The PBEye

Pro Bono As We See It

Clinic in a Box® Program

June 13, 2017

Verizon Hosts a Clinic in a Box® Program in DC

On June 2, Verizon Communications Inc.** co-hosted a Clinic in a Box program with the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center, DLA Piper*, and Corporate Pro Bono at the Verizon offices in Washington, D.C. This was the 13th Clinic in a Box program Verizon has co-hosted with CPBO. The focus of this clinic was to help nonprofit clients set up their organization’s bylaws – a grey area for many nonprofits but also an essential foundation for their long-term success.

DLA Piper Partner Eric Geppert leads a presentation on nonprofit bylaws.

Verizon invited other legal departments to join its team of in-house volunteers, many of whom were returning participants. A total of 23 volunteers from Verizon, Bank of America Corporation**, Barclays Bank PLC**, Freddie Mac**, UnitedHealth Group Incorporated**, and new Verizon company XO Communications participated. DLA Piper Partner Eric Geppert kicked off the clinic with a volunteer training session on crafting and correcting bylaws for nonprofit organizations in accordance with D.C. law. Following the 90-minute presentation, the group put their training into action, meeting with eight local nonprofit organizations to review and update their bylaws. The clinic’s nonprofit clients engage in a wide variety of work serving vulnerable groups and individuals, including providing care and after-school support for young children, finding affordable and supportive housing for women with mental disabilities, and offering aid to pregnant women and parents. After gathering information about their client’s organization and its structure, the volunteers, working in teams, collaborated to update the bylaws and send revisions and notes to the clients.

The volunteers’ legal assistance at the clinic helped their clients avoid future roadblocks that might prevent the organizations from fulfilling their mission. Many of the volunteers appreciated the opportunity to assist nonprofit organizations, with one participant indicating that the clinic was a “great event and very fulfilling”. The clients echoed similar sentiments, commenting that “the team was very knowledgeable about nonprofit bylaws and their best practices”.

CPBO Director Tammy Sun and CPBO Assistant Director Shannon Graving check in volunteers and clients.

The PBEye thanks all of the co-hosts and volunteers for making this clinic a great success.

ACC chapters and legal departments interested in hosting a similar clinic, can learn more on the Clinic in a Box program webpage and read about previous clinics here. To discuss in-house pro bono, please contact CPBO.

* denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® signatory
† denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Project® member
** denotes a Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatory

Hat tip to PBI Intern Sahil Shah for his help with this story.

February 14, 2017

Capital One – Ringing in 2017 with Pro Bono

On January 31, Capital One Financial Corporation** co-hosted a Clinic in a Box® Program – Legal Audit with CPBO, McGuireWoods LLP*†, and United Way of the National Capital Area. Twenty-six Capital One volunteers met at the McGuireWoods office in Tysons, Virginia, to receive training and assist ten local nonprofits with a legal audit. Attorneys from McGuireWoods led an hour and a half long training that offered instruction on five areas of law vital to the upkeep of Virginia nonprofits: governance, intellectual property, employment, human resources, and fiscal management. Once the training concluded, the volunteers broke into teams and went to work with their pre-assigned clients.

Over the course of more than two hours, volunteers utilized a detailed checklist to ask questions, review current practices, provide advice, and identify areas for follow-up.  Through providing legal assistance to these nonprofits, volunteers help ensure the services these nonprofits offer their communities — ranging from support for survivors of domestic violence to housing for the homeless — can continue. One client summed up the importance of the clinic by saying, “Very useful time spent. You don’t know what you don’t know. A review like this is so beneficial to be proactive in addressing concerns!” Thank you to the organizers, volunteers, and trainers who aided not only the 10 nonprofits present, but the estimated 24,500 clients they reach.

ACC chapters and legal departments interested in hosting a similar clinic, can learn more on the Clinic in a Box® program webpage and read about previous clinics here. To discuss in-house pro bono, please contact CPBO.

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

**denotes a Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatory

 

January 17, 2017

Guest Blog: Sixth Annual ACC Northeast Chapter Clinic in a Box® Program

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, and Popeo†* was honored to once again join with the Association of Corporate Counsel Northeast Chapter (ACC-Northeast), CPBO, and Lawyers Clearinghouse, to host a Clinic in a Box® program to provide pro bono legal services to local nonprofit organizations for the sixth year in a row.

For the 40 in-house volunteers, the day started with a 90-minute training session led by Mintz Levin Attorney Anthony Hubbard who discussed bylaws and retired Casner & Edwards Partner Dick Allen who covered conflicts of interest (COI) policies. After the training, volunteer attorneys broke into small teams and met with 14 local nonprofits to assist with developing or editing the organizations’ bylaws and COI polices.

Volunteer attorneys came from a range of companies, including Adobe Systems Incorporated, Bose Corporation, Boston Scientific Corporation**, GE Oil & Gas (a subsidiary of General Electric Company**), Liberty Mutual Holding Company Inc., National Grid USA, and Velcro Companies.

Through such clinics, the volunteers benefit not only the nonprofits they sit with that day, but the individuals those nonprofits serve. The participating nonprofits provide many critically valuable services, such as assisting low-income immigrant families, providing shelter and services to survivors of domestic violence, and providing learning opportunities for Boston’s public school children.

Mintz Levin is happy to continue to include the Clinic in a Box® program in its many pro bono efforts.    “It is a pleasure to host the clinic in our Boston office and support the great work of in-house counsel dedicating their time and legal expertise to assisting organizations that contribute so much to our community,” notes Sue Finegan, Chair, Pro Bono Committee, Mintz Levin.

Both clients and volunteers had great things to say about their experiences. “This program was very fulfilling and enjoyable!” one volunteer noted. A client added their thanks for the work done that day, commenting, “I thought the clinic was VERY helpful, the individualized attention was great. Thank you so much for your help in organizing!”

Congratulations to the Boston in-house community and thank you to ACC-Northeast, CPBO, and Lawyers Clearinghouse for continuing to co-host the clinic. We look forward to working with you again in 2017 and beyond!

Thank you, Mintz Levin, for contributing to The PBEye.

† 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

December 20, 2016

Another Successful Pro Bono Clinic at the ACC Annual Meeting

CPBO partnered with the San Francisco Bay Area ACC Chapter and DLA Piper* to host the 16th Clinic in a Box® Program at an ACC Annual Meeting.  Like the Clinic in a Box® Program – Select Topic hosted at the 2015 ACC AM, the clinic offered a focused program, this time dedicated to wage and hour policies – including the upcoming December 2016 Department of Labor and Regulatory Changes – and anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies – with a particular focus on LGBT issues in the workplace.

The clinic began with 21 lawyers from around the world attending a training hosted by attorneys from DLA Piper.  Once trained, attorneys broke into teams and met with four nonprofits from the San Francisco Bay Area to review their wage and hour and anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies.

The nonprofit organizations attending the clinic offer a wide range of services to the Bay Area community, including providing artists with mental disabilities the means to create and exhibit their art, developing community leaders through environmental education, offering educational and therapeutic services to children with emotional disturbance or developmental delays, and making sure veterans have the resources and support they need.

Both the clients and volunteers provided positive feedback on their experience.  Clients noted their appreciation of the clinic and volunteers by saying “Thank you so much” and that they’d received, “Excellent employee handbook review!”  Volunteers also stated that they “loved doing this,” and that the clinic “was a great experience.”

To read more about past CPBO Clinic in a Box® programs, please click here. To learn more about hosting a Clinic in a Box® program or about in-house pro bono, please contact CPBO at cpbo@probonoinst.org.

Photos by Scott Dressel-Martin.

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

November 15, 2016

Verizon Hosts Two Clinic in a Box® Programs in 2016

This year, Verizon Communications Inc.** hosted its 11th and 12th Clinic in a Box® programs with CPBO and DLA Piper*†. After 10 legal audit clinics, Verizon chose the Clinic in a Box® Program – Select Topic, advising nonprofits on their bylaws and conflicts of interest policies rather than performing the traditional legal assessment.

On September 14, Verizon first tried out the new select topic model at its fifth clinic in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. Sixteen volunteers from Verizon and Prudential Financial, Inc.** received training at Verizon’s headquarters from a DLA Piper partner on bylaws and conflicts of interest policies. Following the training, the in-house volunteers broke up into teams and met with five local nonprofits to review and revise their bylaws and draft or review their conflicts of interest policies with the support of the DLA Piper trainer. The clients helped during this clinic provide widely varied services to their communities such as combating domestic and sexual violence, empowering girls, and creating employment opportunities for veterans. In a given year the clients estimated they help more than 200,000 people.

With the success of the Verizon New Jersey clinic under their belts, CPBO, DLA Piper, and Verizon joined the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center and United Way of the National Capital Area to prepare for30246989956_18073b7634_z the September 30 bylaws and conflict of interest policies clinic in Washington, D.C. The structure of the clinic remained the same. Eighteen in-house volunteers from Verizon, Bank of America Corporation**, and The Brookings Institution** received training from DLA Piper and then met with eight local nonprofits to review and revise their bylaws and draft or review their conflicts of interest policies. The missions of the nonprofit clients include addressing the needs of LGBT immigrants, promoting policies that fight domestic and international hunger, and instilling confidence in kids through sports.

The PBEye congratulates Verizon and all of the co-hosts and volunteers that made these clinics possible, and looks forward to more great work in 2017 and the years that follow!

The Clinic in a Box® program is a time-limited pro bono opportunity that allows in-house lawyers and other department staff to work together to provide meaningful assistance to organizations that serve the local community. Those interested in reading more about past CPBO Clinic in a Box® programs should click here. To learn more about hosting a Clinic in a Box® program, please contact CPBO at cpbo@probonoinst.org.

** denotes a Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatory
* denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® signatory
 denotes a Member of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project

October 26, 2016

Eisai Hosts First Clinic in a Box® Program – Wills

vince-andrews2The legal department of Eisai Inc. launched its formal pro bono program in 2015 by hosting a Clinic in a Box® Program – Legal Audit. Eisai liked the model but was eager to provide legal services more aligned with its corporate philosophy of human health care (hhc) and help those assisted by their community advocacy colleagues, namely individuals impacted by breast cancer. Eisai’s pro bono leaders approached CPBO about adapting the model to provide individuals with end-of-life documents, which would require finding the right co-hosts and developing substantive materials from scratch. Fortunately, Drescher & Cheslow, McCarter & English*†, and Volunteer Lawyers for Justice had the expertise and the desire to join the effort and expand the model. On July 20 at the Eisai legal department’s annual all-hands meeting at its headquarters in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, 24 Eisai attorneys and their colleagues provided 10 clients with wills, durable powers of attorney, and advanced directives for health care.

As with any Clinic in a Box® program, eisai-trainingthe clinic started with volunteers receiving in-depth training provided by attorneys from Drescher & Cheslow and McCarter & English. After the training, volunteers broke into teams of two and three to meet with their clients to conduct interviews and, with help from attorneys from Drescher & Cheslow and McCarter & English, draft and proof wills, durable powers of attorney, and advance directives for health care, which were signed, witnessed, and notarized as needed to be taken home.

eisai-client-meetingDespite the tough subject matter both clients and volunteers expressed appreciation for the clinic.  Of her experience, one volunteer said, “I feel this is an awesome program. I can see the benefit of helping and the outreach is awesome.” As for the clients, all were thrilled to receive the documents and as one client noted, the comfort of knowing that this was not something she needed to worry about any more. Congratulations and thank you to the co-hosts and volunteers. These clinics are not possible without your time, energy, and enthusiasm.

eisai-group-shotACC chapters and legal departments interested in hosting a similar clinic, can learn more at Clinic in a Box® program and read about previous clinics here. To discuss in-house pro bono, please contact CPBO.

 

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

 

August 16, 2016

CPBO to Co-Host Clinic in a Box® Program – Nonprofit Employment Policies at the 2016 ACC Annual Meeting

ACC-AM-16On Monday, October 17, CPBO will join the San Francisco Bay ACC Chapter and DLA Piper*† to co-host a Clinic in a Box® program. CPBO will use its new Clinic in a Box® Program – Select Topic model, which has a similar format and structure to the traditional model but focuses on a specific topic rather than a broad legal audit of attending client organizations. The clinic will focus on wage and hour policy (including the upcoming December 2016 Department of Labor Regulatory Changes) and anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policy (with a particular focus on LGBT issues in the workplace).

The clinic will begin with a one and a half hour training session led by attorneys from DLA Piper. Volunteers will then meet in teams to assist the clients in drafting or revising their policies so that they may be implemented immediately. The clinic will run from 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and provides a great opportunity to aid organizations that may otherwise be unable to afford such assistance. For more information, see Clinic in a Box® Program – Select Topic Volunteer FAQs.

Registration is required to volunteer. If you are attending the 2016 ACC Annual Meeting and would like to attend the clinic, please indicate your interest using the meeting registration portal. If you are interested in volunteering but are not attending the meeting, please contact CPBO Project Assistant Virginia Lyon for registration details.

To find out more about the Clinic in a Box® program, other CPBO events at the 2016 ACC Annual Meeting, or how to schedule a time to meet with CPBO while at the Annual Meeting, please contact CPBO. We look forward to seeing you in San Francisco!

denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® signatory
† denotes a Member of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project

 

July 27, 2016

ACC Chicago Expands Its Pro Bono Offerings

For the fChicago2irst time, ACC Chicago, along with co-hosts CPBO, DLA Piper*†, and The Law Project held a CPBO Clinic in a Box® Program – Select Topic on July 14 at DLA Piper. ACC Chicago has hosted the CPBO Clinic in a Box® Program – Legal Audit for many years and was excited to offer a new opportunity to its members that could re-engage previous attendees and enable volunteers to provide clients with completed documents.

The new version was a hit! Volunteers who have attended many years, alongside first-time attendees, met with representatives of 13 local nonprofit organizations to review and revise their bylaws and draft or revise conflicts of interest policies.

To prepare for the clinic, the volunteers began the day with an hour and a half training session led by attorneys from DLA Piper that offered a deep dive into bylaws and conflict of interest policies for nonprofit organizations. One volunteer discussed the usefulness of the select topic by saying, “It was a great opportunity for professional development and to help out in the community.”  Volunteers came from a wide variety of legal departments across the area, including Aon Corporation**, Discover Financial Services**, McDonald’s Corporation**, and Verizon Communications Inc.**.

TrainingCropped

Through providing legal assistance to these nonprofits, the volunteers have helped ensure the services they offer their communities — ranging from support for families in the child welfare system to local arts programming — can be sustained. One client summed up the importance of the clinic by saying, “This clinic was so valuable to our organization – thank you!”  Congratulations and thank you to the 39 volunteers who aided not only the 13 nonprofits present, but the estimated 111,200 clients they serve.

ACC chapters and legal departments interested in hosting a similar clinic, can learn more at Clinic in a Box® program and read about previous clinics here. To discuss in-house pro bono, please contact CPBO.

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

**denotes a Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatory

 

June 28, 2016

CPBO at the 2016 ACC Annual Meeting

ACC AM 16

The PBEye is happy to announce that the CPBO team will be traveling to San Francisco for the 2016 ACC Annual Meeting. At the meeting, held October 16 – 19, you can get your recommended dose of in-house pro bono at the following events:

Clinic in a Box® Program Training  Sunday, October 16, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Is your ACC chapter or legal department interested in co-hosting a Clinic in a Box® program? Join CPBO and be trained to co-host a Clinic in a Box® program, a half-day clinic that provides in-house counsel the opportunity to advise nonprofit organizations or small businesses while earning CLE credit. (Note that registration is required and there is a separate fee to participate in this program.)

Clinic in a Box® Program  Monday, October 17, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Earn CLE credit while providing pro bono services to nonprofit organizations that are in great need of legal assistance. In the first half of the clinic, law firm experts train participants, who during the second half meet in teams with representatives of San Francisco area nonprofits to provide legal advice. Training materials and information about the nonprofit clients are provided to participants in advance. (Note that pre-registration is required to participate.)

Pro Bono Breakfast  Tuesday, October 18, 7:45 – 9:00 a.m.
Meet and network with other in-house counsel interested in pro bono, and learn about pro bono trends and best practices. Please contact CPBO Project Assistant Virginia Lyon in advance if you plan to attend the breakfast.

Session: CLOs on the Intersection of Pro Bono and CSR  Tuesday, October 18, 2:30 – 4:00 p.m.
A panel of CLOs will lead an interactive session exploring the intersection of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and pro bono, with a particular focus on how legal department leaders can develop pro bono programs to complement their companies’ CSR efforts and increase impact.

Meet with CPBO  Sunday, October 16 – Wednesday, October 19 
CPBO looks forward to meeting with attendees when they have free time between programs. If you are interested in discussing with CPBO options and initiatives for yourself, your legal department, or your chapter, please contact CPBO to set up a time that is convenient for you. Or, stop by the CPBO booth in the exhibit hall to see new resources and chat with the CPBO team.

To find out more about the events listed above, please contact CPBO, and for the complete ACC Annual Meeting schedule, click here. We look forward to seeing you in San Francisco!

May 24, 2016

Guest Blog: More Free Legal Ed for Nonprofits in Ohio

On May 13, ACC Central Ohio Chapter (CO-ACC), United Way of Central Ohio (UWCO), CPBO, and Barnes & Thornburg* hosted another in its series of free legal education programs for nonprofits in Columbus, Ohio. The program, started in 2013, was originally inspired by the Clinic in a Box® program.

The presentation topics were Ohio’s laws on fundraising and the regulatory landscape for fundraising for nonprofits, as well as the business of fundraising for nonprofits. The speakers at this session were ImageVeronica Bennu, managing counsel at Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company** and Sera Koulabdara, the development officer at Make-a-Wish Foundation. The speakers each gave presentations, answered questions, and provided brief advice after the session. Topics covered included Ohio’s laws on fundraising, which organizations are qualified to fundraise in Ohio, what fundraising actions are allowed or prohibited in Ohio, and what is needed to begin fundraising events. This information is important for nonprofits because, according to Bennu, “when attorneys tell you all the things you have to do, it can seem scary, but you can manage it if you have the right tools.”

Koulabdara then provided information related to the business of fundraising. She talked about the different types of fundraising models, relationship-building, best practices and potential pitfalls. Acknowledging how important fundraising is to nonprofits, Koulabdara said “Fundraising gets a bad rap, but asking for money is necessary.”

Marti Ridley of UWCO, Bill Nolan of Barnes & Thornburg LLP, and Eric Henricks on behalf of CO-ACC introduced the speakers and the program. Ten representatives of nonprofit organizations that in turn assist more than 10,000 individuals and make Columbus, Ohio, so special attended the event and gave the experience high marks.

Nathan Holschuh is Associate General Counsel at Emerson Network Power and co-chair of CO-ACC’s pro bono program.

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

** denotes a CPBO Challenge® signatory

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