The PBEye

Pro Bono As We See It

Announcements

May 8, 2015

Upcoming Webinar: Integrating Pro Bono, CSR, and Charitable Giving

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Join us Thursday, May 28 at 12:00 p.m. ET for “Best Practices: Integrating Pro Bono, CSR, and Charitable Giving,” a one-hour program hosted in conjunction with West LegalEdCenter. This program is part of our “Best of the 2015 PBI Annual Conference” series of webinars, which reprise and supplement select sessions from the 2015 PBI Annual Conference.

Increasingly, law firms and companies are taking a fresh look at how their pro bono activities can be integrated with or complement their charitable contribution practices and corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts. This webinar will consider best practices for approaching, integrating, and managing these efforts in order to make a greater impact than any one alone can accomplish. The following panelists will address some of the potential benefits of integration, such as enhanced employee satisfaction, as well as potential concerns:

  • Jinny Jeong, CECP
  • Jake Lee, Allen & Overy†
  • Allegra Nethery, Seyfarth Shaw*
  • Sharon Sayles Belton, Thomson Reuters Corporation**

Interested in-house counsel should contact CPBO Project Assistant Josh Lefebvre for registration information or to submit questions in advance of the program. Registration is free for Law Firm Pro Bono Project Member Firms. Law firm participants should contact Law Firm Pro Bono Project Assistant Eva Richardson for registration information.

Schedule conflict? Don’t worry – the program will also be available on-demand shortly after the original broadcast date.

* 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®

 

October 9, 2014

Upcoming Webinar: Immigration Update

webinars_colorful_clip_artThis summer, we all watched as the flood of unaccompanied minors migrating to the U.S., many of whom are fleeing violence, persecution, abuse, or trafficking, became a humanitarian crisis. Most of these children are unrepresented and face deportation, especially with the recent order by the Executive Office of Immigration Review to accelerate hearings for Central American children. Going through immigration proceedings without legal help is daunting, even under the best of circumstances. The crisis shined a renewed spotlight on our broken immigration system and how the dysfunction negatively impacts both children and adults.

Join us on October 20 at 12:00 p.m. EDT for “Pro Bono in Practice: Immigration Update,” a one-hour program hosted in conjunction with WestLegalEdcenter that will explore pro bono opportunities and legal developments related to immigration. The following panelists will provide an overview of current legal issues and a timely update about initiatives to support and reform our immigration system:

Gabe Fuentes, Jenner & Block*†

Karen Grisez, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson*†

Shanti Martin Brown, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)

Laura Tuell Parcher, Jones Day

This program will address how pro bono lawyers can get involved and provide examples of pro bono engagements that range from individual representations to fact-gathering to policy advocacy to impact litigation and system re-design.

CLE credit is available in many states. Registration is free for Law Firm Pro Bono Project Member Law Firms. Law firm participants should contact Law Firm Pro Bono Project Assistant Eva Richardson for registration information or to submit questions in advance of the program and in-house participants should contact CPBO Project Assistant Josh Lefebvre.

Schedule conflict? Don’t worry – the program will also be available on-demand shortly after the original broadcast date.

September 4, 2014

Upcoming Webinar: Juvenile Justice

gavelHave you been watching the recent events in Ferguson, Mo., following the police-involved shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown and wondering how you could make a difference? Join us on September 10 at 1:00 p.m. EDT for “Pro Bono in Practice: Juvenile Justice.” This one-hour webinar, hosted in conjunction with West LegalEdcenter, is part of our series of “Best of the 2014 PBI Annual Conference” webinars reprising and supplementing some of the most popular sessions from the Conference.

Pro bono lawyers can have an impact by representing individuals, one client at a time, and by advocating for systemic reform, changing laws, policies, regulations, and practices that benefit government bureaucracies at the expense of our human rights and dignity. The following panelists will explore pro bono opportunities and legal developments related to juvenile justice:

Mary Benton, Alston & Bird*†

Marsha Levick, Juvenile Law Center

Angela Vigil, Baker & McKenzie*†

This program will address the status of available pro bono opportunities, ranging from litigation to policy work; emerging legal issues; how to get started; and opportunities for collaboration. Join us to learn about pressing juvenile justice-related issues such as the school-to-prison pipeline, access to counsel, and collateral consequences of criminal convictions, and how pro bono volunteers can get involved and make a difference.

CLE credit is available in many states for this program. Registration is free for Law Firm Pro Bono Project Member Firms. Law firm participants should contact Law Firm Pro Bono Project Assistant Eva Richardson for registration information or to submit questions in advance of the program and in-house participants should contact CPBO Project Assistant Josh Lefebvre.

Schedule conflict? Don’t worry – the program will also be available on-demand shortly after the original broadcast date.

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

June 19, 2014

Upcoming Webinar: Transactional Pro Bono Projects

webinars_colorful_clip_artJoin us on June 25 at 1:00 p.m. EDT for “Marketplace of Ideas: Transactional Pro Bono Projects.” This one-hour program, hosted in conjunction with West LegalEdcenter, is the second in our series of “Best of the 2014 PBI Annual Conference” webinars reprising and supplementing some of the most popular sessions from the Conference.

This program will feature brief presentations on a number of transactional (non-litigation/business-related) pro bono projects. Presenters and topics will include:

• Joe Genereux, Dorsey & Whitney*†
Collaborations with SCORE/Small Business Development Center Program

• Harlene Katzman, Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett*
Small Business Legal Academy

• Erik Metzger, Intel Corporation**
California Inventor Assistance Program

• Deanne Ottaviano, Arent Fox*†
D.C. Nonprofit Law Change Training

Involving non-litigators in your pro bono efforts is one of the most effective ways to enhance pro bono performance, serve more clients, and broaden institutional support for pro bono. Yet law firms and legal departments often report difficulty in finding a steady, varied, and reliable stream of appropriate transactional pro bono matters. Learn about and be inspired by these replicable offerings and developments in transactional pro bono.

Registration is free for Law Firm Pro Bono Project Member Law Firms. Law firm participants should contact Law Firm Project Assistant Eva Richardson for registration information or to submit questions in advance of the program and in-house participants should contact CPBO Project Assistant Josh Lefebvre.

Schedule conflict? Don’t worry – the program will also be available on-demand. And, if you want even more ideas for your business lawyers, check out last year’s “Marketplace of Ideas: Transactional Pro Bono Projects program at your convenience.

* 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®

April 1, 2014

PBI Goes Hollywood!

PBI President and CEO Esther F. Lardent alongside Emma Watson and Helen Mirren.

PBI President and CEO Esther F. Lardent alongside Emma Watson and Helen Mirren.

It’s official!  We’ve scooped Deadline Hollywood and the Hollywood Reporter.  Access to Justice Pictures announced today that it has commissioned a feature-length film about the Pro Bono Institute.  The movie, currently in pre-production and yet to be named, will document the history of PBI and its mission to increase access to legal services.

Lauren Fairbanks, who is known for her work on emotional films that tackle public interest issues, is slated to be the director.  Production is expected to begin this year, with an anticipated release date of Summer 2015.  The role of PBI President and CEO Esther F. Lardent has yet to be cast, but it’s been reported that Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Cate Blanchett, and Emma Watson are in consideration to play Lardent at various stages in her career.  As an exclusive benefit to Member Law Firms, we have negotiated special walk-on roles and other cameo appearances.

PBI staff is thrilled to see their story hit the big screen.  According to Lardent, “This will be a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness about pro bono, the access to justice crisis, and the work that we do here at PBI.”  We will be collaborating closely with the production studio to make sure that PBI, Signatories to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® and Corporate Pro Bono Challenge®, and Law Firm Pro Bono Project Members are accurately portrayed.

We will keep you posted as more details, including dates and locations of advanced screenings, are finalized!

P.S. Happy April Fools’ Day!

February 13, 2014

Welcome to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®

The Law Firm Pro Bono Project is pleased to announce that two firms – Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck*† and Foley & Mansfield*† – have recently joined the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®!  We are excited to welcome both of these firms, whose attorneys have shown a strong dedication to pro bono work by providing a wide range of legal services to those in need.

Since 1993, the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge, an initiative of PBI’s Law Firm Pro Bono Project, has served as a guidepost to assist major law firms in increasing their commitment to pro bono legal services.  The Challenge principles are designed to offer institutional support and maximize the efficacy of law firm pro bono programs.  The Challenge definition of pro bono has become an industry standard, utilized not only by major law firms but by the legal media in reporting the pro bono contributions of large law firms.

We encourage firms to use their status as Signatories as a rallying cry and a point of pride and distinction. Publicize your participation and your pledge of pro bono service inside and outside the firm, to your clients, and to the public interest groups with whom you work.  Making a public commitment to the Challenge heightens awareness of pro bono at the firm, increases attorney participation, engages firm leadership, and sets a clear and shared goal for success.

For firms that have not yet joined because of a concern that they cannot meet the Challenge goals, we encourage you to enroll and use this proven tool to advance pro bono at your firm.  There is no downside as we do not publish disaggregated statistics, nor do we in any way identify individual firms as having met or not met their Challenge goal.   Rather, we work closely with Challenge Signatories to provide individual consultative services and support to help them improve their pro bono performance.  By joining the Challenge, the firm will institutionalize its firm-wide commitment to providing pro bono legal services to low-income and disadvantaged individuals and the organizations that serve them.  To learn how your firm can join and become a leader in law firm pro bono, please contact us.

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

February 12, 2014

Pro Bono is a Priority in New York: Chief Judge Lippman’s State of the Judiciary Speech

CJLippmanNew York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman delivered his annual State of the Judiciary speech this week, and in it, he reassured New Yorkers of his commitment to improve and enhance the justice system as it faces evolving challenges.

Pro bono was once again a focal point of Chief Judge Lippman’s speech.  Building on the mandatory pro bono requirement for prospective attorneys that he implemented last year, he has proposed a new Pro Bono Scholars program, which would allow students to dedicate the final semester of their third year of law school to doing pro bono. Pro Bono Scholars will receive a significant professional advantage – early entry into the profession as they may elect to sit for the February bar exam in their third year of law school.  Chief Judge Lippman’s hope, as he outlined in his speech, is that this program will help promote legal assistance to the poor among attorneys and law students.  He explained:

Pro Bono Scholars will each contribute 500 or more hours of pro bono in their last semester of law school and will easily satisfy the 50 hour admission requirement with their participation in the Program.  The overarching goal for the Pro Bono Scholars Program is to instill in future members of the New York bar the value of public service to the poor and to provide them with the opportunity to acquire valuable legal skills that will prepare them for the practice of law.

Chief Judge Lippman also highlighted the importance of non-lawyer participation in pro bono. While many cases require the expertise of licensed attorneys, there are matters where non-lawyers can provide assistance to individuals who cannot afford to be represented by a lawyer. He noted that going forward, in certain boroughs, trained and supervised non-lawyers, “navigators,” will be able to provide supplementary pro bono assistance to unrepresented litigants in housing and consumer debt cases.

Chief Judge Lippman is confident that these new programs will open new doors and create a new outlook on how the legal system provides civil legal services.  Read Chief Judge Lippman’s complete speech here.

We at The PBEye applaud this bold and progressive move, and hope it inspires other jurisdictions to consider new ways to try to close the justice gap in the U.S.

To further explore these cutting-edge developments, we are offering an exclusive program as part of the 2014 PBI Annual Conference:  “The Next Pro Bono Frontier: Law Students and Interns” (Thursday, March 6, 4:00pm to 5:00pm). This session will analyze how pro bono can be utilized to enhance experiential learning opportunities while increasing access to justice. The discussion will examine how law firms, legal departments, law schools and public interest organizations can successfully engage with law students and interns and the related challenges.

Online registration closes on February 18. Please call 202.973.8720 or e-mail pbievents@courtesyassoc.com for assistance.

January 15, 2014

Upcoming Webinar: Right to Practice Pro Bono

flag3PBI will host the webinar “In-House Pro Bono: Developments in the Right to Practice Pro Bono” on January 29 at 12:30 p.m. EST.  This one-hour program, hosted in conjunction with West LegalEdcenter, will explore recent developments in multijurisdictional practice rules.

The following panelists will discuss how many jurisdictions limit or unnecessarily restrict the provision of pro bono legal services by in-house counsel who are licensed in a jurisdiction different from the one in which they are authorized to work for their employer.

  • Cynthia Beagles, Attorney, American Kennel Club
  • Michael Bergmann, Executive Director, Public Interest Law Initiative
  • David Brill, General Counsel, Senior Vice President, and Secretary, American Stock & Trust Co.
  • Adam Hellman, Sr. Associate General Counsel, UnitedHealth Group Incorporated**
  • Eve Runyon, Director, Corporate Pro Bono

Looking to get up-to-date on the practice rules before the webinar? If so, make sure to view CPBO’s interactive map. The map provides information on registration requirements and pro bono rules governing non-locally licensed U.S. attorneys practicing locally in state. In conjunction with the map, CPBO offers a paper that details the right to practice pro bono for in-house counsel in the U.S.

CLE credit is available for this program in many states. Corporate participants should contact CPBO Project Assistant Eric Florenz to register or to submit questions in advance of the program.

Registration is free for Law Firm Pro Bono Project Member Law Firms. Law firm participants should contact Law Firm Project Assistant Eva Richardson for registration information or to submit questions.

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

September 10, 2013

You Might Be a Pro Bono Junkie If…

In honor of comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s 55th birthday, The PBEye decided to take a page from his book and create our own version of his famous “you might be a redneck” jokes.

The following list is not exhaustive, but “you might be a pro bono junkie” if…

    1. You have attended each of the 16 PBI Annual Conferences (cheers to Jonathan Baum, director of pro bono services, Katten Muchin Rosenman).
    2. You know the multijurisdictional practice rules that apply to registered in-house counsel in every state without referencing the
      CPBO Guide to In-House Pro Bono Multijurisdictional Practice Rules
      .
    3. You have spoken as a panelist regarding pro bono at the PBI Annual Conference, ACC Annual Meeting, and on a PBI webinar.PBJ
    4. You are attending the 2013 PBI Annual Dinner and Convocation on November 7 and have the 2014 PBI Annual Conference (March 4 – 7) already marked on your calendar.
    5. You have written a blog about pro bono junkies.
    6. You won the PBI Chesterfield Smith Award for your extraordinary courage and commitment to pro bono.
    7. You met your spouse or significant other while providing pro bono legal services.
    8. You are featured in a “Why do pro bono” video on The PBEye.
    9. You have PBI President and CEO Esther Lardent on speed dial.
    10. You have volunteered at five or more Clinic in a BoxSM Programs.
    11. You have contributed to A Survey of Pro Bono Practices and Opportunities in Selected Jurisdictions (thank you Latham & Watkins*).

And to all of the readers of The PBEye, what makes you a pro bono junkie?

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

July 2, 2013

Upcoming Webinar: Post Prison Re-Entry

PBI will host the webinar “Pro Bono in Practice: Post Prison Re-Entry” on July 8 at 1:00 p.m. EDT.  This one-hour program, hosted in conjunction with West LegalEdcenter, is the fourth in our series of “Best of the 2013 PBI Annual Conference” webinars reprising and supplementing the most popular sessions from the Conference.

The following panelists will explore post-incarceration pro bono opportunities and developments:

  • Lisa W. Borden – Shareholder, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz†
  • Steve S. Fus – Assistant General Counsel, United Continental Holdings, Inc.**
  • J. McGregor Smyth – Executive Director, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest

This program will bring together law firm, in-house, and public interest leaders to discuss post-incarceration pro bono opportunities, emerging issues, how to get started, and opportunities for collaboration and taking delivery systems to scale, in ways that range from litigation to policy work.

CLE credit is available for this program in many states. Corporate participants should contact CPBO Project Assistant Eric Florenz to register or to submit questions in advance of the program.

Registration is free for Law Firm Pro Bono Project Member Law Firms. Law firm participants should contact Law Firm Project Assistant Eva Richardson for registration information or to submit questions.

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