The PBEye

Pro Bono As We See It
December 5, 2016

It’s Pro Bono Podcast Monday

pbhh-logoDid you miss us over Thanksgiving break? 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 Sarah Dohoney Byrne and Stephanie Gryder of Moore & Van Allen. Sarah and Stephanie talk to us about the firm’s pro bono program, its Human Trafficking Pro Bono Project, the intersection of law firm pro bono and diversity/inclusion efforts, and more.

Subscribe to the Pro Bono Happy Hour in iTunes. Have you rated us on iTunes yet? Would you consider doing it now? Leave a review by December 31 and you will be entered into our podcast review contest. Winners will be announced on the show. 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 just might 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

December 1, 2016

Step Right Up & Win a Prize

In October, we ran a Pro Bono Happy Hour podcast review contest. We are happy to announce our winning listener, who wrote, in part:

I love this podcast! I’m interested in social justice issues, but I’m not an attorney, and this show makes it so easy to learn about pro bono work even without a legal background. It’s inspiring to hear about all the amazing work people are doing … And the book recommendations are amazing too. Thank you and keep up the good work! – @apple123456

winnerThank you for the review, apple123456! We are grateful for your encouragement and appreciate your feedback, which makes it easier for others to find the show and expand the conversation about access to justice.

Want a prize? Rate us on iTunes and leave a review by December 31st to be entered in our holiday podcast contest. The Pro Bono Happy Hour is also available on YouTube. Links to all of our episodes can be found here.

November 21, 2016

It’s Pro Bono Podcast Monday

turkeyNeed some listening material for your Thanksgiving  travels? 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 Dawn Caldart of Quarles & Brady *†. Dawn talks to us about her career, the firm’s pro bono program, the pro bono culture in Milwaukee, the relationship of pro bono to lawyer professional development, and more.

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

November 17, 2016

Pro Bono Values Project

“[I]t is the right thing to do. Everyone should have access to justice. A lot of people do not have access to justice because they cannot afford it. It is my spiritual view on humanity and my personal belief.” (Graduate Lawyer, Medium Law Firm.)

tree-finalWe recently learned about an intriguing empirical study that examines the motivations of lawyers who participate in pro bono work. Over a four month period, the University of Queensland Pro Bono Centre at TC Beirne School of Law interviewed lawyers across Australia.  The lawyers came from firms of various sizes, practice areas, and seniority levels. The Centre hoped that the study would offer insight into lawyers’ personal reasons for doing pro bono work and their thoughts about pro bono practice and trends. In June 2016, the Centre published their findings, which shed light on lawyers’ values.  Highlights and key takeaways include:

  • Intrinsic motivators were ranked highly by lawyers. Many described a “moral calling” to do pro bono work as a motivating factor.
  • Workplace settings and policies greatly influence and impact the involvement of law firm lawyers in pro bono.
  • A majority of lawyers who provide pro bono services reported that they apply the same professional and ethical standards to their pro bono work as to their fee-earning, billable work.
  •  Lawyers expressed a greater concern and preference for directing their pro bono efforts towards satisfying domestic, unmet legal needs as opposed to engaging in international pro bono work.

Check out the study, What does pro bono public mean to lawyers? A report on the findings of the Pro Bono Values Project,” to learn more.

 

What motivates you to do pro bono work? Leave a comment below!

November 15, 2016

Verizon Hosts Two Clinic in a Box® Programs in 2016

This year, Verizon Communications Inc.** hosted its 11th and 12th Clinic in a Box® programs with CPBO and DLA Piper*†. After 10 legal audit clinics, Verizon chose the Clinic in a Box® Program – Select Topic, advising nonprofits on their bylaws and conflicts of interest policies rather than performing the traditional legal assessment.

On September 14, Verizon first tried out the new select topic model at its fifth clinic in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. Sixteen volunteers from Verizon and Prudential Financial, Inc.** received training at Verizon’s headquarters from a DLA Piper partner on bylaws and conflicts of interest policies. Following the training, the in-house volunteers broke up into teams and met with five local nonprofits to review and revise their bylaws and draft or review their conflicts of interest policies with the support of the DLA Piper trainer. The clients helped during this clinic provide widely varied services to their communities such as combating domestic and sexual violence, empowering girls, and creating employment opportunities for veterans. In a given year the clients estimated they help more than 200,000 people.

With the success of the Verizon New Jersey clinic under their belts, CPBO, DLA Piper, and Verizon joined the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center and United Way of the National Capital Area to prepare for30246989956_18073b7634_z the September 30 bylaws and conflict of interest policies clinic in Washington, D.C. The structure of the clinic remained the same. Eighteen in-house volunteers from Verizon, Bank of America Corporation**, and The Brookings Institution** received training from DLA Piper and then met with eight local nonprofits to review and revise their bylaws and draft or review their conflicts of interest policies. The missions of the nonprofit clients include addressing the needs of LGBT immigrants, promoting policies that fight domestic and international hunger, and instilling confidence in kids through sports.

The PBEye congratulates Verizon and all of the co-hosts and volunteers that made these clinics possible, and looks forward to more great work in 2017 and the years that follow!

The Clinic in a Box® program is a time-limited pro bono opportunity that allows in-house lawyers and other department staff to work together to provide meaningful assistance to organizations that serve the local community. Those interested in reading more about past CPBO Clinic in a Box® programs should click here. To learn more about hosting a Clinic in a Box® program, please contact CPBO at cpbo@probonoinst.org.

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

November 14, 2016

It’s Pro Bono Podcast Monday

Need a cure for the end of Daylight Savings Time and early sunsets? 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 podcast, the CLO & Pro Bono Series, which features Chief Legal Officers discussing the importance of pro bono and equal access to justice.

pbhh-logoDon’t miss our recent interview with Cynthia Anderson and Jon Bye of Lindquist & Vennum*.  Cynthia and Jon talk to us about the firm’s history and pro bono program, community economic development, “Breaking Poverty Barrier’s to Equal Justice,” and more. Subscribe to the Pro Bono Happy Hour in iTunes or YouTube for more episodes!

cpbo-podcast-box-1400-dclListen to Ron Bell, General Counsel and Secretary at Yahoo! Inc.** talk about Yahoo’s history, how pro bono is a natural fit with its values and culture, and the tremendous benefits of providing pro bono legal services to the clients, but to volunteers, and department.  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®
† denotes a member of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project

** denotes a Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatory

November 10, 2016

“Learn and Serve” – The Next Pro Bono Frontier

law-schoolFall is law school application season. While researching and evaluating the distinguishing features of various schools, the availability of significant pro bono opportunities is an increasingly important factor in prospective law students’  decisionmaking.

Law schools, law firms, and public interest organizations have made tremendous progress in their efforts to involve law students in providing meaningful and invaluable pro bono service. Many of these efforts are court or litigation-oriented. We were excited to learn recently of a different and unique opportunity: “Doing good by doing deals.” In cooperation with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius*†, students at The University of Michigan Law School provided pro bono legal services to Habitat for Humanity’s Micro Build Fund, which lends money to microfinance institutions around the world. The microfinance groups then lends small amounts to low-income families to build homes and improve existing ones. Participating students performed legal research, reviewed loan agreements, drafted documents, and assisted with the closings of two rounds of funding.

How could your law firm help law students learn to use their wide spectrum of legal skills, including business and transactional expertise, to make the world a better place?

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

November 3, 2016

“Sneak Preview”

As we’ve previously reported, a video is an innovative and engaging way for law firms to promote their pro bono programs and demonstrate their commitment to access to justice. Videos not only allow firms to present their commitment to pro bono in a concise and effective manner but also provide them with the opportunity to display the character of their firm and their core values to the public, including potential recruits and clients. Moreover, videos have the power to inspire and motivate firm attorneys and staff to contribute to something bigger than themselves and get involved.

Check out this video: “Why Quarles & Brady*† Provides Pro Bono Services”

The video offers the opportunity for many of the firm’s individual personalities to be on display, and passionate individuals emphasize a firm’s commitment to pro bono service. Want to learn more?  We recently spoke with Dawn Caldart about the firm’s pro bono program, the pro bono culture in Milwaukee, the relationship of pro bono to lawyer professional development, and more. Dawn’s episode of the Pro Bono Happy Hour, the Law Firm Pro Bono Project’s podcast that highlights exciting and meaningful developments in the world of pro bono, will be available later in November on iTunes and YouTube.

Has your firm created a pro bono video recently? Leave a comment and share your experience, and be sure to link to the video!

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

November 1, 2016

Guest Blog: Caterpillar’s Commitment to Renewal House and its Residents

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.

From its inception in 2006, the Caterpillar Inc.** Pro Bono Program in Nashville has covered a spectrum of legal matters from researching social security laws in the U.S. to inheritance rights in Kenya; from assisting young immigrants with their deferred action immigration paperwork to helping the elderly and indigent through our simple wills and powers of attorney clinics.

Our longest standing partnership has been with Renewal House, a local nonprofit that provides residential and non-residential treatment programs to women with drug and alcohol addictions. In the residential program, if the mother has custody, her young children may reside with her as she goes through the recovery programs. Over the last 10 years, we have provided a wide variety of legal services to Renewal House and its residents.

As a group, we’ve conducted many simple wills and powers of attorney clinics. In small teams or individually, we’ve been involved in divorce/custody/name change/visitation/child support matters, subpoena matters, worked on their document retention policy, an employee manual as well as a grantcaterpillar application. In addition to conducting document and contract reviews, we have amended their bylaws.

Our pro bono efforts have had a profound impact on Renewal House in that by providing assistance to the struggling mothers we have given them stepping stones to rebuild confidence in their future and to the organization itself, by providing a multitude of free legal services to the nonprofit. In return, Renewal House has given us a sense of accomplishment as we feel that in some small way, we’ve helped make a difference in the lives of the women.

Yvonne Clemence is a paralegal in Caterpillar Inc.’s Legal Services Division and the coordinator of its Nashville Pro Bono Program.  Michael G. Sposato is a Deputy General Counsel in Caterpillar Inc.’s Legal Services Division and its Pro Bono Committee Chair.

** denotes a Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatory

October 31, 2016

It’s Pro Bono Podcast Monday

jackolanternNo tricks, only treats! 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 the continuation of our recent interview with Angela Vigil of Baker & McKenzie*†, during which she talks about teaming with corporate clients on pro bono projects, the evolving law firm and pro bono landscape, and more. If you missed part one, it is available on both iTunes and YouTube.

pbhh-logoSubscribe to the Pro Bono Happy Hour in iTunes. Have you rated us on iTunes yet? Would you consider doing it now? Leave a review today or sometime this week, as it is your last chance to be entered into our podcast review contest. Winners will receive prizes and will be announced on the show. 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 signatory to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®
† denotes a member of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project

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