The PBEye

Pro Bono As We See It

Events

September 28, 2017

PBI’s 2017 Annual Dinner is Tonight

PBI is excited to host our Annual Dinner at Gotham Hall in New York City tonight! This year’s theme“Strengthening Access to Justice” features speakers sure to inspire all who attend. Attendees will hear remarks from special guest Charles Johnson, who was wrongfully convicted of a double murder in Chicago, and served 20 years of a life sentence. With pro bono assistance from 2017 John H. Pickering Award recipient Kirkland & Ellis*† and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, Johnson’s conviction was vacated in July 2016. Later that year, he was released from prison. Another highlight of tonight’s event will be a musical performance by another Kirkland pro bono client Diverse Concert Artists, a group “committed to diversity in classical and crossover music.”

We are also proud to present the 2017 CPBO Partner Award: Large Law to UnitedHealth Group Incorporated** in partnership with the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center and the 2017 CPBO Partner Award: Small Law to Arconic Inc. and Alcoa Corporation in partnership with Meyer, Unkovic & Scott for their commitment to pro bono.

In addition to our inspiring speakers, we thank our co-chairs, Laureen E. Seeger, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of American Express Company, Tony West, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of PepsiCo, Inc.**, and David Zapolsky, Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary of Amazon.com, Inc. **

Be sure to follow the festivities tonight by checking out posts tagged with #PBIDinner2017 and #ProBonoProud and by following us @ProBonoInst on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube where we will be posting videos of tonight’s events.

*  denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® signatory

†  denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Project® member

** denotes a Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatory

 

 

September 6, 2017

And the Winner Is…

CPBO will present the 2017 CPBO Pro Bono Partner Awards, recognizing innovative team approaches to pro bono work involving in-house legal departments, at PBI’s Annual Dinner, on September 28. The PBEye is proud to congratulate the recipients:

  • CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award – Small Law: Alcoa Corporation and Arconic Inc. in partnership with Meyer, Unkovic & Scott for their work on the Landlord Tenant Project; and
  • CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award – Large Law: UnitedHealth Group Incorporated** and Connecticut Veterans Legal Center on their project, “Review-A-Rama.”

Pro Bono Partner Award – Small Law

The Landlord Tenant Project (Project) assists low-income individuals facing landlord-tenant and other housing legal issues. These issues are of paramount importance in focusing on a basic need of all people: safe and affordable housing. Through the Project, volunteers represent families and individuals at housing denial hearings, and staff a hotline which provides advice and, when appropriate, brief services.

Pro Bono Partner Award – Large Law

Review-A-Rama engages members of the UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (UHG) Legal, Compliance & Regulatory Affairs Department (LCRA) to review massive files of medical and military documents and provide detailed summaries to Connecticut Veterans Legal Center (CVLC) attorneys who represent veterans in disability benefit claims with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. As a result of Review-A-Rama and UHG’s efforts, CVLC is able to offer full-scope representation to more veterans in need.

The PBEye congratulates the CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award recipients on their continued dedication to increasing access to justice, and looks forward to celebrating their accomplishments at the PBI Annual Dinner! If you are interested in supporting the Annual Dinner, please contact Kelly Simon (202.729.6691) for more information. We hope to see you there!

March 13, 2017

It’s Pro Bono Podcast Monday: Get to Know Our Speakers – Part 3

Missed the 2017 PBI Annual Conference? Want to hear more from our speakers? Since the Law Firm Pro Bono Project launched our podcast, the Pro Bono Happy Hour, in October 2015, we have had the opportunity to feature a variety of guests from law firms and public interest organizations; many of whom were speakers at the Conference last week.

Check out these episodes with public interest and law firm pro bono leaders who facilitated Conference Sessions:

Subscribe to the Pro Bono Happy Hour in iTunes. Have you rated us on iTunes yet? Would you consider doing it now? We’d appreciate the feedback and it would help make it easier for others to find the show and expand the conversation about access to justice. The podcast is also available on YouTube. Links to all of our episodes can be found here.


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

March 6, 2017

It’s Pro Bono Podcast Monday: Get to Know Our Speakers – Part 2

The 2017 PBI Annual Conference is only a few days away! Need some listening material while you pack? Tune in to our most recent episode, Ready, Set, Go! 2017 PBI Annual Conference Preview. During this special episode, the Law Firm Pro Bono Project discusses what’s new this year, opportunities for networking, cutting-edge issues that will be featured, and more.

Interested in learning more about our speakers as you prepare to attend?  Since the Law Firm Pro Bono Project launched our podcast, the Pro Bono Happy Hour, in October 2015, we have had the opportunity to feature a variety of guests from law firms and public interest organizations; many of whom will be speakers at the Conference.

Check out these episodes with public interest and law firm pro bono leaders who will be facilitating Conference Sessions:

Subscribe to the Pro Bono Happy Hour in iTunes. Have you rated us on iTunes yet? Would you consider doing it now? We’d appreciate the feedback and it would help make it easier for others to find the show and expand the conversation about access to justice. The podcast is also available on YouTube. Links to all of our episodes can be found here.

If you have any questions about the Conference or need assistance with registration, please email events@probonoinst.org or call 202.370.6770.

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

March 3, 2017

Conference Sneak Peek: Lessons From Our Past

The 2017 PBI Annual Conference is next week and one of this year’s highlights is a session about the landmark U.S. Supreme Court Case Korematsu v. United States (1944) and its aftermath.

The “Day of Remembrance” commemorates the Japanese American internment during World War II. It is observed on February 19, the anniversary of President Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 9066, which led to the internment of approximately 120,000 Japanese American men, women, and children. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Order. Join us on Thursday, March 9, for, “Lessons From Our Past.” While we are all familiar with World War II, this story of injustice, prejudice, and war hysteria remains less known.  Let’s discuss fundamental questions regarding the failure of leadership at the highest level of government and of the legal system to protect the constitutional rights of a racial minority. We are grateful to our panel of experts who will be sharing their stories and helping us explore this timely subject:

If you have any questions about the Conference or need assistance with registration, please email events@probonoinst.org or call 202.370.6770.

March 2, 2017

Conference Sneak Peek: Get to Know Our Speakers – Part 1

The 2017 PBI Annual Conference is next week! Interested in learning more about our speakers as you prepare to attend?  Since the Law Firm Pro Bono Project launched our podcast, the Pro Bono Happy Hour, in October 2015, we have had the opportunity to feature a variety of guests from law firms and public interest organizations; many of whom will be featured speakers at the Conference.

Check out these episodes with law firm pro bono leaders who will be facilitating Conference sessions:

Subscribe to the Pro Bono Happy Hour in iTunes. Have you rated us on iTunes yet? Would you consider doing it now? We’d appreciate feedback and it would help make it easier for others to find the show and expand the conversation about access to justice. The podcast is also available on YouTube. Links to all of our episodes can be found here.

If you have any questions about the Conference or need assistance with registration, please email events@probonoinst.org or call 202.370.6770.

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

March 1, 2017

Looking Back at “A Conversation with Tim Mayopoulos”

PBI welcomed friends and supporters in Washington, DC on Wednesday, January 25, for the second program in the Esther F. Lardent Leadership in Pro Bono Series, launched in 2016. Hosted by Microsoft, dozens of pro bono advocates gathered for a candid discussion featuring Tim Mayopoulos, President and CEO of Fannie Mae, and long-time champion of pro bono. Mayopoulos was joined by Stasia Kelly, Co-Managing Partner (Americas), DLA Piper, and Marc Fleischaker, Counsel and Chair Emeritus, Arent Fox, who moderated the discussion with robust audience participation.

Mayopoulos opened by sharing the profound ripple effect a simple act – signing the Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® statement (while General Counsel at Bank of America) – had on Bank of America’s legal department, their law firm counterparts, and even other companies. He also talked about the lessons he learned from that simple act, including the importance of prioritizing values, like service to community, and how those values shaped his career and his perspectives on leadership.  Mayopoulos noted that corporate leaders can play a unique role on important social justice issues by engaging those around them, including lawmakers and other decision makers.

Noting the highly-charged political climate, Fleischaker and Kelly discussed big law’s efforts around current access to justice issues. Kelly stated that there is a lot of energy which mobilizes people, but that a values alignment with stakeholders remains important. Audience members advised following the lead of legal services providers and cautioned taking reflexive action without adequate information. The panelists agreed that while some individual issues may be partisan, other areas like ensuring access to courts and protecting rule of law are not only broadly supported, but imperative to a well-functioning society.

On the topic of building coalitions, the panelists agreed that, working in concert, the legal community can influence important access to justice issues.  PBI’s President and CEO Eve Runyon and Association of Corporate Counsel’s CEO Veta Richardson described a successful effort in partnership with local ACC chapters, bar associations, and other stakeholders to expand the ability of in-house counsel to engage in pro bono across jurisdictions. ACC and PBI drafted letters of support which hundreds of general counsels signed resulting in rules changes in more than 13 jurisdictions. A similar effort may be recommended if the new administration proposes shifts in important initiatives and resources.

PBI thanks event sponsors: Fannie Mae, Arent Fox, and Tom Gottschalk of Kirkland & Ellis for their support.

February 23, 2017

Conference Sneak Peek: Engage and Inspire Action

“The most powerful delivery system ever invented for an idea is a story.”
– Aaron Sorkin (February 19, 2017)

The 2017 PBI Annual Conference is only two weeks away and one of this year’s highlights is a storytelling workshop.

We want to share the impact that our pro bono efforts have, but often the numbers we track and report don’t paint a complete picture.  Numbers and data lack the emotional resonance that a story has to inspire action. Narratives can do what data alone cannot – they provide context, meaning, emotion, and purpose. Stories are universal, relatable, and engaging. Stories help our listeners, viewers, and readers understand and care about why we do what we do.

Join us on Friday, March 10, for “Engage and Inspire Action: Storytelling to Enhance Pro Bono Engagement and Access to Justice.” Jerome Deroy, Chief Executive Officer of Narativ, will help us explore the benefits, challenges, and best practices of using stories to frame access to justice issues; recruit, engage, and motivate pro bono lawyers and staff; sway funders and other stakeholders; create a sense of urgency; and inspire collective action.

Through a skills-building workshop, we will practice and hone the craft of storytelling: the “what,” “why,” “how,” and “when” of storytelling.  What are the qualities of a well-told story? Why are stories effective? How do you identify which stories will work and engage your audiences in what matters to you and your organization? When might you find stories helpful? What stories do you already have as part of your toolkit? How can you translate the data you have into engaging stories that connect? You will return home with critical information, models, ideas, and innovations that you can use to reshape, retool, and enhance your pro bono and access to justice messaging.

If you have any questions about the Conference or need assistance with registration, please email events@probonoinst.org or call 202.370.6770.

February 16, 2017

Conference Sneak Peek: Pro Bono in Practice – Juvenile Life Without Parole

The 2017 PBI Annual Conference is only three weeks away and one of this year’s highlights is a session about “juvenile lifers,” who were given the opportunity for new sentences as a result of Montgomery v. Louisiana, the 2016 U.S. Supreme Court decision that made retroactive the Court’s ban on automatic life-without-parole sentence for juveniles.

Juvenile Life Without Parole (Pro Bono in Practice) is one of a series of popular sessions geared toward bringing together law firm, in-house, and public interest leaders whose work is focused on a specific topical area. Join us on March 9, from 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., to discuss current events and how pro bono lawyers can be of assistance to “juvenile lifers.” We are grateful to our panel of expert practitioners:

For additional background, check out our interview with Untiedt on the Pro Bono Happy Hour, the Law Firm Pro Bono Project’s podcast. Among other things, she discusses her meaningful work to ensure access to justice for “juvenile lifers.” You can subscribe to the Pro Bono Happy Hour in iTunes and links to all of the episodes can be found here.

If you have any questions about the Conference or need assistance with registration, please email events@probonoinst.org or call 202.370.6770.

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

February 9, 2017

Conference Sneak Peek: Pro Bono in Practice – Family Law

The 2017 PBI Annual Conference is only one month away and one of this year’s highlights is a session about family law, an area when the needs are great, but pro bono lawyers are often reluctant to get involved.

Changing the Face of Pro Bono Family Law (Pro Bono in Practice) is one of a series of popular sessions geared toward bringing together law firm, in-house, and public interest leaders whose work is focused on a specific topical area. We encourage attendees to join us on March 9 from 2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. to discuss a range of available family law pro bono opportunities, including full representation, limited-scope matters, and assisting those who are self-represented.

Interested in learning more?  Check out the episode of the Pro Bono Happy Hour, the Law Firm Pro Bono Project’s podcast; featuring Michael Lucas of the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation (AVLF). Lucas, who will be a facilitator for the Conference program, discusses being a leader in the public interest community, providing the “best legal representation money can’t buy,” and trends in access to justice, including a family law pro bono program that AVLF strategically added to work they were already doing to assist survivors of domestic violence to ensure that they get the holistic assistance they need to move forward. You can subscribe to the Pro Bono Happy Hour in iTunes and links to all of the episodes can be found here.

If you have any questions about the Conference or need assistance with registration, please email events@probonoinst.org or call 202.370.6770.

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