The PBEye

Pro Bono As We See It
November 6, 2015

PBI’s 2015 Annual Dinner Recap


PBI hosted its 2015 Annual Dinner, themed “Celebrating the Future of Pro Bono,” last night, at Gotham Hall in New York City. Special thanks to our co-chairs Ivan Fong, Senior Vice President, Legal Affairs and General Counsel, 3M Company**; Brett Hart, Acting Chief Executive Officer, United Continental Holdings, Inc.**; and Greg Jordan, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. ** Click here for more information about the co-chairs.

This year’s theme was fitting as we acknowledged all that we have accomplished in the 20 years since launching the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® while we prepare for the challenges ahead. We also paid a special tribute to PBI’s founder Esther F. Lardent who stepped down as president earlier this year.

As in past years, PBI presented its annual honors – the John H. Pickering and CPBO Pro Bono Partner Awards. PBI presented the 2015 John H. Pickering Award to Sidley Austin*† for continually demonstrating its core values by working on behalf of pro bono clients around the world to enhance their quality of life and improve their communities.

This year, for the first time, PBI presented two CPBO partner awards. CPBO introduced separate categories for Large Law (a legal department of 50 or more lawyers) and Small Law (a legal department of 49 or fewer lawyers) to better recognize exceptional partnerships involving legal departments of all sizes. The 2015 CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award – Large Law was presented to BNY Mellon**, White & Case*† and The National LGBT Bar Association for their exceptional work on an innovative tool that leverages technology to provide an online tax resource for same-sex married couples. The 2015 CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award – Small Law was presented to Best Buy** and Volunteer Lawyers Network for their ongoing partnership and commitment to providing legal services to low-income persons. Click here to read more about our awardees.

Immediately preceding the Annual Dinner, PBI hosted its ninth annual Leadership Convocation at the offices of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel*†. Attendees listened as the panelists, Greg Jordan; Kim Koopersmith, Chairperson, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld*†; John M. Koneck, President, Fredrikson & Byron*†; Laura Stein, Executive Vice President – General Counsel, The Clorox Company**; and Regina M. Pisa, Chairman Emeritus, Goodwin Procter*†, discussed the shifts in the economics and dynamics of major law firms and in-house legal departments that inevitably impact pro bono.

If you were unable to join us, you can still support the mission and work and pay tribute to Esther. Visit for more information or contact Kelly Simon at 202-729-6691 or at

Download the 2015 Annual Dinner Program here.

* 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®