The PBEye

Pro Bono As We See It
February 26, 2015

Lunch and Learn at the Pro Bono Expo

Expo picThe 2015 PBI Annual Conference is less than a week away and The PBEye is excited to provide a sneak peek of the public interest organizations that will be featured at the Pro Bono Expo Lunch on Thursday, March 5. We have a record-number of prominent table hosts this year, and their expert representatives 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 network, forge productive relationships and partnerships with public interest organizations from across the U.S. and around the world, and develop new pro bono initiatives.

Among the organizations hosting tables next Thursday are:

Center for Reproductive Rights

Children’s Law Center

Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles

Medical-Legal Partnership | Boston

Public Interest Law Initiative

We’ll also have tables dedicated to discussing the “state of pro bono” in Australia, Brazil, and Singapore. If you have questions about the Conference, please email us or call 202.973.8720. We hope to see you soon!

February 25, 2015

New Programming for Law Firm and In-House Attendees

2015AC-Header-WebWe’re getting excited for the upcoming PBI Annual Conference and we hope you are too! This year, we have expanded programming and networking opportunities exclusive to law firm and in-house attendees. The Joint Opening Lunch at 11:45 a.m. on March 4 will offer, for the first time, an opportunity for law firm and in-house attendees to kick-off their substantive Conference experience together. The following distinguished panel of experts will provide insights about the forces and trends that will shape the legal profession and the future of pro bono:

Mark Chandler, Cisco Systems, Inc.**
Greg Jordan, The PNC Financial Services Group**
Kim Koopersmith, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld*†
Mark Wasserman, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan*†
David Wilkins, Harvard Law School

Join us to explore developments in the economics and practice of law at major firms and in-house legal departments and how they may impact pro bono.

Also new this year for law firm and in-house attendees are Regional Joint Networking Exchanges, which offer dedicated time for you to meet or reconnect with pro bono leaders from your geographic region or global home base to share experiences, explore legal needs and opportunities for collaboration, and to discuss issues of particular interest to your specific communities. The networking starts at 10:30 a.m. on March 4 – don’t miss out!

Whether you are new to the Conference or an event veteran, we hope that you will enjoy these new opportunities exclusively-designed for law firm and in-house attendees. Bring your appetite, questions, and observations!

If you have questions about the Conference, please email us or call 202.973.8720.

* denotes a Signatory to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®
denotes a Member of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project
** denotes a Signatory to the Corporate Pro Bono Challenge®

February 20, 2015

Sharing Perspectives: Visitors from the Philippines

Pic2Earlier this month, PBI and CPBO were honored to welcome a delegation from Mindanao in the Southern Philippines, in a trip organized by the U.S. State Department. The delegation, composed primarily of Filipino law student leaders, came to exchange views on the development of pro bono structures, culture, and leadership. The group sat down with Law Firm Pro Bono Project Director Tammy Taylor, CPBO Director Eve Runyon, and Global Pro Bono Coordinator Sri Katragadda.

Two of the non-law students in the delegation: Eldred Cole, deputy regional prosecutor of Dumaguete City and Rhobert Maestre, president of the Mindanao Youth Volunteer Corps, provided details on the country’s mandatory 60 hour annual pro bono requirement and a brief look at the country’s legal profession. Both voiced an eagerness to advance the culture of pro bono and noted that this would ultimately be accomplished by involving the next generation of lawyers; hence the group’s heavy composition of law students. We were inspired by the thoughtful questions of these students, including law school clinic leaders, who are passionate about enhancing the profile of pro bono within the Filipino legal sector. For our part, PBI and CPBO discussed the history of pro bono development in the U.S. We noted that development of pro bono can be seen as both cultural — a growing expectation that pro bono is a normal part of an attorney’s practice — as well as structural — the institutional development of pro bono programs.

Stay tuned for more pro bono developments in the Philippines from our new friends.

 

February 19, 2015

Conference Sneak Peek: Criminal Justice

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The 2015 PBI Annual Conference is quickly approaching and one of this year’s highlights is a session about criminal justice. Although much of the Conference is built around peer-to-peer learning, we have expert-led sessions as well. “Pro Bono in Practice” sessions bring together those involved in a particular substantive area of public interest practice to explore the status of available pro bono opportunities, strategic approaches, opportunities for collaboration, and how to get started.

Pro Bono in Practice: Criminal Justice will be moderated by Lisa Borden of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz*†, who is a leader in addressing the issue of criminal justice debt. The panel will also feature two experts from prominent public interest organizations. Nancy Anderson will join us from Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which has led the recruitment of large law to participate in the Clemency Project. Rounding out the panel is Lauren-Brooke Eisen of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, which works to improve the criminal justice system, focusing on issues such as reducing mass incarceration and ensuring racial equality.

Join us on March 5 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. to learn about critical legal issues of the day related to criminal justice and how pro bono volunteers can get involved and make a difference. If you have questions, please send us an email. We look forward to seeing you soon!

* denotes a Signatory to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®

denotes a Member of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project

February 12, 2015

Welcome to Law Firm Pro Bono!

lf101Has your firm, of more than 50 lawyers, recently created or restructured a formal pro bono program? Is your firm planning to do so in 2015? Are you a newly-appointed managing partner, practice group or office leader, pro bono committee chair or member, pro bono counsel, partner, director, manager, or coordinator? If so, join us bright and early on March 4 for Law Firm Pro Bono 101 to jumpstart the 2015 PBI Annual Conference.

We know that leading a law firm pro bono program can be overwhelming, particularly when you are relatively new to the position or if the program is undergoing a reboot, and we are here to help! Law Firm Pro Bono 101 offers a crash course on the basics of structuring, implementing, and administering successful law firm pro bono programs. Law Firm Pro Bono Project staff members will also be available to provide participants individualized tips for navigating the Conference in order to maximize the experience, and introduce attendees to the resources and support available from the Project all year round. This interactive pre-Conference session is particularly helpful for first-time attendees.

This year, we are offering Law Firm Pro Bono 101 at no extra charge. Pre-registration is required for this program, so please email PBIevents@courtesyassoc.com or call 202.973.8720 to enroll or to confirm your registration status.

Don’t miss out on this popular session. We hope to see you there!

February 5, 2015

One-Stop for All Your Law Firm Pro Bono Resource Needs

Are you new to the Law Firm Pro Bono Project’s Resource Clearinghouse? Could you use a refresher on what resources we have to offer? The Law Firm Pro Bono Project has released a catalog that provides a sampling of the available publications and materials. Law Firm Pro Bono Project Members recently received a copy of this new catalog in the mail. Others may contact Law Firm Pro Bono Project Assistant Eva Richardson to request a copy.

The Resource Clearinghouse is a one-stop, online resource for publications, best practices, surveys, model policies, and other materials on law firm pro bono. The growing collection comprises PBI’s research and expert analysis with additional resources from trusted and verified sources. Materials available include:

• Attorney interest surveys

• Best practices for program structure

• Original publications

• Reports on the performance of Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® Signatories

Check out our instructional video, which will help you quickly and easily navigate the Resource Clearinghouse. The brief tutorial will show you how to register, access the Members-only page, download and purchase documents, and search for specific key words or publications.

All materials are available free to Law Firm Pro Bono Project Member Firms by instant download. Member Firms can register by clicking here, and there is no limit to the number of individual accounts a firm can have. Non-Members may also access the Resource Clearinghouse and view and purchase select documents. If your firm is not yet a Member, join today! If you have questions or need assistance with registration, please contact Eva Richardson.

Don’t forget to respond to our calls for materials and send us your information for inclusion in the Resource Clearinghouse.

February 4, 2015

2015 PBI Annual Conference: In-House Pro Bono: Growing Your In-House Pro Bono Program

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Are you headed to this year’s PBI Annual Conference to be held March 4-6 in Washington, D.C.? For in-house counsel and other legal department staff, this year’s programming kicks off on the morning of March 4. The programming carries a broad appeal, with topics ranging from developing programs to those whose programs are more mature. One such in-house specific session has been designed for those who are looking to bring their pro bono program to the next level:

In-House Pro Bono: Growing Your In-House Pro Bono Program4:15 – 6:00 pm
You successfully launched your in-house pro bono program. What comes next? This session will consider new opportunities for in-house pro bono programs, addressing common challenges in-house departments encounter as they move beyond the start-up phase to growing their departments’ pro bono programs, and offering new solutions on how to overcome them.

This session is just one of many in a full day of in-house specific programming. Other sessions for the day include topics on starting or reviving a pro bono program as well as how legal departments can influence pro bono developments outside their own company environment. If you haven’t already, be sure to register for the Conference. To learn more about other sessions, please view the in-house agenda. If you have questions, please feel free to send us an e-mail. We hope to see you there!

February 3, 2015

Why Attend the PBI Annual Conference?

The 2015 PBI Annual Conference (March 4-6) is the premier pro bono event of the year, connecting law firm and in-house leaders as well as public interest and legal services pro bono professionals, to learn and share the best and latest information on pro bono! Take a listen as some of the top leaders in legal pro bono explain why they come to the Conference.

We hope to see you there!

January 29, 2015

Don’t Miss the Expo Lunch!

lunchThe 2015 PBI Annual Conference is rapidly approaching and The PBEye is excited to provide a sneak peek of the public interest organizations that will be featured at the Pro Bono Expo Lunch on Thursday, March 5. A record-number of prominent organizations will be hosting tables, and their expert representatives 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 opportunity to network, forge productive relationships and partnerships with public interest organizations from across the U.S. and around the world, and develop major pro bono initiatives.

Several organizations are hosting tables for the first time this year, including:

Animal Legal Defense Fund

Brooklyn Defender Services

Justice Connect

Start Small Think Big, Inc.

The Public International Law & Policy Group

Register now to take advantage of this opportunity to engage with leaders in the access to justice and pro bono community. If you have questions about the Conference or need assistance with registration, please email us or call 202.973.8720. We hope to see you there!

January 23, 2015

Upcoming Webinar: An Inside Look at In-House Pro Bono Partnerships

JoinPartnership us on February 3rd at 12:30 p.m. ET for “An Inside Look at In-House Pro Bono Partnerships,” a one-hour program hosted in conjunction with WestLegalEdcenter that will feature an in-depth look at the partnership between Global Legal, Compliance, Regulatory, and Government Affairs department (GLCR), and the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) to provide pro bono legal services to Afghan refugees whose lives are in danger due to their work with the U.S. government.

On November 6 at the PBI Annual Dinner in New York City, AIG and IRAP were presented with the 2014 CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award for their pioneering, collaborative effort to serve the legal needs of refugees in the Middle East. The effectiveness of the partnership between AIG and IRAP has been proven repeatedly, from a client who successfully obtained a visa and began a new life in the U.S. to contributions to three major policy/legislative victories. The first victory in October 2013 was the extension of the Iraqi SIV program, followed by landmark legislation that made improvements to the SIV application process including giving SIV applicants access to counsel in overseas proceedings and the right to appeal SIV rejections, and finally the addition of 1,000 visas to the Afghan SIV program.

The following panelists will discuss the substance of their work as well as provide insight into the development and maintenance of their strong partnership:

  • Erica Blau, Associate Counsel, American International Group, Inc.
  • Ariele Cohen, Associate General Counsel, American International Group, Inc.
  • Kristen Gudewicz, Associate General Counsel, American International Group, Inc.
  • Becca Heller, Director and Co-founder, IRAP
  • Stephen Poellot, Legal Director, IRAP

CLE credit is available in many states. Interested in-house counsel should contact CPBO Project Assistant Josh Lefebvre for registration information or to submit questions in advance of the program. Registration is free for Law Firm Pro Bono Project Member Law Firms. Law firm participants should contact Law Firm Pro Bono Project Assistant Eva Richardson for registration information.

Schedule conflict? Don’t worry – the program will also be available on-demand shortly after the original broadcast date.

** denotes Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatory

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