The PBEye

Pro Bono As We See It
March 20, 2014

Collaborative Pro Bono: Channeling Change and Better Outcomes

Photo: FSG, Inc.

Photo: FSG, Inc.

Earlier this month, PBI hosted a panel of distinguished experts and experienced collaborators at the closing plenary session of its 2014 Annual Conference.  The panel, moderated by PBI President and CEO Esther F. Lardent, included:

• Valerie Bockstette – FSG, Inc.

• Lisa Dewey – DLA Piper*†

• Fred Goldberg – Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom*†

• David March – Target Corporation**

The panelists discussed how persistently scarce resources and shrinking legal aid budgets coupled with vast unmet legal needs require innovative, multi-institutional pro bono efforts.   One highlight was Bockstette’s informative presentation about FSG’s framework, “Collective Impact,” critical aspects of which include: common agenda; shared measurement; mutually-reinforcing activities; continuous communication; and backbone organization.

Following the opening panel, each facilitator led a discussion group where attendees explored opportunities for collaboration in different hypothetical situations.  The four groups – affordable housing, education, veterans, and immigration – explored their overarching goals, what metrics and data should be used to demonstrate progress in meeting those goals, anticipated obstacles, and the entities and other organizations that should play a productive role in a successful collaboration.

This year’s cutting-edge and thought-provoking closing session provided attendees from law firms, legal departments, public interest organizations, courts, and law schools with critical information about collaborations and innovations that can reshape, retool, and enhance access to justice.  If you were a Conference attendee and would like to obtain the FSG PowerPoint slides, please contact Law Firm Pro Bono Project Assistant Eva Richardson.

We look forward to continuing the discussion at the 2015 PBI Annual Conference on March 4 – 6, in Washington, D.C. and hope to see you there.

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