The PBEye

Pro Bono As We See It
January 24, 2011

The Intersection of Pro Bono and Corporate Social Responsibility

Tomorrow CPBO will travel to Dallas to host an onsite pro bono clinic (otherwise known as Clinic-in-a-Box℠) in partnership with TXU Energy and Vinson & Elkins LLP*.  The TXU Clinic is an example of the growing trend among legal departments choosing to work with the company’s nonprofit or corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm.  In the past, legal departments partnered with an outside public interest group or legal services organization to recruit nonprofit clients for participation in the Clinic-in-a-Box℠ program.  Now TXU, along with other legal departments, including Fidelity Investments and The Gap**, are expanding their options and are partnering with the company’s foundation to recruit nonprofits, giving company lawyers the opportunity to serve clients with whom the company already has an established relationship.

This trend highlights a growing interest among legal departments in undertaking pro bono projects that tie into the company’s CSR efforts.  Pro bono that complements a company’s CSR program enables attorneys to feel more connected to the larger company. In addition, having a unified, company-wide message with regards to community involvement increases awareness and strengthens the impact of good works on communities served.  Increasingly, legal departments are recognizing that pro bono service adds value and breadth to a company’s CSR profile.

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