The PBEye

Pro Bono As We See It

Clinic in a Box® Program

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

August 5, 2015

CPBO to Co-Host Clinic in a Box® Program – Nonprofit Policies at the 2015 ACC Annual Meeting

2015 ACC Annual MeetingOn Monday, October 19, CPBO will once again join ACC Northeast, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo*†, and The Lawyers Clearinghouse to co-host a Clinic in a Box® program. For the first time at an ACC Annual meeting, CPBO will utilize 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 anti-discrimination issues and the following important policies for nonprofits: Equal Employment Opportunity Policy and Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy.

The clinic will begin with a one and a half hour training session led by the expert attorneys from Mintz Levin. Volunteers will then meet in teams to assist the clients in drafting policies so that they may be implemented immediately. The entire clinic is three and a half hours 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 – Nonprofit Policies FAQs.

Registration is required to volunteer. If you are attending the 2015 ACC Annual Meeting and would like to attend the clinic, please register by using the meeting registration portal. If you are interested in volunteering, but are not attending the meeting, please contact CPBO Project Assistant Josh Lefebvre for registration details.

To find out more about the Clinic in a Box® program, other CPBO events at the 2015 ACC Annual Meeting, or how to schedule a time to meet with CPBO while at the Annual Meeting, please contact CPBO Director Eve Runyon. We look forward to seeing you in Boston!

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

July 24, 2015

In-House Pro Bono in Chicago

Last week,chicago bean CPBO returned to Chicago to meet with in-house pro bono leaders from the metro area as well as co-host the annual ACC Chicago Clinic in a Box® program with the ACC Chicago Chapter, DLA Piper*†, and the Law Project.

First, CPBO met with local in-house pro bono leaders to discuss ways to build and improve in-house pro bono programs and to share recent developments in in-house pro bono.  Hosted by Aon Corporation**, attendees talked about how they can collaborate to further expand in-house pro bono and assist those in need.

Early the next day, at the offices of DLA Piper, CPBO welcomed 54 attorneys and professional staff from legal departments throughout Chicagoland, who were eager to assist 15 of the area’s local nonprofits. To prepare for the clinic, the volunteers, who came with a wide variety of practice experience, began the day with an hour and a half training session led by attorneys from DLA Piper, covering five areas of law relevant to nonprofit organizations. Volunteers then worked in teams to conduct a legal audit of their assigned client, identifying issues of concern and providing guidance as needed.

Through providing legal assistance to these nonprofits, the volunteers have helped ensure the services that these organizations offer to the community — ranging from support for senior citizens to employment services to local arts programming — can be sustained.  One client expressed great appreciation for the “detailed and practical information” and another remarked that the takeaways from the clinic will “truly enhance the operations of [the] organization.” Congratulations to the volunteers for their dedication to increasing access to justice!

Those interested in reading more about in-house pro bono training opportunities, including past CPBO Clinic in a Box® programs, should click here and 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

**denotes a Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatory

May 12, 2015

Nonprofit Legal Education Series Going Strong in Central Ohio

On April 29, ACC Central Ohio Chapter, United Way of Central Ohio (UWCO), Barnes & Thornburg*†, and CPBO co-hosted the third in a series of free legal education programs for nonprofits, which the co-hosts developed as a supplement to CPBO’s Clinic in a Box® program.

The topic of discussion included leases and other real estate issues. Presenters Laing P. Akers, of counsel, Barnes & Thornburg; Janice L. Gresko, managing counsel, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company**; Jason Kirkham, senior counsel, real estate & procurement, Exel Inc.; Paul Nesbitt, senior corporation counsel, American Cancer Society, Inc.; and Kate Steffy, assistant general counsel, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, provided important information on legal issues related to tenant rights and obligations, insurance, landlord and tenant defaults and remedies, financing, and more.  Following the presentation, interested attendees met with volunteer attorneys who provided brief advice on real estate matters specific to their organizations.

Central Ohio series 3

When developing this series, the co-hosts understood that their efforts would bring needed assistance to nonprofit organizations unable to afford legal services. The series has also benefited the co-hosts. According to ACC Central Ohio Chapter Pro Bono Committee Co-chair Eric Henricks, the program “is drawing in some volunteers that may not be as closely involved with the ACC chapter, and allows them to be more closely connected to the chapter. It allows those volunteers to be an expert in a different setting, which supports career growth.” Bill Nolan, managing partner of Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Ohio office, adds “We continue to enjoy playing a small part in this great collaboration to educate Central Ohio nonprofits on legal issues of importance to them. The program supplements direct pro bono service efforts by strengthening the organizations that directly provide services, and is a good way to get more of our lawyers involved in pro bono and community efforts.”

Once again, The PBEye congratulates the co-hosts on a successful program and looks forward to reporting on future installments in the series! In-house pro bono leaders interested in co-hosting a Clinic in a Box® program or developing a legal education or similar program should contact CPBO Director Eve Runyon.