The PBEye

Pro Bono As We See It
November 5, 2013

A Monumental Month for CPBO and ACC Chapters

As a reader of The PBEye, you likely already know that CPBO works with ACC Chapters around the world on their pro bono efforts, from hosting Clinic in a BoxSM Programs to developing ongoing pro bono programs. Last month, CPBO had the pleasure of working with several Chapters in three cities across the U.S., as well as talking to other Chapters leaders from far and wide.

ACC Chicago
ILFirst, on October 11, CPBO, along with ACC Chicago, local in-house pro bono leaders, and DLA Piper*†, hosted an in-house pro bono event in Chicago. The event included a panel discussion on “The Ethics of In-House Pro Bono” and networking time for in-house counsel and public interest organizations. Broadcast online around Illinois, the event was attended by more than 130 in-house counsel, in-person and around the state. The event was a grand success not only because of the great turn-out. The panelists –  Thomas Sabatino, Jr., then-ACC Board Chair and executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of Walgreen Co.**, Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride, Traci Braun, associate general counsel at Exelon Corporation**, Peter Lindau, assistant general counsel at DLA Piper, and Eve Runyon, director of CPBO – engaged in a robust discussion about the ethics rules applicable to in-house pro bono, highlighting the recent Illinois practice rule amendment that removes restrictions on registered in-house counsel providing pro bono legal services. Since then, several legal departments have contacted CPBO to learn more about in-house pro bono.

ACC Charlotte
CLTNext, on October 16, Shannon Graving, assistant director of CPBO traveled south to speak at the Charlotte Chapter’s Pro Bono Awareness Luncheon. In-house counsel from a wide variety of Charlotte area legal departments came together to talk about pro bono efforts at their departments and the Chapter. Deborah Edwards, pro bono chair of the Charlotte Chapter and deputy general counsel at Piedmont Natural Gas Company, Inc., began the program by welcoming attendees and highlighting the Charlotte Chapter’s plans for increased pro bono efforts. Graving then led the group in a discussion about many of the issues of greatest concern to in-house counsel, particularly those new to in-house pro bono, including how to get started, multijurisdictional practice issues, professional liability insurance, budgets, and balancing pro bono and community service activities. Those in attendance with more in-house pro bono experience shared their tips and Graving provided information, in addition to CPBO resources.

CAFinally, CPBO headed west to co-host a Clinic in a BoxSM Program at the ACC Annual Meeting with ACC-SoCal, Alston & Bird*†, and Public Counsel on October 28. During the clinic, 40 volunteer attorneys from around the country received training from Alston & Bird before meeting in teams to conduct a legal audit of 10 local nonprofit organizations. The legal assessment covered issues pertinent to nonprofits, including governance, employment, tax, intellectual property, and real estate. The local nonprofit organizations served a variety of communities, including children, senior citizens, and affinity neighborhoods.

In addition to these three great events, CPBO was pleased to speak with the many ACC Chapter leaders who stopped by the CPBO booth at the ACC Annual Meeting and looks forward to working with them all!

If you are interested in learning more about how CPBO can assist your ACC Chapter develop a pro bono program or become involved in pro bono related issues, contact CPBO Director Eve Runyon.

* denotes a signatory to the Law Firm Project Pro Bono Challenge®
† denotes a Member of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project
**denotes a Signatory to the Corporate Pro Bono ChallengeSM