The PBEye

Pro Bono As We See It
May 2, 2011

VIDEO: Pro Bono Potential in Virginia

In the most recent edition of The National Law Journal, PBI President and CEO Esther F. Lardent writes about multijurisdictional practice issues through the lens of two states that have made progressive decisions that impact in-house pro bono.  Lardent’s column examines the rules in many states that “handcuff [attorneys] with restrictions that are unnecessary, insulting and unjustifiable in the face of the crisis in access to justice,” while making the case for more freedom for in-house attorneys to do pro bono work.

As you may have read here on The PBEye, last month the Virginia Supreme Court removed restrictions on pro bono practice by in-house lawyers in the state.  This change opens the gate for certified in-house attorneys who are eager to provide pro bono legal services and serves as a model for other states.

To better understand the ground-level impact of Virginia’s rule change, The PBEye talked to Verizon Communications* Executive Vice President and General Counsel Randal Milch, whose legal department has substantial interest in pro bono.  Milch, a good friend and supporter of PBI and Corporate Pro Bono,  sums up the fundamental problems with the old rule and explains how companies like his are now freer to do the pro bono work they’ve been ready and willing to do in the state.

For more information about this issue or to join the effort to change the rules in other jurisdictions, please contact Eve Runyon, director of Corporate Pro Bono.  CPBO is a partnership project of PBI and the Association of Corporate Counsel.

*denotes a Signatory to the Corporate Pro Bono ChallengeSM

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *