The PBEye

Pro Bono As We See It

Annual Conference

February 16, 2017

Conference Sneak Peak: 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 Peak: 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.

February 2, 2017

2017 PBI Annual Conference: Pro Bono Expo and Happy Hour

Want to network with leaders from legal services and public interest organizations? The 2017 PBI Annual Conference will be here before we know it and we are excited to provide a preview of this year’s Pro Bono Expo and Happy Hour.

Table hosts 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 time to mingle, forge productive relationships and partnerships with public interest organizations from across the U.S. and around the world, and develop new pro bono initiatives.

This year’s Expo and Happy Hour will take place from 3:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. on March 9. Click here for a current list of host organizations. We hope to see you there!

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

January 12, 2017

New to Law Firm Pro Bono?

Has your firm, of more than 50 lawyers, recently created or restructured a formal pro bono program? Is your firm planning to do so in 2017? Are you a newly appointed managing partner, practice group or office leader, pro bono committee chair or member, pro bono partner, counsel, director, manager, or coordinator? If so, join us bright and early on March 8 for Law Firm Pro Bono 101 to jumpstart the 2017 PBI Annual Conference.

We know that leading a law firm pro bono program can be overwhelming, particularly when you are relatively new to the position or if the program is undergoing a reboot, and we are here to help. Law Firm Pro Bono 101 offers a crash course on the basics of structuring, implementing, and administering successful law firm pro bono programs. Law Firm Pro Bono Project staff members will also be available to introduce attendees to the resources and support available from the Project year round and to provide participants individualized tips for navigating the Conference in order to maximize the experience. This interactive pre-Conference session is particularly helpful for first-time attendees.

Pre-registration is required for this program. If you have any questions about the Conference, or need assistance with registration, please email events@probonoinst.org or call 202.370.6770.

Don’t miss out on this popular session. We hope to see you there!

 

December 8, 2016

2017 Pro Bono Expo

The 2017 PBI Annual Conference, which will be held on March 8-10 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C., is around the corner. In addition to thought-provoking and inspiring sessions and programs, we are excited about the 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 Expo and happy hour will take place from 3:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. on March 9. We hope to see you there.

Are there any particular organizations or topics you would like to see represented at the Expo? Would your public interest legal services organization like to apply to host a table? Space is limited, so please email Law Firm Pro Bono Project Assistant, Elysse DeRita soon with your suggestions or for more information. If you have questions about the Conference or need assistance with registration, please events@proboninst.org or call 202.370.6770.

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September 13, 2016

You’re Invited: “Chief Legal Officers on the Intersection of Pro Bono and CSR” at the ACC Annual Meeting

ACC-AM-16The 2016 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 “Chief Legal Officers on the Intersection of Pro Bono and Corporate Social Responsibility” (Tuesday, October 18, 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm). PBI President and CEO Eve Runyon will lead an interactive discussion with the following general counsel to explore 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:

  • Susan Lees, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Allstate Insurance Company**
  • Amy Weaver, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Salesforce.com, Inc.**

In addition, don’t forget to register for the Clinic in a Box® Program – Nonprofit Employment Policies (Monday, October 17, 9:00 am – 12:30 pm) and the pro bono breakfast (Tuesday, October 18, 7:45 am – 9:00 am) with CPBO Project Assistant Virginia Lyon.

To find out more about in-house pro bono, stop by CPBO’s Booth #618 in the Exhibit Hall, or contact CPBO at cpbo@probonoinst.org. We look forward to seeing you in San Francisco!

 

**denotes a Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatory

 

September 8, 2016

Call for Ideas

confPlanning is well underway for the 2017 PBI Annual Conference, which will be held on March 8 – 10 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. Some 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 2016 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 Elysse DeRita. 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 2017 PBI Annual Conference.

May 26, 2016

Pro Bono Summer Reading

Interested in a good read for the upcoming long weekend? In the past, our suggestions have ranged from best-sellers to classics to autobiographies to multi-part, investigative series. Earlier this year, we were fortunate to spend time with our friend Dr. Larry Richard as we worked together to prepare for his incredible session at the 2016 PBI Annual Conference. During our discussions, he offered tips for further learning and we, in turn, are recommending one of those books: Influence, by Robert Cialdini, which explores the factors that lead a person to say “yes” to another’s request.

Written in a narrative style combined with scholarly research, the book is a practical and accessible refresher as to “why lawyers volunteer” and an introduction to new ways of thinking that could help with pro bono recruitment efforts. Cialdini explains the ways in which we become persuaded and shares techniques based on psychological principles that guide human behavior. During his session, Dr. Richard taught us about many of these principles, including “social proof,” which is the phenomenon where people adopt the actions of others, in any given situation, in an attempt to reflect correct behavior. In other words, the bandwagon effect exists and laugh tracks work. If you have any doubts, watch this classic Candid Camera prank from 1962 about group pressure:

 

We have long advocated that law firms should leverage “peer pressure” as a force for good. The dictates of group norms are powerful and having visible pro bono role models leads to more lawyers doing more and better pro bono. Influence is an easy and thought-provoking read. We hope you’ll use the lessons learned to improve your outreach, increase participation, and grow your pro bono program.

May 19, 2016

Marketplace of Pro Bono Ideas

Marketplace of Pro Bono Ideas--March 15The 2016 PBI Annual Conference featured a dynamic “Marketplace of Ideas” session, during which attendees learned about new opportunities, infrastructure, and other creative and replicable pro bono developments and projects.

The PBEye is pleased to share these ideas with the hope that they may guide and inspire you to think creatively, strategically, and collaboratively about future pro bono initiatives:

Access to Justice Fellows Program

Sue Finegan of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo*† described the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission’s Access to Justice Fellows Program, which gives experienced attorneys who have retired or are transitioning into retirement a structured opportunity to work for a year (or longer) at nonprofit organizations, legal service providers, or courts to provide critical pro bono assistance to underserved populations. With the goal of leveraging the capacity and expertise of the growing number of lawyers nearing retirement, the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission launched a pilot program in 2012 with seven fellows. Since then, the program has continued to expand: to date, there have been 55 fellows, including 19 current fellows, who have provided more than 45,000 hours of pro bono assistance to those in need.

Review-A-Rama

Eric Greenberg of UnitedHealth Group Incorporated** and Millie VandenBroek of Connecticut Veterans Legal Center (CVLC) discussed Review-A-Rama, a collaborative pro bono initiative involving pro bono attorneys and staff from UnitedHealthcare, who review veteran medical and military personnel records. Many of CVLC’s clients have lengthy and complex medical files and the document review process is often excessively time-consuming. By handling much of the record processing and background review, UnitedHealthcare provides valuable assistance to CVLC attorneys and their clients. Review-A-Rama is an effective, time-limited, flexible pro bono model.

The first Review-A-Rama was held in September 2015 for professionals in UnitedHealthcare’s Connecticut office. The program has expanded nationwide and company-wide and planning has already begun for Review-A-Rama 3.0.

Strategic Planning

Monika Varma described the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center’s recent comprehensive strategic planning effort, which was part of the D.C. Bar’s overall strategic planning process. In order to reassess priorities, evaluate strengths and weaknesses, and develop strategic objectives, the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Committee created a 19-member task force. The task force used surveys, interviews, and focus groups to collect information from stakeholders about the Pro Bono Center’s strengths and opportunities for growth. This feedback, along with research and analysis of the current legal environment and potential trends, formed the foundation for a strategic plan. In addition to implementing a strategic name change, the Pro Bono Center developed a high-level plan with three goals: (1) increasing the delivery of pro bono legal services in D.C.; (2) providing innovative pro bono leadership; and (3) ensuring long-term financial sustainability and resilience.

***

We look forward to learning more and sharing other replicable ideas and projects at the 2017 PBI Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., on March 8-10. If you would like to be a presenter, please submit a brief proposal describing your initiative to Law Firm Pro Bono Project Assistant Eva Richardson. (Due to time and capacity limitations, we may not be able to accept all proposals this year.)

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

March 9, 2016

The State of Pro Bono Around the World, and New Global Resources

The 2016 PBI Annual Conference will offer many new and compelling sessions, including a timely discussion addressing global pro bono and possible obstacles to participation. The State of Pro Bono Around the World (Thursday, March 24, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.) will explore global pro bono practices, including differences in delivery structures, practice rules, national and local legal cultures, and the need for and availability of pro bono matters. Included in the discussion will be two soon-to-be-released resources:

  • the 2016 edition of the Latham & Watkins*† Survey of Pro Bono Practices and Opportunities, and
  • the new Global Due Diligence Manual.

We hope to see you at the session!

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

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