The PBEye

Pro Bono As We See It
February 23, 2017

Conference Sneak Peek: Engage and Inspire Action

“The most powerful delivery system ever invented for an idea is a story.”
– Aaron Sorkin (February 19, 2017)

The 2017 PBI Annual Conference is only two weeks away and one of this year’s highlights is a storytelling workshop.

We want to share the impact that our pro bono efforts have, but often the numbers we track and report don’t paint a complete picture.  Numbers and data lack the emotional resonance that a story has to inspire action. Narratives can do what data alone cannot – they provide context, meaning, emotion, and purpose. Stories are universal, relatable, and engaging. Stories help our listeners, viewers, and readers understand and care about why we do what we do.

Join us on Friday, March 10, for “Engage and Inspire Action: Storytelling to Enhance Pro Bono Engagement and Access to Justice.” Jerome Deroy, Chief Executive Officer of Narativ, will help us explore the benefits, challenges, and best practices of using stories to frame access to justice issues; recruit, engage, and motivate pro bono lawyers and staff; sway funders and other stakeholders; create a sense of urgency; and inspire collective action.

Through a skills-building workshop, we will practice and hone the craft of storytelling: the “what,” “why,” “how,” and “when” of storytelling.  What are the qualities of a well-told story? Why are stories effective? How do you identify which stories will work and engage your audiences in what matters to you and your organization? When might you find stories helpful? What stories do you already have as part of your toolkit? How can you translate the data you have into engaging stories that connect? You will return home with critical information, models, ideas, and innovations that you can use to reshape, retool, and enhance your pro bono and access to justice messaging.

If you have any questions about the Conference or need assistance with registration, please email events@probonoinst.org or call 202.370.6770.

February 21, 2017

Submit Nominations for the 2017 CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award

Know of an inspiring and impactful pro bono partnership? CPBO is now accepting nominations for the 2017 CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award. The award recognizes innovative team approaches to pro bono work involving in-house legal departments, law firms, and public interest groups. Nominated partnerships must include at least one legal department and one or more law firms and/or public interest group partners. CPBO may present two awards: (1) to a partnership that includes a legal department of 50 or more lawyers; and (2) to a partnership that includes a legal department of 49 or less lawyers.

The award will be presented at the Pro Bono Institute Annual Dinner in New York City on September 28, 2017.

The 2016 recipients were:

A full list of previous award winners can be found here. To nominate a pro bono partnership, please complete a nomination form and submit a letter of nomination no later than April 21, 2017.

Award criteria and the nomination form are available here. For more information about the award, please contact CPBO.

 

**denotes a Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatory

February 20, 2017

It’s Pro Bono Podcast Monday

Have the day off and need some listening material? Tune in to the 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.

Don’t miss our most recent interview with Jerri Shick of O’Melveny & Myers*. Jerri talks to us about the firm’s pro bono program, her leadership of Bet Tzedek’s Holocaust Survivors’ Justice Network, providing pro bono assistance in Haiti to survivors of a catastrophic earthquake, and more.

Subscribe to the Pro Bono Happy Hour in iTunes. Have you rated us on iTunes yet? Would you consider doing it now? We’d appreciate feedback and it would help make it easier for others to find the show and expand the conversation about access to justice. The podcast is also available on YouTube. Links to all of our episodes can be found here.

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.

Want to learn more about the world of in-house pro bono? Check out Corporate Pro Bono’s podcast, the CLO & Pro Bono Series, which features Chief Legal Officers discussing the importance of pro bono and access to justice.


* denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® Signatory

February 17, 2017

Welcome to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®

The Law Firm Pro Bono Project is pleased to announce a new signatory to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® initiative. We are excited to welcome Willkie Farr & Gallagher*, whose attorneys and staff have shown a strong dedication to pro bono work by providing a wide range of legal services to those in need.

Since 1993, the Challenge, an initiative of PBI’s Law Firm Project, has served as a guidepost to assist major law firms in increasing their commitment to pro bono legal services. The Challenge principles are designed to offer institutional support and maximize the efficacy of law firm pro bono programs. The Challenge definition of pro bono has become an industry standard, utilized not only by major law firms but by the legal media in reporting the pro bono contributions of large law firms.

We encourage firms to use their status as signatories as a rallying cry and a point of pride and distinction. Publicize your participation and your pledge of pro bono service inside and outside the firm, to your clients, and to the public interest groups with whom you work. Making a public commitment to the Challenge heightens awareness of pro bono at the firm, increases attorney participation, engages firm leadership, and sets clear and shared goals for success. We also invite firms to renew their Challenge commitments at any time: whether you are undergoing a merger or other structural changes; whether you would like to increase your Challenge goal from 3 to 5 percent of billable hours; or whether you’d like to gain the momentum of publicly re-affirming your institutional commitment to pro bono.

For firms that have not yet joined because of a concern that they cannot meet the Challenge goals, we encourage you to enroll and use this proven tool to advance pro bono at your firm. There is no downside as we do not publish disaggregated statistics, nor do we in any way identify individual firms as having met or not met their Challenge goal. Rather, we work closely with Challenge Signatories to provide individual consultative services and support to help them improve their pro bono performance.

By joining the Challenge, your firm can institutionalize its firm-wide commitment to providing pro bono legal services to low-income and disadvantaged individuals and the organizations that serve them. To learn how your firm can become a leader in law firm pro bono, please contact us.


* denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® Signatory

February 16, 2017

Conference Sneak Peak: Pro Bono in Practice – Juvenile Life Without Parole

The 2017 PBI Annual Conference is only three weeks away and one of this year’s highlights is a session about “juvenile lifers,” who were given the opportunity for new sentences as a result of Montgomery v. Louisiana, the 2016 U.S. Supreme Court decision that made retroactive the Court’s ban on automatic life-without-parole sentence for juveniles.

Juvenile Life Without Parole (Pro Bono in Practice) is one of a series of popular sessions geared toward bringing together law firm, in-house, and public interest leaders whose work is focused on a specific topical area. Join us on March 9, from 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., to discuss current events and how pro bono lawyers can be of assistance to “juvenile lifers.” We are grateful to our panel of expert practitioners:

For additional background, check out our interview with Untiedt on the Pro Bono Happy Hour, the Law Firm Pro Bono Project’s podcast. Among other things, she discusses her meaningful work to ensure access to justice for “juvenile lifers.” You can subscribe to the Pro Bono Happy Hour in iTunes and links to all of the episodes can be found here.

If you have any questions about the Conference or need assistance with registration, please email events@probonoinst.org or call 202.370.6770.

* denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® Signatory
† denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Project® Member

February 14, 2017

Capital One – Ringing in 2017 with Pro Bono

On January 31, Capital One Financial Corporation** co-hosted a Clinic in a Box® Program – Legal Audit with CPBO, McGuireWoods LLP*†, and United Way of the National Capital Area. Twenty-six Capital One volunteers met at the McGuireWoods office in Tysons, Virginia, to receive training and assist ten local nonprofits with a legal audit. Attorneys from McGuireWoods led an hour and a half long training that offered instruction on five areas of law vital to the upkeep of Virginia nonprofits: governance, intellectual property, employment, human resources, and fiscal management. Once the training concluded, the volunteers broke into teams and went to work with their pre-assigned clients.

Over the course of more than two hours, volunteers utilized a detailed checklist to ask questions, review current practices, provide advice, and identify areas for follow-up.  Through providing legal assistance to these nonprofits, volunteers help ensure the services these nonprofits offer their communities — ranging from support for survivors of domestic violence to housing for the homeless — can continue. One client summed up the importance of the clinic by saying, “Very useful time spent. You don’t know what you don’t know. A review like this is so beneficial to be proactive in addressing concerns!” Thank you to the organizers, volunteers, and trainers who aided not only the 10 nonprofits present, but the estimated 24,500 clients they reach.

ACC chapters and legal departments interested in hosting a similar clinic, can learn more on the Clinic in a Box® program webpage and read about previous clinics here. To discuss in-house pro bono, please contact CPBO.

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

**denotes a Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatory

 

February 13, 2017

It’s Pro Bono Podcast Monday

“Cause I’m leavin’ on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again.”
– John Denver

Want to learn about the latest pro bono opportunities? Tune in to the 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.

Don’t miss our bonus episode, Up in the Air, with Ellyn Haikin Josef of Vinson & Elkins*†. Straight from the headlines, Ellyn talks to us about how a recent presidential executive order mobilized pro bono lawyers and inspired airport campouts and engagement.

Subscribe to the Pro Bono Happy Hour in iTunes. Have you rated us on iTunes yet? Would you consider doing it now? We’d appreciate feedback and it would help make it easier for others to find the show and expand the conversation about access to justice. The podcast is also available on YouTube. Links to all of our episodes can be found here.

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.

Want to learn more about the world of in-house pro bono? Check out Corporate Pro Bono’s podcast, the CLO & Pro Bono Series, which features Chief Legal Officers discussing the importance of pro bono and access to justice.

* denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® Signatory
† denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Project® Member

February 9, 2017

Conference Sneak Peak: Pro Bono in Practice – Family Law

The 2017 PBI Annual Conference is only one month away and one of this year’s highlights is a session about family law, an area when the needs are great, but pro bono lawyers are often reluctant to get involved.

Changing the Face of Pro Bono Family Law (Pro Bono in Practice) is one of a series of popular sessions geared toward bringing together law firm, in-house, and public interest leaders whose work is focused on a specific topical area. We encourage attendees to join us on March 9 from 2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. to discuss a range of available family law pro bono opportunities, including full representation, limited-scope matters, and assisting those who are self-represented.

Interested in learning more?  Check out the episode of the Pro Bono Happy Hour, the Law Firm Pro Bono Project’s podcast; featuring Michael Lucas of the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation (AVLF). Lucas, who will be a facilitator for the Conference program, discusses being a leader in the public interest community, providing the “best legal representation money can’t buy,” and trends in access to justice, including a family law pro bono program that AVLF strategically added to work they were already doing to assist survivors of domestic violence to ensure that they get the holistic assistance they need to move forward. You can subscribe to the Pro Bono Happy Hour in iTunes and links to all of the episodes can be found here.

If you have any questions about the Conference or need assistance with registration, please email events@probonoinst.org or call 202.370.6770.

February 6, 2017

It’s Pro Bono Podcast Monday

Need some listening material as you hunker down for six more weeks of winter? Tune in to the 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.

Don’t miss our recent interview with Annie Mohan of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. Annie talks to us about her career, the firm’s pro bono program, the legal community’s response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, affinity networks and pro bono, and more.

Subscribe to the Pro Bono Happy Hour in iTunes. Have you rated us on iTunes yet? Would you consider doing it now? We’d appreciate feedback and it would help make it easier for others to find the show and expand the conversation about access to justice. The podcast is also available on YouTube. Links to all of our episodes can be found here.

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.

Want to learn more about the world of in-house pro bono? Check out Corporate Pro Bono’s podcast, the CLO & Pro Bono Series, which features Chief Legal Officers discussing the importance of pro bono and access to justice.


† denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Project® Member

February 2, 2017

2017 PBI Annual Conference: Pro Bono Expo and Happy Hour

Want to network with leaders from legal services and public interest organizations? The 2017 PBI Annual Conference will be here before we know it and we are excited to provide a preview of this year’s Pro Bono Expo and Happy Hour.

Table hosts will share emerging issues, strategies, and innovations; answer questions; and provide information about cutting-edge pro bono opportunities available to your law firm or legal department. This is a unique time to mingle, forge productive relationships and partnerships with public interest organizations from across the U.S. and around the world, and develop new pro bono initiatives.

This year’s Expo and Happy Hour will take place from 3:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. on March 9. Click here for a current list of host organizations. We hope to see you there!

If you have any questions about the Conference or need assistance with registration, please email events@probonoinst.org or call 202.370.6770.

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