Guest Blog: Partnering in Chicago to Make a Difference
We at The PBEye are inspired every day by the Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatories. In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the launch of the CPBO Challenge® initiative, we are showcasing some of their projects with the hope that they inspire you, too.
For more than two years, Discover Financial Services** volunteers have joined with DLA Piper*† and LAF, a Chicago legal services provider, to host a free legal services clinic in the Woodlawn neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. The monthly clinic began in 2009 in response to the critical, unmet legal needs many low-income families in the area face, including housing and landlord tenant issues, public benefits, child support, and expungement of criminal records. Since its inception, the Woodlawn Legal Clinic has served over 1,000 low-income clients living in the underserved South Side of Chicago.
In 2013, Discover’s pro bono committee was introduced to DLA Piper and LAF and jumped at the opportunity to become involved in their efforts. Since first attending the clinic, more than 20 Discover lawyers and 10 non-lawyers have spent in excess of 200 cumulative hours volunteering.
So far in 2016, Discover attorneys, paralegals, and interns have volunteered at the Woodlawn Legal Clinic six times and participated in more than 20 other pro bono events and projects. Here is what one of our lawyers had to say about Discover’s pro bono program: “I am very proud to be part of a company and a Law Department that so strongly values and supports my participation in pro bono activities.” My sentiments exactly.
Gary Wachtel is a Director in Discover Financial Services’ Law Department and its Pro Bono Committee Chair.
† denotes a Member of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project
* denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® signatory
** denotes a Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatory