The PBEye

Pro Bono As We See It
June 10, 2014

Sikorsky Committed to Helping Veterans

veteransThe PBEye is proud to highlight one legal department’s efforts to assist veterans on a pro bono basis.

The Connecticut Veterans Legal Center (CVLC), a nonprofit that helps veterans overcome legal barriers, was just four-months old with only one full-time staff member when it was approached by the Sikorsky Aircraft, Corp. In the years since, Sikorsky’s legal department has built a pro bono project that dedicates staff and resources to achieve a number of positive outcomes for veterans in Connecticut.

Sikorsky, while small in staff, has worked with CVLC to provide pro bono representation in more than 20 cases to a number of veterans in need by assisting them in avoiding homelessness, managing debt repayment, and discharge upgrades. In one instance, Sikorsky represented a young female veteran of the war in Iraq who had stopped paying rent because her landlord refused to fix a serious problem. The team assisted the client in avoiding immediate eviction and back rent payments, while reporting the landlord to the health department.

To help sustain its efforts, Sikorsky has put in place a number of measures that support the administration of their project and meet the needs of clients. Sikorsky has developed a case management system and has assigned an internal pro bono manager to oversee its pro bono efforts with CVLC. Sikorsky also routinely arranges travel for its volunteers to CVLC for in-person client meetings, which makes a world of difference for veterans with limited transportation and cell phone minutes.

The project’s success exhibits the benefit of a legal department applying itself to a signature pro bono effort. Sikorsky’s admirable support of America’s veterans through full representation of CVLC clients is a shining example of how companies can serve those who serve our country. We look forward to hearing more success stories from this project and congratulate its commitment to helping veterans.

To learn more about efforts to assist veterans, listen to our webinar Pro Bono in Practice: Veterans or contact CPBO Director Eve Runyon.

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