The PBEye

Pro Bono As We See It

Events

January 22, 2016

2016 PBI Annual Conference: Addressing a Global Mass Migration Crisis (Pro Bono in Practice)

The 2016 PBI Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. is just two months away, and one of this year’s highlights is a session on mass migration. If you’ve been concerned about the international refugee crisis and wondered what you can do to help, you won’t want to miss it.

Nearly 60 million people are currently displaced from their homes by war and persecution — more than at any time since World War II. Half are children. Where are the lawyers? On March 24, the Addressing a Global Mass Migration Crisis (Pro Bono in Practice) session will provide an update on what’s being done to save lives and protect refugees, development, and legal migration and mobility and how pro bono lawyers can help.

If you haven’t already, be sure to register for the Conference, and save on fees if you do so by February 10th. If you have questions or need assistance with registration, please email us or call 202.973.8720.

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January 21, 2016

May the Pro Bono Force Be With You – at the PBI Annual Conference (Part Two)

yoda.1Last week, inspired by “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” we shared some of Yoda’s wisdom and lessons for law firm pro bono. Today, we channel Yoda for three compelling reasons to attend the 2016 Pro Bono Institute Annual Conference (March 23-25) in Washington, DC:

“Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not.”

Many mid-size law firms support accomplished, nimble, and sustained pro bono programs. What does the future hold for these firms? “Making Pro Bono Successful at Mid-Size Firms” (Wednesday, March 23) will explore best practices and the unique challenges and features of a mid-size firm. The discussion is custom designed for firms with fewer than 500 lawyers.

“You must unlearn what you have learned.”

Some in the pro bono community may still hold outdated assumptions about in-house pro bono. Skeptics will be disappointed to learn that interest and engagement in in-house pro bono continues to thrive and evolve. “Developments in In-House Pro Bono – Perspectives from Chief Legal Officers” (Thursday, March 24) will offer an overview of the state of in-house pro bono and will address the growth of pro bono within legal departments and what these developments mean for pro bono supporters at law firms, legal departments, and public interest organizations.

“In a dark place we find ourselves, and a little more knowledge lights our way.”

New to law firm pro bono? Don’t feel overwhelmed or in a dark place. You are not alone. Come early for “a little more knowledge.” “Law Firm Pro Bono 101” (Wednesday, March 23) is a pre-Conference bonus session designed for leaders at law firms that have recently created or restructured a formal pro bono program and for managing partners, pro bono committee chairs, pro bono partners, counsel, directors, managers, and coordinators who are new to their positions. This program offers a comprehensive, participatory crash course on the basics of structuring, implementing, and administering successful law firm pro bono programs. Law Firm Pro Bono Project staff members will introduce you to the resources and support available from the Project all year round. Pre-registration is required for this program. Space is limited and available on a first-come/first-served basis, so register today.

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If you have questions about the Conference or need assistance with registration, please email us or call 202.973.8720.

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January 20, 2016

2016 PBI Annual Conference: In-House Pro Bono: Top Ten Basics

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The PBEye invites in-house counsel and staff to join CPBO March 23-25 at the 2016 PBI Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. The Conference gives pro bono leaders from legal departments, law firms, and public interest organizations from around the world an opportunity to network and discuss ways to improve access to justice through pro bono.

For new leaders of existing programs or leaders of new programs, programming kicks off on the morning of March 23 with a revamped getting started session:

In-House Pro Bono: Top Ten Basics8:30 – 10:15 am
This session is designed for pro bono leaders of legal departments that are in the process of creating or re-launching a pro bono program and new pro bono leaders of existing programs. Experienced legal department pro bono leaders will discuss the top 10 things you need to know about in-house pro bono, from insurance to selecting projects to leadership structure. Pre-registration is required.

Please keep in mind that pre-registration is required for this small workshop as space is limited and only available to those who are new pro bono leaders or leaders of new pro bono programs on a first-come, first-served basis, so register early!

Those who attend this session will join other in-house and law firm attendees at Regional Joint Networking Exchanges (10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.) and Networking Lunch (11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.).  The In-House Track will resume at 1:15 p.m. with in-house specific sessions and networking opportunities.

If you haven’t already, be sure to register for the Conference. To learn more about other sessions, please view the in-house agenda. If you have questions, please send us an e-mail.

January 7, 2016

Get in the Know at the Pro Bono Expo

Planning is well underway for the 2016 PBI Annual Conference, which will be held on March 23-25 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. In addition to thought-provoking and inspiring sessions and programs, we are excited about the ever-popular Pro Bono Expo. A variety of prominent organizations will be hosting tables, and their expert representatives will share emerging issues, strategies, and innovations, answer questions, and provide information about cutting-edge pro bono opportunities available to your law firm or legal department. This is a unique opportunity to network, forge productive relationships and partnerships with public interest organizations from across the U.S. and around the world, and develop major pro bono initiatives. This year’s expanded Expo will take place at a new time: 4:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. on March 24. Mark your calendars – we hope to see you there.

Are there any particular organizations or topics you would like to see represented at the Expo? Would you like to apply to host a table? Space is limited, so please email Law Firm Pro Bono Project Assistant Eva Richardson soon with your suggestions. If you have questions about the Conference or need assistance with registration, please email us or call 202.973.8720.

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December 3, 2015

Update: Pro Bono Matchmaking

NCPAs we’ve previously reported, the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund’s (TLDEF) innovative Name Change Project helps transgender people overcome the legal obstacles to securing a name change. Earlier this summer, The PBEye interviewed TLDEF’s executive director, Michael Silverman, about the pro bono connections he’s made at the PBI Annual Conference, including his collaboration with Heidi Naasko of Dykema Gossett*† to expand the Name Change Project to Michigan.

We’re excited to report that after a six-month pilot program, TLDEF has officially launched the Name Change Project in the Detroit metro area and is now working with several other Michigan law firms. As Michael explains, “It is important for transgender people to be able to match their legal names with who they are. Doing so makes it easier for them to live their lives free from discrimination in things like employment, housing, and health care and other public accommodations.” Check out TLDEF’s press release and read compelling testimonials from clients about how aligning their legal names with their true selves has profoundly improved their lives.

As you can see, the PBI Annual Conference provides a unique opportunity for law firm and in-house attendees to make new connections and forge fruitful relationships with public interest organizations, leading to new opportunities for meaningful pro bono work. We are already looking forward to the 2016 PBI Annual Conference, which will be held on March 23-25 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C.

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

November 6, 2015

PBI’s 2015 Annual Dinner Recap

Dinner

PBI hosted its 2015 Annual Dinner, themed “Celebrating the Future of Pro Bono,” last night, at Gotham Hall in New York City. Special thanks to our co-chairs Ivan Fong, Senior Vice President, Legal Affairs and General Counsel, 3M Company**; Brett Hart, Acting Chief Executive Officer, United Continental Holdings, Inc.**; and Greg Jordan, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. ** Click here for more information about the co-chairs.

This year’s theme was fitting as we acknowledged all that we have accomplished in the 20 years since launching the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® while we prepare for the challenges ahead. We also paid a special tribute to PBI’s founder Esther F. Lardent who stepped down as president earlier this year.

As in past years, PBI presented its annual honors – the John H. Pickering and CPBO Pro Bono Partner Awards. PBI presented the 2015 John H. Pickering Award to Sidley Austin*† for continually demonstrating its core values by working on behalf of pro bono clients around the world to enhance their quality of life and improve their communities.

This year, for the first time, PBI presented two CPBO partner awards. CPBO introduced separate categories for Large Law (a legal department of 50 or more lawyers) and Small Law (a legal department of 49 or fewer lawyers) to better recognize exceptional partnerships involving legal departments of all sizes. The 2015 CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award – Large Law was presented to BNY Mellon**, White & Case*† and The National LGBT Bar Association for their exceptional work on an innovative tool that leverages technology to provide an online tax resource for same-sex married couples. The 2015 CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award – Small Law was presented to Best Buy** and Volunteer Lawyers Network for their ongoing partnership and commitment to providing legal services to low-income persons. Click here to read more about our awardees.

Immediately preceding the Annual Dinner, PBI hosted its ninth annual Leadership Convocation at the offices of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel*†. Attendees listened as the panelists, Greg Jordan; Kim Koopersmith, Chairperson, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld*†; John M. Koneck, President, Fredrikson & Byron*†; Laura Stein, Executive Vice President – General Counsel, The Clorox Company**; and Regina M. Pisa, Chairman Emeritus, Goodwin Procter*†, discussed the shifts in the economics and dynamics of major law firms and in-house legal departments that inevitably impact pro bono.

If you were unable to join us, you can still support the mission and work and pay tribute to Esther. Visit probonoinst.org/dinner for more information or contact Kelly Simon at 202-729-6691 or at ksimon@probonoinst.org.

Download the 2015 Annual Dinner Program here.

* 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 22, 2015

Request for Proposals

2016 ConfPlanning is underway for the 2016 PBI Annual Conference, which will be held on March 23 – 25 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. One of the perennial highlights of the Conference are the “Marketplace of Ideas” sessions, fast-paced opportunities for presenters to share cutting-edge pro bono projects and for attendees to learn about new opportunities, offerings, infrastructure, and other replicable pro bono developments. Presenters identify real-world legal needs and explain how their projects are successfully addressing them. Click here to read a summary of the 2015 Marketplace of Ideas presentations.

Interested in serving as a presenter? We invite you to submit a brief proposal describing your initiative so that we can ensure adequate time and capacity for all presentations. Please send submissions to Law Firm Pro Bono Project Assistant Eva Richardson. Due to time limitations, we may not be able to accept all proposals this year.

We look forward to learning more and sharing new ideas and projects at the 2016 PBI Annual Conference!

October 15, 2015

Ask a General Counsel/Ask a Firm Chair

Dinner

PBI’s ninth annual Leadership Convocation will take place at the offices of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel*† in New York on Thursday, November 5, preceding the 2015 Pro Bono Institute Annual Dinner.

Speakers scheduled to appear include Brett J. Hart, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, United Continental Holdings, Inc.**; Gregory B. Jordan, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Head of Regulatory and Government Affairs, The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.**; John M. Koneck, President, Fredrikson & Byron*†; and Regina M. Pisa, Chairman Emeritus, Goodwin Procter*†.

As we “celebrate the future of pro bono,” our distinguished panelists will discuss the shifts in the economics and dynamics of major law firms and in-house legal departments that inevitably impact pro bono. This thought-provoking conversation with senior law firm and legal department leaders will provide important insight about the forces and trends that will shape the future of pro bono.

Attendance is limited to law firms and legal departments that are sponsoring the 2015 PBI Annual Dinner. For more information about sponsorship opportunities and event registration and details, please contact the PBI Events office at 202.973.8720 or pbievents@courtesyassoc.com.

Special thanks to Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel for generously hosting PBI’s Leadership Convocation.

* 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®

September 16, 2015

You’re Invited: “The CLO’s View of In-House Pro Bono” at the ACC Annual Meeting

2015 ACC Annual Meeting

The 2015 ACC Annual Meeting is only a month away! As The PBEye has reported previously, there will be a number of in-house pro bono-related events, including the session “The Chief Legal Officer’s View of In-House Pro Bono” (Tuesday, October 20, 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm). The following panel of leading in-house counsel will give an overview of in-house pro bono, discuss the role of CLOs and other leaders in supporting such efforts, and address the growth and importance of in-house pro bono within legal departments, companies, and the communities where they work:

  • Jeffrey Hyman, General Counsel, Pebble Technology Corp
  • Mark Roellig, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company**
  • Thomas Sabatino, Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel, Hertz Global Holdings, Inc.**

Representing legal departments from around the country and of a variety of sizes and industries, the panelists have decades of experience with in-house pro bono and will be sure to provide tremendous insight.

In addition to attending the aforementioned session, don’t forget to register for the Clinic in a Box® Program – Nonprofit Policies (Monday, October 19, 7:00 am – 10:30 am) and the pro bono breakfast (Tuesday, October 20, 7:45 am – 9:00 am) with CPBO Project Assistant Josh Lefebvre.

To find out more about in-house pro bono, stop by CPBO’s Booth #117 in the Exhibit Hall, or contact CPBO Director Eve Runyon. We look forward to seeing you in Boston!

**denotes a Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatory

August 3, 2015

Meet the 2015 PBI Annual Dinner Co-Chairs

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The 2015 PBI Annual Dinner, to be held November 5 at Gotham Hall in New York City, is quickly approaching and we at the The PBEye hope to see you there! This year’s annual dinner, “Celebrate the Future of Pro Bono,” acknowledges all we have accomplished in the 20 years since launching the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® while we prepare for  the challenges ahead. Once again, PBI is honored to have three co-chairs.

Fong-web Ivan Fong
Senior Vice President, Legal Affairs and General Counsel
3M Company
Hart-web Brett Hart
Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
United Continental Holdings, Inc.
Jordan-web Greg Jordan
Executive Vice President and General Counsel
The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.

Read more about the 2015 Annual Dinner Co-Chairs here. To support the Annual Dinner, please download the Sponorship Packet, or contact Kelly Simon (202.729.6691) for more information.

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