The PBEye

Pro Bono As We See It
November 26, 2013

No Legal Department Office Left Behind

HandsMore hot topics in in-house pro bono! The PBEye has been sharing highlights from one of the sessions for in-house counsel at the 2013 PBI Annual Conference, where attendees met in small groups to discuss current issues in in-house pro bono. One discussion focused on how to engage members of smaller and regional offices in pro bono. Led by Deedee Litvin, assistant counsel at Merck & Co., Inc.**, the participants talked about their experiences at legal departments with multiple offices and the challenges of expanding and managing pro bono opportunities beyond headquarters.

A few of the takeaways from the discussion included:

  • incorporating pro bono into an all-hands meeting is a great way to engage attorneys and other legal department members from all offices
  • while support from headquarters is important, often smaller or regional offices benefit by directing their own pro bono efforts
  • one key for success is communication between offices; one way to ensure communication is to include representatives from each office on a pro bono committee
  • small and regional offices can engage in a wide variety of pro bono projects, from desktop projects conducted individually to collaborating with ACC Chapters, law firms or legal departments with a local presence

For more suggestions on how to engage smaller and regional offices, see Involving Smaller Legal Departments and Remote Offices. As always, CPBO Director Eve Runyon is available to discuss how to apply these lessons to your own legal department.

To read about other hot topics discussed at the 2013 PBI Annual Conference, check out:  Don’t Be Intimidated: Selecting In-House Pro Bono Projects, In-House Hot Topic: Technology, and In-House Hot Topic: Recognizing Pro Bono. To participate in the discussion next year, attend the 2014 PBI Annual Conference on March 5-7 in Washington, D.C.

** denotes a Signatory to the Corporate Pro Bono Challenge®