” means no barrier to becoming artists. This studio was set up in 2010 to help children with autism experience the arts and develop their skills.

Each enterprise was paired with a small group of attorneys. We learned about their initiatives, missions, and challenges, and, based on that, we provided specific solutions from legal and risk control perspectives. Each enterprise received more than an hour of dedicated consulting in a private meeting room.

The participants were very pleased about the interaction with legal professionals, and we were grateful to have the opportunity to contribute to their important work. We aim to contribute more and are about to organize our second pro bono activity in the second half of this year. All of us felt what is to be gained by giving.

Thank you, 3M Company, for contributing to The PBEye.

† denotes a Member of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project
* denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® signatory
** denotes a Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatory

September 1, 2016

Does Size Matter?

In the Spring, PBI’s Law Firm Pro Bono Project released its 2015 Report on the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®, which examines the pro bono activities of Challenge signatories.

We’ve previously shared highlights about pro bono time devoted to those of limited means and law firm charitable giving. This year, for the first time, we analyzed pro bono performance by firm size. Firms with headcounts of more than 1,000 attorneys had the highest average pro bono percentage in 2015 (3.77%):

avg pro bono by size

Similarly, attorney participation rates steadily rose as firm size increased:

particpation rates by firm size

We are thankful to all signatories, regardless of headcount, for their service and pro bono leadership.

To learn more about law firm pro bono performance, check out the Law Firm Project’s discussion of The State of Law Firm Pro Bono on its podcast, the Pro Bono Happy Hour. If your firm of 50 or more lawyers would like to join the Challenge, please contact Law Firm Pro Bono Project Assistant Elysse DeRita.

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