The PBEye

Pro Bono As We See It
May 9, 2011

Pro Bono Leadership in a Changing World

To all law firm pro bono professionals out there grappling with changes – you’re not alone!  A few months ago, Scot Fishman, Director of Pro Bono, Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP,* and Christopher Walters, Senior Pro Bono Counsel, Reed Smith LLP,*  explored the many ways that pro bono leadership roles and responsibilities have evolved in response to economic and structural changes at law firms.  This professional development program for pro bono leaders – including pro bono committee chairs and members, as well as full-time pro bono managers – was originally produced as a live, interactive webinar in conjunction with West LegalEdcenter, and is now available on-demand as a recording.

Additional responsibilities give professionals new and diverse leadership opportunities, which require a delicate balance so that pro bono leaders aren’t overwhelmed with the basics of running a law firm pro bono program.  With these opportunities comes greater access and clout among key decision makers at the firm.

Increased responsibilities may have additional professional benefits – and often positive (unintended) consequences.  For example, although coordinating public interest externships for about 40 incoming deferred associates was time-consuming, Scot was able to strengthen his relationships with external public interest organizations as part of that process.  Fortunately, developing and maintaining strong relationships with the public interest community was identified by both Scot and Chris as a professional core competency for pro bono leaders.

Similarly, Chris explained that carefully watching expenditures is a new responsibility of his, but it has led to cost savings that otherwise would not have been explored, such as deals with vendors and experts.   This popular webinar explores other competencies a law firm pro bono leader should possess, as well as ways in which professionals can work towards developing them.

The price for this program, which runs for 80 minutes, is $60.00.  Registration for this program is free to Law Firm Pro Bono Project Member Law Firms.  Please contact Mary Baroch for the promotional code.   CLE credit is available for this program in many states.  Click here to register.

Do you have any suggestions for future webinar topics? Let us know in a comment below.

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

Hat tip to PBI intern Elly Bennett for her help with this post.

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