The PBEye

Pro Bono As We See It

Annual Dinner

November 15, 2013

The December 2004 Tsunami: A Global Pro Bono “Tipping Point” for Deloitte

PBI was honored to recognize Deloitte Financial Advisory Services (FAS) LLP with the first-ever PBI President’s Award, presented at the 2013 PBI Annual Dinner on November 7 in New York.  Among its many contributions, Deloitte FAS has provided invaluable assistance to PBI, enhancing and refining PBI’s collection and analysis of annual pro bono performance data for its Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® reports.  The company is also working with PBI, Merck & Co., Inc.**, and others on the Pro Bono Measurement Project, a comprehensive process to enable law firms and legal departments to measure the societal good and business benefits of their pro bono work.  As PBI President and CEO Esther F. Lardent explained when announcing the award:  

Deloitte is receiving PBI’s first-ever President’s Award because of its notable pro bono culture and its work with PBI to creatively craft solutions for the betterment of our communities.  The leadership at Deloitte** has successfully adopted pro bono as part of its culture and continues to demonstrate how valuable and effective pro bono collaboration can be.

The story of how Deloitte transformed its approach to pro bono — from ad-hoc to systematic — from something done on one’s own time into something recognized as part of Deloitte’s normal business — begins with a global pro bono “tipping point” for Deloitte.  In the wake of the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Deloitte heard the call to help.  It joined forces with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on tsunami reconstruction and provided over 14,000 hours of pro bono financial advisory, consulting, and audit and risk work to affected countries, ultimately helping the UN to more quickly and efficiently distribute relief funds to affected areas.

Although Deloitte also made a sizeable cash contribution to tsunami relief, the value of its services far outweighed its financial donation.  Deloitte recognized that sharing its knowledge and experience with nonprofit organizations held the potential for immediate and sustainable community impact.  As noted in Deloitte’s 2012 Pro Bono Report, Insight No. 4, although corporate philanthropy and nonprofit development has traditionally focused on cash donations, the donation of time and expertise represents an extremely valuable resource:

It became clear to us that, while our cash philanthropic budget was limited, we had other resources “in the bank.”  Rather than limit our donations to money that nonprofits would then spend on professional services, why not structure major gifts with both cash and pro bono components? We would end up giving more than we could in cash alone, and the nonprofit would get highly valuable assistance.

Since the events of 2004, Deloitte has solidified its commitment to pro bono work.  Its “business as usual” incorporation of pro bono into its culture and mindset includes an annual financial commitment to pro bono activities, a systematic and deliberate approach where results are measured, and a strategic methodology to select pro bono opportunities that have an impact on the community, aligned with Deloitte’s own philanthropic principles. As a result, since 2008, Deloitte has delivered more than 1,000 projects, with more than 4,400 professionals giving close to 365,000 hours.

In addition, Deloitte’s commitment to the global dimension of pro bono has continued, including its assistance to nonprofits in the wake of Haiti’s January 2010 earthquake.  More currently, Deloitte professionals are supporting the 2015 Special Olympics by delivering a wide range of high-impact work, including budgeting, business and operations planning, and strategic advisory work.

Deloitte FAS CEO David Williams accepted the President’s Award on Deloitte’s behalf on November 7.  In a moving acceptance speech, Williams recognized Deloitte’s employees for “giving it their all,” even as he recognized that “none of them, I can tell you, thinks we’re anywhere near done in terms of what we can do.”

Well said, and PBI looks forward to its ongoing collaboration with a company whose pro bono efforts continue to have a positive impact around the globe.

** denotes a Signatory to the Corporate Pro Bono ChallengeSM

November 7, 2013

Tonight: The 2013 PBI Annual Dinner

The 2013 PBI Annual Dinner and National Leadership Convocation is tonight and we couldn’t be more excited.  Themed “Collaborating for Justice,” the Dinner once again will provide a venue for us to recognize significant pro bono accomplishments by our awardees while focusing on collaborative work as an essential part of quality pro bono service.

We thank our very distinguished Dinner Co-Chairs Thomas A. Russo (American International Group, Inc.**), Thomas J. Sabatino, Jr., (Walgreen Co.**), and Wayne Watts (AT&T Inc.**) for their support and their leadership in fostering a supportive environment for pro bono at their respective organizations.  Read more about them here.  We also thank our generous sponsors whose support allows us to continue our work to improve and enhance the delivery of pro bono services and White & Case*† for graciously hosting the Convocation, which will be held prior to the dinner from 2:30p.m. – 5:00p.m.

We send our congratulations to our award winners!  Alston & Bird*† will receive the John H. Pickering Award; Hewlett-Packard Company** in partnership with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius*† and the National Veterans Legal Services Program will receive the CPBO Partner Award; and Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP will receive our first ever PBI President’s Award.  Read about their pro bono programs and accomplishments here.

Finally, we are honored to have a special guest speaker this year, Crispin Ilombe.  Crispin, a former Congolese Catholic priest, was persecuted in his home country for speaking out against government corruption on behalf of members of his community who were living in abject poverty and being denied basic human rights such as food, water, and healthcare. With the help of the Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network and Alston & Bird, Crispin successfully sought asylum in the U.S.

We hope to see you in New York!

* 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 ChallengeSM

 

April 16, 2013

CPBO Partner Award Nomination Deadline

The PBEye reminds you that there’s less than a month left to submit your nomination for the 2013 CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award. Nominations are due May 3 and may be submitted via e-mail or hard copy to CPBO Director Eve Runyon.

The award, which will be presented at the 2013 PBI Annual Dinner, recognizes innovative team approaches to pro bono work involving in-house legal departments, law firms, and public interest groups. Recipients of the award must include at least one legal department and one or more law firms and/or public interest group partners.

Last year’s award was presented to the Ford Motor Company** Office of the General Counsel, in partnership with Dykema Gossett PLLC*†, Legal Aid and Defender Association, Inc., and Michigan Community Resources. Their innovative partnership served the legal needs of individuals, families, and local nonprofits. A full list of previous awardees can be found here.

For more information about the award, please contact Eve Runyon at (202) 729-6699.

* 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 ChallengeSM

March 26, 2013

Reminder: Partner Award Nominations

There’s just one month left to submit your nominations for the 2013 CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award so contact us right away if you know of a pro bono partnership deserving of recognition.  Nominations for the award must be a partnership comprising at least one legal department and one or more law firms and/or public interest group partners. CPBO will present the award at the 2013 PBI Annual Dinner on November 7 in New York.

The Partner Award recognizes innovative team approaches to pro bono work involving in-house legal departments, law firms, and public interest groups.  CPBO presented last year’s award to the Ford Motor Company** Office of the General Counsel, in partnership with Dykema Gossett PLLC*†, Legal Aid and Defender Association, Inc., and Michigan Community Resources, for their innovative partnerships to serve the legal needs of individuals and families and local nonprofits.  For a full list of previous awardees please click here.

Nominations are due by May 3 and may be submitted via e-mail to CPBO Director Eve Runyon. Hard copies can be mailed to 1025 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 205, Washington, D.C. 20036. For more information about the award, please contact Eve Runyon at 202.729.6699.

* 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 ChallengeSM

November 15, 2012

PBI’s 2012 Annual Dinner and Leadership Convocation Underway!

PBI is looking forward to hosting its Annual Dinner at Gotham Hall in New York City tonight, and we’re excited about seeing you there! The theme of the night is “Transforming: Pro Bono • Justice • Lives,” and attendees are sure to be inspired by our distinguished guests.  We thank our co-chairs David S. Williams, Chief Executive Officer of Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP, John F. Schultz, Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Hewlett-Packard Company (HP)**, and Jonathan J. Oviatt, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary of the Mayo Clinic**. Click here for more information about the co-chairs.

Attendees will also have the pleasure of hearing remarks from special guest Aimee Sherrod, an Air Force veteran who was denied military benefits after she was diagnosed with PTSD.  With pro bono assistance from with the National Veterans Legal Services Program, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP*† and HP, Sherrod secured the benefits to which she and her family were entitled.  Read more about Sherrod’s story here.

Finally, we’re proud to present Latham & Watkins LLP*† with the John. H Pickering Award, and Ford Motor Company** in partnership with Dykema Gossett PLLC*†, Legal Aid and Defender Association, Inc., and Michigan Community Resources with the CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award for their commendable commitment to pro bono.

Please note that the 2012 National Leadership Convocation will be held prior to the dinner from 2:30p.m. – 5:00p.m. Attendees will focus on a range of topics, including global pro bono, the impact and effectiveness of law firm and corporate pro bono, and the best innovative projects identified during the Regional Leadership Convocations. This will surely be an unforgettable event!

If you have any questions about the Dinner or Convocation, please contact Courtesy Associates at pbievents@courtesyassoc.com.

We look forward to seeing you in New York!

 

* 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 ChallengeSM

 

November 7, 2012

Honoring Our Veterans Through Pro Bono

Aimee Sherrod was only 25 years old when she was discharged from the Air Force. She was deployed three times from 2001-2005, serving in both Iraq and Pakistan, where she frequently saw the horrors of war firsthand. After being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Sherrod was separated from the military and was denied the military retirement benefits to which she was entitled.

She married and started a family, but her young family suffered from the financial burden of purchasing healthcare, and they could not afford an essential surgery her son needed. In 2008, the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) contacted Sherrod about joining a class action lawsuit that sought to win back the retirement benefits she and hundreds of other veterans had been wrongfully denied.  Sabo v. United States was filed in December 2008 by NVLSP and pro bono counsel Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP*†, on behalf of Sherrod and six other plaintiffs, and lawyers from Hewlett Packard Company** joined pro-bono efforts to assist Sherrod and other class members.

The case reached a favorable settlement in 2011, when the U.S. military agreed to pay lifetime disability retirement benefits to more than 1,000 veterans with PTSD. Under the settlement, Sherrod and her husband will receive health care benefits for life and their three children will receive health care benefits until at least age 18. The medical bills that Sherrod and her family incurred following her discharge will also be reimbursed.

PBI is honored to have Aimee Sherrod as our special guest speaker at the 2012 PBI Annual Dinner in New York. Her perseverance is extraordinary and underscores the need to assist the men and women in uniform who risk their lives to protect our freedom. We hope you will join us on November 15 at Gotham Hall to hear Sherrod’s story and to be reminded of the great feats that pro bono work can accomplish.

* 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 ChallengeSM

July 12, 2012

PBI’s Annual Dinner–Save the Date!

The PBEye is excited to learn the date of the pro bono event of the season– the PBI Annual Dinner!  Mark your calendar now for the 2012 Pro Bono Institute Annual Dinner, Transforming: Pro Bono • Justice • Lives, on November 15 at Gotham Hall in New York. PBI hosts this event annually to recognize and celebrate the outstanding contributions to pro bono by law firms, legal departments, and public interest organizations (learn more about past Dinners here).

Interested in sponsoring the Dinner?  What about serving on the Benefit Committee?  Both are great ways to get involved and support the work of PBI.  We hope to see you there!

February 28, 2012

CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award Nominations

It’s that time again — submit your nominations for the 2012 CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award.  The Partner Award recognizes innovative team approaches to pro bono work involving in-house legal departments, law firms, and public interest groups.  Recipients of the award must include at least one legal department and one or more law firms and/or public interest group partners.  CPBO will present the award at the Pro Bono Institute Annual Dinner on November 15, 2012, in New York.

CPBO presented last year’s award to Verizon Communications Inc.**, in partnership with DLA Piper LLP*†, for their collaborative effort to address veterans, education, and domestic violence issues through pro bono work.  Previous awardees include Accenture plc**, Caterpillar Inc.**, and Merck & Co., Inc.** in partnership with Baker & McKenzie*† and PILnet; Aetna Inc.**with Lawyers for Children America and Bet Tzedek Legal Services in cooperation with Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP*†; The Williams Companies, Inc.** in partnership with Hall, Estill, Hardwick, Gable, Golden & Nelson, P.C., and Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma; 3M Company** with Children’s Law Center of Minnesota; Microsoft Corporation** and Volunteer Advocates for Immigrant Justice with collaborating law firms Davis Wright Tremaine LLP*†, Dorsey & Whitney LLP*†, Heller Ehrman LLP, Holland & Knight LLP*†, Perkins Coie LLP*†, Preston Gates & Ellis LLP, and Riddell Williams P.S.

Nominations are due April 27, 2012, and may be submitted either electronically or in hard copy to CPBO.  For more information about the award or to request a nomination form, please contact Eve Runyon at 202.729.6699.

* 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 ChallengeSM

November 3, 2011

Faces of Pro Bono

Tonight’s the night!  The Pro Bono Institute’s Annual Dinner will be held tonight in New York.  Co-Chaired by Ford Motor Company*‘s David Leitch and Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP*‘s William Lee, the Dinner is sure to be a smashing success. 

This year’s Dinner will honor Morrison & Foerster LLP* with the John H. Pickering Award and the partnership of Verizon Communications Inc.** and DLA Piper LLP* with the CPBO Partner Award for their outstanding achievements and commitment to pro bono.  The Dinner will also celebrate the 15th anniversary of the founding of PBI. 

The PBEye is especially excited about the Dinner’s special guest, Dewey Bozella, who was wrongfully convicted of murder and spent 26 years in prison. He was released in 2008 thanks to the hard work of attorneys at WilmerHale, who took his case pro bono.  An amateur boxer, Bozella recently won his first professional bout. 

Be sure to check back with The PBEye for photo and video highlights from the Dinner in coming weeks.  We’re taking tomorrow off, and will be back on Monday.  In the meantime, check out more information about this year’s event, and relive past year’s Dinners.

October 19, 2011

Stop the Presses for Pro Bono!

Have you heard the news?  PBI announced the winners of its John H. Pickering and CPBO Pro Bono Partner Awards today!  This year’s honorees are outstanding leaders in the pro bono community because of the innovative work they have done during the last year.

Morrison & Foerster LLP*, this year’s John H. Pickering award winner, has continued its long-standing commitment to pro bono through countless endeavors. In 2010, their 1,000 attorneys recorded more than 95,000 hours of pro bono services.  “At Morrison & Foerster, we believe it is our responsibility as lawyers to contribute to and support the communities in which we live and work,” Morrison & Foerster Chair Keith Wetmore said. “We thank the Pro Bono Institute for recognizing our dedication to pro bono work and to serving those in need.”  Read the official press release here.

Verizon Communications Inc.** and DLA Piper LLP*, the CPBO Partner Award winners, lead an impressive collaborative initiative with their work on a number of pro bono projects, securing for themselves this year’s CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award.  Randy Milch, executive vice president and general counsel for Verizon, said, “Since we started our pro bono program, hundreds of Verizon’s attorneys have participated and used their skills to provide services to those in need.  Our partnership with DLA Piper is a cornerstone of our program.  By working together with DLA Piper, we have been able to tackle so many projects neither of us could have done alone.  We are deeply honored to receive this award.”

“It is a tremendous honor to receive this award from PBI and the CPBO,” said Elizabeth Dewey, U.S. pro bono partner for DLA Piper and director of New Perimeter.  “We are extremely proud of the accomplishments from our pro bono partnership with Verizon thus far and look forward to continuing to collaborate with our clients and nonprofit organizations to help those less fortunate throughout the world.”  Read the official press release here.

The awards will be presented at the 2011 PBI Annual Dinner in New York on Nov. 3.  PBI will also be celebrating its 15th anniversary and will be joined by many of our past awardees.  Register for the dinner today!

*denotes a Signatory to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®
**denotes Signatory to the Corporate Pro Bono ChallengeSM