The PBEye

Pro Bono As We See It
November 15, 2011

CPBO Takes a Bite Out of the Big Apple

On November 2, our friends at CPBO headed north to the Big Apple.  They started the day meeting with members of the legal departments of two large corporations to assist with their efforts to formalize their pro bono programs.  Both organizations have robust community service efforts and individual attorneys who provide pro bono.  The next step is to put the policies and systems in place to empower more of their legal departments to use their unique legal skills to make a positive impact on their communities.  They are off to a great start and The PBEye is looking forward to reporting on their future successes.

Later in the day, CPBO gathered in-house attorneys from and around New York to discuss in-house pro bono.  CBS Corporation** generously hosted the meeting in its offices.  Representatives from CBS and companies including American International Group, Inc.**, The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, Credit Suisse Group, Time Warner Inc., UBS, and Verizon Communications Inc. ** attended the meeting where PBI President and CEO Esther F. Lardent and CPBO Director Eve L. Runyon discussed a range of topics relevant to in-house pro bono, including:

  • integrating non-lawyers into in-house pro bono efforts;
  • multi-jurisdictional practice rule restrictions;
  • partnering with law firms;
  • increasing participation;
  • desktop pro bono;
  • finding projects that suit skills and time limitations;
  • teaming among colleagues as a way to address limitations and concerns, as well as build morale;
  • using national projects to expand a legal department’s pro bono program to include opportunities for smaller and regional offices; and
  • collaborations among legal departments.

It was a great opportunity for both attendees and speakers to learn about the activities and challenges of other legal departments.  Fortunately, for those who are not in the New York-area, CPBO is available to help with your in-house pro bono needs.  And, if you are looking for a chance to meet with representatives from other legal departments, consider attending PBI’s 2012 Annual Conference (formerly the Annual Seminar and Forum on In-House Pro Bono), March 28-30, in Washington, D.C.  Be sure to keep checking this page for more information as it becomes available.

 **denotes a Signatory to the Corporate Pro Bono ChallengeSM