The PBEye

Pro Bono As We See It

Law Firm Pro Bono

July 24, 2017

Happy Pro Bono Podcast Monday!

Don’t miss the latest episode of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project’s podcast, the Pro Bono Happy Hour, featuring Katie Cronin of Stinson Leonard Street*†. Katie talks to us about her career, the firm’s pro bono program, the access to justice culture in Kansas City, and how pro bono work “feeds her soul.” Want to learn more about the firm’s pro bono program? Search our archives for the episode featuring Theresa Hughes, Katie’s colleague and pro bono role model.

Subscribe to the Pro Bono Happy Hour on Apple Podcasts and be sure to leave a review! We’d appreciate the feedback and it would help us expand the conversation about access to justice. The podcast is also available on YouTube. Links to all of our episodes can be found here.

Listen along and let us know what you think. Send your comments, thoughts, feedback, questions, and suggestions to probono@probonoinst.org. Be warned: we might just read them on the air.

* denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® signatory
† denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Project® member

July 20, 2017

Instagram for Justice

Did you know social media can be good business? It can! A study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation found that neutral feelings towards a company can be shifted to positive by increasing the promotion of CSR using social media.  By expanding their social media presence to include emerging applications like Instagram, law firms and their pro bono programs can not only increase engagement but connect visually with clients, partners, the community, and others while promoting pro bono and access to justice.

Previously, we have discussed the impact of cultivating a law firms’ social media presence to promote their pro bono work. Many law firms have established themselves on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. For example, Instagram, a social networking app made for sharing photos and videos, similar to the photo sharing functions found on Twitter and Facebook, is becoming popular with law firms.  Launched in 2010, Instagram now has over 400 million daily users and has seen adult use double since 2012. Firms like DLA Piper*† and Fenwick & West*† can be found on Instagram as well as nonprofit and legal services organizations such as The Florida Bar Foundation and law school programs like the Pro Bono Program at The Catholic University of America School of Law.

* denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® signatory
† denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Project® member

July 17, 2017

It’s Pro Bono Podcast Monday

Don’t miss the latest episode of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project’s podcast, the Pro Bono Happy Hour, featuring Courtney Darts of the Pro Bono Partnership. Courtney talks to us about pro bono initiatives to support nonprofit organizations, transactional pro bono opportunities that strengthen communities, advice for aspiring public interest lawyers, and more.

Subscribe to the Pro Bono Happy Hour on Apple Podcasts and be sure to leave a review! We’d appreciate the feedback and it would help us expand the conversation about access to justice. The podcast is also available on YouTube. Links to all of our episodes can be found here.

Listen along and let us know what you think. Send your comments, thoughts, feedback, questions, and suggestions to probono@probonoinst.org. Be warned: we might just read them on the air.

July 13, 2017

Partners Versus Associates

We’ve previously shared highlights from the 2016 Report on the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®, such as information about law firm charitable giving. Challenge signatories visibly acknowledge their institutional, firm-wide commitment to provide pro bono legal services. They agree that they “will use [their] best efforts to ensure that a majority of both partners and associates in the firm participate annually in pro bono activities.” Participation rates in 2016 remained steady for both partners and associates: 65.5% of partners and 84.4% of associates participated in pro bono, with an overall attorney participation rate of 74.9%.

Many law firms struggle with how to involve more partners in pro bono work. The PBEye believes that it is critical to attain meaningful participation by partners — it broadens a firm’s pro bono capacity and helps ensure the long-term vitality of pro bono by sending a clear message that pro bono is an important and lasting firm value. If you are looking for suggestions to increase partner participation, we’ve prepared several helpful hints and best approaches for doing so. Or, contact us for individualized, confidential assistance.

Check out the complete Challenge Report, including analysis of the data, detailed graphs, and more. Also, tune in to the Law Firm Project’s discussion of the Report and Pro Bono: Beyond the Numbers on its podcast, the Pro Bono Happy Hour. If your firm of 50 or more lawyers would like to join the Challenge and become visible pro bono leaders, please contact Law Firm Pro Bono Project Assistant Elysse DeRita.

July 10, 2017

It’s Pro Bono Podcast Monday

Celebrate our “diamond” program with us! Don’t miss the 75th episode of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project’s podcast, the Pro Bono Happy Hour, featuring Susan Hoffman of Crowell & Moring*. Susie talks to us about her career, the firm’s pro bono program and foundation, the “loaned lawyer” program, and more.

Subscribe to the Pro Bono Happy Hour on Apple Podcasts and be sure to leave a review! We’d appreciate the feedback and it would help us expand the conversation about access to justice. The podcast is also available on YouTube. Links to all of our episodes can be found here.

Listen along and let us know what you think. Send your comments, thoughts, feedback, questions, and suggestions to probono@probonoinst.org. Be warned: we might just read them on the air.

* denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® signatory

July 6, 2017

Membership Has Its Privileges

More than 40 firms have already become Law Firm Pro Bono Project members for 2017-2018.  These firms have publically demonstrated their leadership and commitment to pro bono and access to justice, and we are grateful for their support.

As a member firm, you will have access to a variety of services and resources designed to help you create and maintain a successful pro bono program, such as expert consultative services, discounted registration to the PBI Annual Conference, free publications, webinars, and the members-only section of the Project’s Resource Clearinghouse. Check out our member benefits page for more details on these and other valuable benefits.

Submit your firm’s enrollment form or join online before September 1 to receive a 10% discount:

Please contact Law Firm Project Assistant Elysse DeRita, if you have any questions.

We look forward to welcoming your law firm as a member soon!

July 3, 2017

It’s Pro Bono Podcast Monday

As we start this patriotic holiday week, do you need a break from thinking about the state of our union? How about focusing instead on the state of pro bono? Don’t miss the latest episode of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project’s podcast, the Pro Bono Happy Hour, Pro Bono: Beyond the Numbers, during which we discuss the recently published 2016 Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® Report, the current pro bono landscape, concrete and doable tips for improvement and growth, and more.

Subscribe to the Pro Bono Happy Hour on Apple Podcasts and be sure to leave a review! We’d appreciate the feedback and it would help us expand the conversation about access to justice. The podcast is also available on YouTube. Links to all of our episodes can be found here.

Listen along and let us know what you think. Send your comments, thoughts, feedback, questions, and suggestions to probono@probonoinst.org. Be warned: we might just read them on the air.

June 30, 2017

Mischief Managed!

We couldn’t help but notice that the “Harry Potter” series turned 20 this week. Wow! Time flies. You don’t have to be a child or a wizard to appreciate the spell cast by J.K. Rowling. Pro bono-supporting muggles could learn a lot from her and the magical world that she created.

One of our favorite takeaways is from a speech she gave in 2008 at Harvard University: “We do not need magic to transform the world.  We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already. We have the power to imagine better.” Like all struggles, the march toward access to justice can be slow, demanding, and collective. Progress comes from quiet, persistent efforts of pro bono leaders, supporters, and doers. Despite setbacks and obstacles, we press on, believing that for all the challenges and obstacles there will be some days when we succeed in, to paraphrase another immortal aspiration, bending the long arc of the moral universe ever closer toward justice.

“[H]appiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) Pro bono champions can be that light. We are improving lives, protecting rights, and advancing access to justice every day.  Pro bono has the power to transform and make the world a better place.

June 29, 2017

Time and Money

PBI’s Law Firm Pro Bono Project recently released its annual Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® Report, which examines the pro bono activities of Challenge signatories.

A notable highlight from 2016 was the jump in charitable giving to legal services organizations. The average firm donation last year was $503,875, the highest average donation in the Challenge’s history, and a 9.4% increase over 2015, when the average donation per firm was reported as $460,660.

We applaud those firms and attorneys who not only gave their time but also contributed dollars to local and other legal services organizations. Firm contributions are critical to maintaining an effective pipeline and support network for legal services programs, and, in return for law firm pro bono efforts. They, however, on their own absent government and other support, will never comprise full funding for legal services.  Now more than ever before, we must remain vigilant and fully engaged in the fight for government funding for civil legal aid for the poor.

Check out the complete Challenge Report, including analysis of the data, l information regarding firm size and pro bono, detailed graphs, and more. Watch this space for more highlights from this year’s Challenge Report, and tune into to the Law Firm Project’s discussion of the Report and the “State of Pro Bono” on our podcast, the Pro Bono Happy Hour.

If your firm of 50 or more lawyers would like to join the Challenge, please contact Law Firm Pro Bono Project Assistant Elysse DeRita.

June 26, 2017

It’s Pro Bono Podcast Monday

Need a side of listening material with your Seattle coffee? Don’t miss the latest episode of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project’s podcast, the Pro Bono Happy Hour, featuring Leah Medway of Perkins Coie*†. Leah talks to us about her career, the firm’s pro bono program, the access to justice culture in Seattle, the documentary “The Chance for a New Life — The Sara Kruzan Story,” and more.

Subscribe to the Pro Bono Happy Hour on Apple Podcasts and be sure to leave a review! We’d appreciate the feedback and it would help us expand the conversation about access to justice. The podcast is also available on YouTube. Links to all of our episodes can be found here.

Listen along and let us know what you think. Send your comments, thoughts, feedback, questions, and suggestions to probono@probonoinst.org. Be warned: we might just read them on the air.

* denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® signatory
† denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Project® member

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