The PBEye

Pro Bono As We See It
May 16, 2011

Massachusetts Talks In-House Pro Bono

This afternoon, the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission will convene a pro bono summit in Boston to discuss the best strategies for developing and sustaining pro bono initiatives in corporate legal departments.  This is particularly exciting, as the summit aims to produce a plan with concrete, actionable goals for the Massachusetts in-house legal community.

PBI and Corporate Pro Bono will be onsite for the summit, with Esther Lardent and Eve Runyon addressing the audience of in-house and law firm attorneys, judges, and representatives from the public interest community.  Other speakers include Marc Gary, executive vice president and general counsel of Fidelity Investments*; Kathleen McGrath, senior counsel at Liberty Mutual; Bill O’Brien, pro bono chair of the Northeast Association of Corporate Counsel Chapter; and Dorothy Varon, assistant vice president and counsel at Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company.

Other states have endeavored to address access to justice issues through the pro bono summit model with tremendous success.  In fact, the Virginia summit ultimately led to the recent rule change in Virginia, which eliminates restrictions on in-house attorneys providing pro bono services.

Curious to know more?  Stay tuned for a detailed recap of the Massachusetts summit in the upcoming June Wire.  Were you there?  Leave a comment and tell us your impressions of the summit.

*denotes Signatory to the Corporate Pro Bono ChallengeSM