The PBEye

Pro Bono As We See It

Clinic in a Box® Program

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

February 12, 2016

Capital One Clinic Kicks off 2016

Winter Storm Jonas dropping more than a foot of snow on Richmond, Virginia, a few days earlier failed to chill the enthusiasm of 32 volunteers at the Clinic in a Box® Program – Legal Audit, co-hosted on January 28, by CPBO, Capital One Financial Corporation**, Troutman Sanders*, and Greater Richmond Bar Foundation (GRBF).

It was the second clinic hosted at the Troutman Sanders Richmond office and staffed by Capital One volunteers, many of whom returned to receive expert training from attorneys at Troutman Sanders and meet in teams to provide a legal health check-up to 11 local nonprofit organizations invited by GRBF. Feedback from volunteers included comments on how much they “enjoyed the experience” and “loved the opportunity” to help clients, while also finding the training session to be “very informative.”

capone clinic (2)Clients were led through a detailed checklist covering governance, employment, intellectual property, real estate, and tax matters. The purpose of the audit is to proactively address legal questions, both known and latent, to avoid future costly issues that might impair the organizations’ ability to continue their good work in the community, including advocating for civil rights, mentoring children, providing medical and dental care and pharmacy services, and preventing and reducing substance abuse. After the clinic, clients remarked that they learned “a great deal more than [they] expected!” and found the experience working with the Capital One volunteers to be both “wonderful” and “very valuable.”

The PBEye congratulates Capital One on a successful clinic.

Thcapone clinic (1)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 Director Eve Runyon.

**denotes a Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatory

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

December 23, 2015

Verizon Returns to D.C. for its Third Clinic in a Box® Program in 2015

Verizon Clinic 1This year, Verizon Communications Inc.**, celebrating the fifth anniversary of the launch of its pro bono program, hosted three Clinic in a Box® Programs: Legal Audit in cities around the country: Dallas, Basking Ridge, New Jersey, and, on December 11, Washington, D.C. Co-hosted with CPBO and Verizon’s long-term pro bono partner DLA Piper*†, the clinics

engaged 59 in-house volunteers from Verizon and other legal departments, and assisted 16 nonprofit organizations. In D.C., Verizon, CPBO, and DLA were joined by the United Way of the National Capital Area, who invited local nonprofits to attend and receive legal services from in-house volunteers.

Eighteen attorneys and professional staff from the legal departments of Verizon and The Brookings Institution began the day with a one-and-a-half-hour CLE program. Led by expert attorneys from DLA, the training program provided instruction on areas of law critical to nonprofits such as intellectual property, real estate, and employment. The volunteers then met in groups of two to four to conduct a legal audit of their assigned client organization by reviewing a 10-step checklist developed by CPBO and tailored by DLA to D.C., Maryland, and Virginia law.

Verizon Picture 2Ensuring the legal health of these nonprofits means that they can continue to provide services to the community, such as programs in dance, music, and athletics for at-risk youth, and free tax preparation services to thousands of low-income families.

 The PBEye congratulates Verizon and all of its pro bono partners and looks forward to more great work in 2016 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 Director Eve Runyon.

Verizon Clinic 3

 

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

December 8, 2015

Central Ohio Pro Bono Series Launches a New Model

Over the past two and a half years, ACC Central Ohio Chapter (CO-ACC), United Way of Central Ohio (UWCO), Barnes & Thornburg*†, and CPBO have been developing and refining a new off-the-shelf model: Clinic in a Box® Program – Legal Education.  This model provides in-house counsel the opportunity to educate nonprofit organizations or small businesses on select legal topics, as well as answer questions and provide brief advice, all over the course of two hours.

On October 29, the team hosted its fourth in a series of these programs for nonprofit organizations in and around Columbus, Ohio. At each program, the team trained and provided advice on specific topics selected by the co-hosts.  To date, the topics have been:

The creation of this new off-the-shelf model started at a Clinic in a Box® Program – Legal Audit hosted by the team in May 2013. Rewarding for clients and volunteers, the clinic inspired Eric Henricks, assistant general counsel at Nationwide Insurance** and past chair of CO-ACC’s pro bono committee, to suggest creating an avenue for CO-ACC members to assist UWCO member nonprofits throughout the year. That idea and many months spent developing the initial concept has culminated in a new model for ACC chapters and legal departments.

3At the most recent event, presenters Robin Foster, general counsel, Americas at Exact Software; Paul Nesbitt, senior corporation counsel, American Cancer Society, Inc.; Bill Nolan, partner, Barnes & Thornburg; and Lori Maiorca Zancourides, director – employment and litigation counsel, The Wendy’s Company, spent one and a half hours providing representatives from local nonprofit organizations with an overview of the legal issues involved with engaging the services of employees, contractors, volunteers, and interns. A brief advice period of 30 minutes followed, during which the presenters met with interested attendees one-on-one to answer specific questions.

2Like the other Clinic in a Box® programs, the Clinic in a Box® Program – Legal Education is produced in collaboration with CPBO, legal departments or ACC chapters, major law firms, and local public interest organizations. It differs in that there is no training for volunteers because the model utilizes their current areas of expertise. In addition, it is a more flexible option with regard to attendance; a few volunteer presenters can help a small to large group of attendees with relative ease. The two hour program may be hosted as a series or may stand alone as an individual event.

The PBEye congratulates CO-ACC, UWCO, Barnes & Thornburg, and CPBO on another successful event assisting nonprofits that in turn provide important services to the Columbus community! To co-host a Clinic in a Box® program please contact CPBO Director Eve Runyon.

 

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

November 18, 2015

Many Milestones Celebrated at the ACC Annual Meeting Pro Bono Clinic

2015 ACC Annual MeetingLast month, 22 in-house counsel from the Boston area, around the country, and Argentina participated in CPBO’s Clinic in a Box® Program – Select Topic, co-hosted by the Northeast ACC Chapter, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo*†, and The Lawyers Clearinghouse. The clinic focused on select policies important for local nonprofit organizations: Equal Employment Opportunity Policy, Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy, Sick Leave Policy (reflects new law effective July 1, 2015), and Parental Leave Policy (reflects expanded law effective April 7, 2015).

ACCAMclinic 1During the first half of the clinic, Mintz Levin attorneys provided training. Armed with the necessary information, volunteers then split into teams to meet with representatives of nine local nonprofit organizations to review checklists regarding each of the four policies, revise existing policies and draft new policies, depending upon the clients’ needs.

Nonprofit organizations attending the clinic provide a wide range of services to the community, including aiding victims of domestic and sexual violence, supporting South Sudanese immigrants and their families, and feeding those in the Boston area who might otherwise go without food.

The attending clients and acc am15 clinic 2volunteers provided tremendous feedback on their experience. Clients stated that the clinic was “incredibly helpful” and the volunteers were “patient” and “wonderful to work with,” while volunteers found the clinic to be very rewarding and a “wonderful experience.” One volunteer remarked how she loved not just how much she learned, but that what she learned was able to be put to “immediate good use.”

The clinic marked several milestones. It was the fifth Clinic in a Box® program co-hosted by the Northeast ACC Chapter in as many years (to read about the previous clinics, see “Back in Beantown, Serving Pro Bono,” “ACC-Northeast Clinic in a Box Program: The Gift of Pro Bono Legal Services,”Pro Bono Through the Fog,” and “Boston Pro Bono Clinic a Smashing Success”). In addition, it was the fifteenth pro bono clinic hosted at an ACC Annual Meeting. Over the years, more than 280 in-house acc am15 clinic 3counsel have volunteered at those 15 clinics and assisted more than 100 clients.

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 Director Eve Runyon.

 

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

November 12, 2015

Verizon’s Pro Bono Signal Receives Great Reception

Hnj sealot on the heels of the Verizon Communications Inc.** Clinic in a Box® program in Dallas, CPBO packed its bags for Verizon’s headquarters in New Jersey for the second of three Clinic in a Box® Programs – Legal Audit co-hosted with Verizon and its pro bono partner DLA Piper*† this fall.

Verizon, once again, opened its doors to other companies to participate and was joined by volunteers from Prudential Financial, Inc.**, as well as members of ACC New Jersey Chapter from a variety of legal departments in the area. The 21 volunteers attended a 90-minute training led by expert attorneys from DLA Piper and then met in teams to conduct a legal audit of local nonprofits.  During the legal audit, volunteers reviewed a 10-step legal checklist, covering five key areas of law relevant to nonprofit organizations: governance, employment, intellectual property, real estate, and tax.

nj clinic pic1Volunteers helped to ensure the nonprofit clients that attended the clinic operate in good legal health and can continue providing crucial services to the local community, such as advocacy for abused and neglected children, support for female victims of domestic violence, and programs for children with special needs.

Feedback received at the end of clinic from clients and volunteers was extremely positive. One client stated that the clinic would help them to focus their efforts for the following year, while at least one volunteer noted the clinic was “valuable, rewarding, and informative.”

The PBEye looks forward to reporting on
Vnj clinic pic2erizon’s final clinic of the year, scheduled for December in Washington, D.C.  In the meantime, 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 or about in-house pro bono, please contact CPBO Director Eve Runyon.

 

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

October 6, 2015

Eisai Kicks Off its Pro Bono Program

On September 18, Eisai Inc. launched its pro bono program with a Clinic in a Box® Program – Legal Audit and a session devoted to access to justice. Hosted at its headquarters in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, the launch coincided with a legal department-wide meeting and was attended by Executive Vice President and General Counsel Allen Waxman, attorneys, paralegals, patent specialists, administrators, and others from around the country. Engaging its legal department in pro bono legal services is a natural fit for Eisai, which prides itself on “a tradition of genuine concern for people.”

Eisai client meetingThe Clinic in a Box® Program – Legal Audit was co-hosted by CPBO and Day Pitney* and attended by local nonprofits invited by United Way of Northern New Jersey.  After a one-and-a-half hour training session covering governance, employment, intellectual property, tax, and real estate, the volunteers met in teams with their clients. The attending nonprofit clients provide a variety of critical services to the local community, including helping homeless families who are in need of shelter, food, and support. In response to a survey after the clinic, one client wrote: “Wonderful lawyers and kind, caring, humanitarians! Thanks to the management of Eisai for the support of this outreach to nonprofits. Excellent feedback and sincere interest in our mission. Thank you very much!”

The Eisai pro bono program is led by five dedicated individuals, who worked with the co-hosts for several months to plan the clinic and who were joined by several colleagues for a session on access to justice, hosted by CPBO. The session started with a poverty simulation, followed by presentations on the chasm in access to justice and the role of pro bono. To hear first-hand the impact pro bono can have on a client’s life,
participants watched the speech of Aimee Sherrod, an Air Force veteran who secured military benefits with pro Eisai access to justice photobono assistance. The session ended with a discussion of the options and opportunities available to in-house counsel and their department colleagues to utilize their skills and fulfill their professional responsibility to assist those unable to afford legal counsel.

The PBEye congratulates Eisai on this important step and looks forward to reporting on its future pro bono efforts! Those interested in reading more about in-house pro bono opportunities, including past CPBO Clinic in a Box® programs, should click here. To learn more about hosting a Clinic in a Box® program or about in-house pro bono, please contact CPBO Director Eve Runyon.

Eisai Group Photo

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

September 25, 2015

Verizon Connects with Pro Bono in Dallas

This year, VDallas Skylineerizon Communications Inc.** is celebrating the five-year anniversary of its pro bono program, and what better way to celebrate pro bono than with more pro bono? The department has planned to host Clinic in a Box® programs in three of its locations across the country this fall.

On September 17, CPBO packed its bags and headed to Dallas to co-host the first Clinic in a Box® program with Verizon, Texas C-Bar, and DLA Piper*†. The clinic engaged 16 volunteers from Verizon’s legal department and several others across the surrounding area in providing a legal audit to local nonprofits.

After a one-and-a-half hour training session led by expert attorneys from DLA Piper, covering key areas of law relevant to nonprofit organizations, the volunteers went to work by meeting in teams to conduct a legal audit of each organization through the review of a 10-step checklist. After the clinic, many of the volunteers reported that they felt great about the experience and appreciated that they were able to help the organizations that attended.

The nonprofit clients that attended the clinic provide critical services to the local community, such as helping women achieve economic independence andDallas Clinic picture providing shelters for victims of domestic violence. By using their unique skillset as in-house counsel to provide assistance to nonprofit organizations, the volunteers helped to ensure that these organizations continue to operate in good legal health, thereby helping to sustain their vital work.

Those interested in reading more about in-house pro bono opportunities, including past CPBO Clinic in a Box® programs, should click here. To learn more about hosting a Clinic in a Box® program or about in-house pro bono, please contact CPBO Director Eve Runyon.

 

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