Texas-sized Pro Bono Clinic
Holding true to the phrase, “Everything is bigger in Texas,” 41 volunteers from ExxonMobil Corporation’s legal department and 13 local nonprofit organizations gathered in Houston recently to participate in a Clinic in a BoxSM. While the event wasn’t the largest ever, it was still a success due to the large turnout and the commitment of the host organizations: CPBO, ExxonMobil, United Way of Greater Houston, and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP*†.
The Clinic was divided into two parts—a training session, followed by meetings with the clients. The training, provided by experts at Weil, consisted of a 90-minute overview of legal issues affecting nonprofit organizations, related to employment, intellectual property, real estate, corporate, and tax law. The ExxonMobil volunteers, strapped with this knowledge and a packet of resources at hand, split into teams consisting of lawyers and paralegals. The teams proceeded to meet with representatives from nonprofits to conduct a detailed legal audit using a ten-step checklist.
The Clinic provided a rare opportunity for nonprofit clients: the focused initial assistance of legal professionals and the option for follow-up aid to address legal needs identified during the Clinic. Clients and volunteers were complimentary of the Clinic’s ability to integrate into their busy schedules while still providing informative guidance. One client noted, “The clinic provided valuable assistance for my present legal needs and several resources that I can refer to in the future—all of which are very helpful.”
* denotes a Signatory to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®
† denotes a Member of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project