The PBEye

Pro Bono As We See It

Clinic in a Box® Program

November 18, 2015

Many Milestones Celebrated at the ACC Annual Meeting Pro Bono Clinic

2015 ACC Annual MeetingLast month, 22 in-house counsel from the Boston area, around the country, and Argentina participated in CPBO’s Clinic in a Box® Program – Select Topic, co-hosted by the Northeast ACC Chapter, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo*†, and The Lawyers Clearinghouse. The clinic focused on select policies important for local nonprofit organizations: Equal Employment Opportunity Policy, Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy, Sick Leave Policy (reflects new law effective July 1, 2015), and Parental Leave Policy (reflects expanded law effective April 7, 2015).

ACCAMclinic 1During the first half of the clinic, Mintz Levin attorneys provided training. Armed with the necessary information, volunteers then split into teams to meet with representatives of nine local nonprofit organizations to review checklists regarding each of the four policies, revise existing policies and draft new policies, depending upon the clients’ needs.

Nonprofit organizations attending the clinic provide a wide range of services to the community, including aiding victims of domestic and sexual violence, supporting South Sudanese immigrants and their families, and feeding those in the Boston area who might otherwise go without food.

The attending clients and acc am15 clinic 2volunteers provided tremendous feedback on their experience. Clients stated that the clinic was “incredibly helpful” and the volunteers were “patient” and “wonderful to work with,” while volunteers found the clinic to be very rewarding and a “wonderful experience.” One volunteer remarked how she loved not just how much she learned, but that what she learned was able to be put to “immediate good use.”

The clinic marked several milestones. It was the fifth Clinic in a Box® program co-hosted by the Northeast ACC Chapter in as many years (to read about the previous clinics, see “Back in Beantown, Serving Pro Bono,” “ACC-Northeast Clinic in a Box Program: The Gift of Pro Bono Legal Services,”Pro Bono Through the Fog,” and “Boston Pro Bono Clinic a Smashing Success”). In addition, it was the fifteenth pro bono clinic hosted at an ACC Annual Meeting. Over the years, more than 280 in-house acc am15 clinic 3counsel have volunteered at those 15 clinics and assisted more than 100 clients.

To read more about past CPBO Clinic in a Box® programs, please click here. To learn more about hosting a Clinic in a Box® program or about in-house pro bono, please contact CPBO Director Eve Runyon.

 

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

November 12, 2015

Verizon’s Pro Bono Signal Receives Great Reception

Hnj sealot on the heels of the Verizon Communications Inc.** Clinic in a Box® program in Dallas, CPBO packed its bags for Verizon’s headquarters in New Jersey for the second of three Clinic in a Box® Programs – Legal Audit co-hosted with Verizon and its pro bono partner DLA Piper*† this fall.

Verizon, once again, opened its doors to other companies to participate and was joined by volunteers from Prudential Financial, Inc.**, as well as members of ACC New Jersey Chapter from a variety of legal departments in the area. The 21 volunteers attended a 90-minute training led by expert attorneys from DLA Piper and then met in teams to conduct a legal audit of local nonprofits.  During the legal audit, volunteers reviewed a 10-step legal checklist, covering five key areas of law relevant to nonprofit organizations: governance, employment, intellectual property, real estate, and tax.

nj clinic pic1Volunteers helped to ensure the nonprofit clients that attended the clinic operate in good legal health and can continue providing crucial services to the local community, such as advocacy for abused and neglected children, support for female victims of domestic violence, and programs for children with special needs.

Feedback received at the end of clinic from clients and volunteers was extremely positive. One client stated that the clinic would help them to focus their efforts for the following year, while at least one volunteer noted the clinic was “valuable, rewarding, and informative.”

The PBEye looks forward to reporting on
Vnj clinic pic2erizon’s final clinic of the year, scheduled for December in Washington, D.C.  In the meantime, those interested in reading more about past CPBO Clinic in a Box® programs, should click here. To learn more about hosting a Clinic in a Box® program or about in-house pro bono, please contact CPBO Director Eve Runyon.

 

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

October 6, 2015

Eisai Kicks Off its Pro Bono Program

On September 18, Eisai Inc. launched its pro bono program with a Clinic in a Box® Program – Legal Audit and a session devoted to access to justice. Hosted at its headquarters in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, the launch coincided with a legal department-wide meeting and was attended by Executive Vice President and General Counsel Allen Waxman, attorneys, paralegals, patent specialists, administrators, and others from around the country. Engaging its legal department in pro bono legal services is a natural fit for Eisai, which prides itself on “a tradition of genuine concern for people.”

Eisai client meetingThe Clinic in a Box® Program – Legal Audit was co-hosted by CPBO and Day Pitney* and attended by local nonprofits invited by United Way of Northern New Jersey.  After a one-and-a-half hour training session covering governance, employment, intellectual property, tax, and real estate, the volunteers met in teams with their clients. The attending nonprofit clients provide a variety of critical services to the local community, including helping homeless families who are in need of shelter, food, and support. In response to a survey after the clinic, one client wrote: “Wonderful lawyers and kind, caring, humanitarians! Thanks to the management of Eisai for the support of this outreach to nonprofits. Excellent feedback and sincere interest in our mission. Thank you very much!”

The Eisai pro bono program is led by five dedicated individuals, who worked with the co-hosts for several months to plan the clinic and who were joined by several colleagues for a session on access to justice, hosted by CPBO. The session started with a poverty simulation, followed by presentations on the chasm in access to justice and the role of pro bono. To hear first-hand the impact pro bono can have on a client’s life,
participants watched the speech of Aimee Sherrod, an Air Force veteran who secured military benefits with pro Eisai access to justice photobono assistance. The session ended with a discussion of the options and opportunities available to in-house counsel and their department colleagues to utilize their skills and fulfill their professional responsibility to assist those unable to afford legal counsel.

The PBEye congratulates Eisai on this important step and looks forward to reporting on its future pro bono efforts! Those interested in reading more about in-house pro bono opportunities, including past CPBO Clinic in a Box® programs, should click here. To learn more about hosting a Clinic in a Box® program or about in-house pro bono, please contact CPBO Director Eve Runyon.

Eisai Group Photo

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

September 25, 2015

Verizon Connects with Pro Bono in Dallas

This year, VDallas Skylineerizon Communications Inc.** is celebrating the five-year anniversary of its pro bono program, and what better way to celebrate pro bono than with more pro bono? The department has planned to host Clinic in a Box® programs in three of its locations across the country this fall.

On September 17, CPBO packed its bags and headed to Dallas to co-host the first Clinic in a Box® program with Verizon, Texas C-Bar, and DLA Piper*†. The clinic engaged 16 volunteers from Verizon’s legal department and several others across the surrounding area in providing a legal audit to local nonprofits.

After a one-and-a-half hour training session led by expert attorneys from DLA Piper, covering key areas of law relevant to nonprofit organizations, the volunteers went to work by meeting in teams to conduct a legal audit of each organization through the review of a 10-step checklist. After the clinic, many of the volunteers reported that they felt great about the experience and appreciated that they were able to help the organizations that attended.

The nonprofit clients that attended the clinic provide critical services to the local community, such as helping women achieve economic independence andDallas Clinic picture providing shelters for victims of domestic violence. By using their unique skillset as in-house counsel to provide assistance to nonprofit organizations, the volunteers helped to ensure that these organizations continue to operate in good legal health, thereby helping to sustain their vital work.

Those interested in reading more about in-house pro bono opportunities, including past CPBO Clinic in a Box® programs, should click here. To learn more about hosting a Clinic in a Box® program or about in-house pro bono, please contact CPBO Director Eve Runyon.

 

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

August 5, 2015

CPBO to Co-Host Clinic in a Box® Program – Nonprofit Policies at the 2015 ACC Annual Meeting

2015 ACC Annual MeetingOn Monday, October 19, CPBO will once again join ACC Northeast, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo*†, and The Lawyers Clearinghouse to co-host a Clinic in a Box® program. For the first time at an ACC Annual meeting, CPBO will utilize its new Clinic in a Box® Program – Select Topic model, which has a similar format and structure to the traditional model, but focuses on a specific topic rather than a broad legal audit of attending client organizations. The clinic will focus on anti-discrimination issues and the following important policies for nonprofits: Equal Employment Opportunity Policy and Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy.

The clinic will begin with a one and a half hour training session led by the expert attorneys from Mintz Levin. Volunteers will then meet in teams to assist the clients in drafting policies so that they may be implemented immediately. The entire clinic is three and a half hours and provides a great opportunity to aid organizations that may otherwise be unable to afford such assistance. For more information, see Clinic in a Box® Program – Nonprofit Policies FAQs.

Registration is required to volunteer. If you are attending the 2015 ACC Annual Meeting and would like to attend the clinic, please register by using the meeting registration portal. If you are interested in volunteering, but are not attending the meeting, please contact CPBO Project Assistant Josh Lefebvre for registration details.

To find out more about the Clinic in a Box® program, other CPBO events at the 2015 ACC Annual Meeting, or how to schedule a time to meet with CPBO while at the Annual Meeting, please contact CPBO Director Eve Runyon. We look forward to seeing you in Boston!

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

July 24, 2015

In-House Pro Bono in Chicago

Last week,chicago bean CPBO returned to Chicago to meet with in-house pro bono leaders from the metro area as well as co-host the annual ACC Chicago Clinic in a Box® program with the ACC Chicago Chapter, DLA Piper*†, and the Law Project.

First, CPBO met with local in-house pro bono leaders to discuss ways to build and improve in-house pro bono programs and to share recent developments in in-house pro bono.  Hosted by Aon Corporation**, attendees talked about how they can collaborate to further expand in-house pro bono and assist those in need.

Early the next day, at the offices of DLA Piper, CPBO welcomed 54 attorneys and professional staff from legal departments throughout Chicagoland, who were eager to assist 15 of the area’s local nonprofits. To prepare for the clinic, the volunteers, who came with a wide variety of practice experience, began the day with an hour and a half training session led by attorneys from DLA Piper, covering five areas of law relevant to nonprofit organizations. Volunteers then worked in teams to conduct a legal audit of their assigned client, identifying issues of concern and providing guidance as needed.

Through providing legal assistance to these nonprofits, the volunteers have helped ensure the services that these organizations offer to the community — ranging from support for senior citizens to employment services to local arts programming — can be sustained.  One client expressed great appreciation for the “detailed and practical information” and another remarked that the takeaways from the clinic will “truly enhance the operations of [the] organization.” Congratulations to the volunteers for their dedication to increasing access to justice!

Those interested in reading more about in-house pro bono training opportunities, including past CPBO Clinic in a Box® programs, should click here and here. To learn more about hosting a Clinic in a Box® program or about in-house pro bono, please contact CPBO Director Eve Runyon.

 

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

**denotes a Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatory

May 12, 2015

Nonprofit Legal Education Series Going Strong in Central Ohio

On April 29, ACC Central Ohio Chapter, United Way of Central Ohio (UWCO), Barnes & Thornburg*†, and CPBO co-hosted the third in a series of free legal education programs for nonprofits, which the co-hosts developed as a supplement to CPBO’s Clinic in a Box® program.

The topic of discussion included leases and other real estate issues. Presenters Laing P. Akers, of counsel, Barnes & Thornburg; Janice L. Gresko, managing counsel, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company**; Jason Kirkham, senior counsel, real estate & procurement, Exel Inc.; Paul Nesbitt, senior corporation counsel, American Cancer Society, Inc.; and Kate Steffy, assistant general counsel, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, provided important information on legal issues related to tenant rights and obligations, insurance, landlord and tenant defaults and remedies, financing, and more.  Following the presentation, interested attendees met with volunteer attorneys who provided brief advice on real estate matters specific to their organizations.

Central Ohio series 3

When developing this series, the co-hosts understood that their efforts would bring needed assistance to nonprofit organizations unable to afford legal services. The series has also benefited the co-hosts. According to ACC Central Ohio Chapter Pro Bono Committee Co-chair Eric Henricks, the program “is drawing in some volunteers that may not be as closely involved with the ACC chapter, and allows them to be more closely connected to the chapter. It allows those volunteers to be an expert in a different setting, which supports career growth.” Bill Nolan, managing partner of Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Ohio office, adds “We continue to enjoy playing a small part in this great collaboration to educate Central Ohio nonprofits on legal issues of importance to them. The program supplements direct pro bono service efforts by strengthening the organizations that directly provide services, and is a good way to get more of our lawyers involved in pro bono and community efforts.”

Once again, The PBEye congratulates the co-hosts on a successful program and looks forward to reporting on future installments in the series! In-house pro bono leaders interested in co-hosting a Clinic in a Box® program or developing a legal education or similar program should contact CPBO Director Eve Runyon.

December 18, 2014

Back in Beantown, Serving Pro Bono

On December 10,boston the Association of Corporate Counsel-Northeast Chapter (ACC-Northeast), with CPBO, the Lawyers Clearinghouse, and Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, and Popeo*†, co-hosted the first advanced Clinic in a Box®  program.  The advanced version follows a similar format and structure to the traditional model but focuses on a select topic of the law as it is relevant to the clients, either nonprofits or small businesses.

Hosted in Mintz Levin’s Boston office, this was the fourth annual Clinic in a Box® program co-hosted by the firm, CPBO, and ACC-Northeast. (The PBEye featured stories about previous programs in 2011, 2012, and 2013.) Over three years, more than 110 ACC-Northeast members conducted legal audits of 40 local nonprofit organizations, issue spotting and providing advice on matters of governance, employment, intellectual property, real estate, and tax. This year, ACC-Northeast was eager to expand its prior success and worked with the other co-hosts to develop a unique program that combines the successful aspects of the traditional model but offers a new opportunity to engage volunteers and assist the community.

The response to the new Clinic in a Box® program – Nonprofit Policies showed that the co-hosts’ instincts were correct, both in terms of client needs and volunteer interests, as 23 in-house counsel volunteers assisted eight nonprofit organizations. The clinic began with a one and a half hour training session led by the expert attorneys from Mintz Levin. Volunteers then met in teams to assist the clients in drafting nonprofit policies regarding conflicts of interest, whistleblower, and written information security program (WISP). The local nonprofit organizations, offering services ranging anywhere from assistance for victims of sexual and domestic violence to assisting homeless families to funding for rare cancer research, were thrilled to leave the clinic with new written policies for their organizations in hand, with many remarking how “friendly and knowledgeable” the volunteers were.

CPBO would like to thank the co-hosts for their hard work and dedication to developing and hosting this new Clinic in a Box® program – Nonprofit Policies and looks forward working together again. To learn more about co-hosting a Clinic in a Box® program, contact CPBO Director Eve Runyon.

 

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

December 5, 2014

A Great Pro Bono Lesson

On November 19, CPBO, oh1Central Ohio ACC Chapter (CO-ACC), United Way of Central Ohio, (UWCO), and Barnes & Thornburg*† co-hosted the second in a series of free legal education programs for nonprofits that are UWCO member agencies. This series was inspired by the Clinic in a Box® program, and provides critical legal information to nonprofit organizations in the Columbus, Ohio area that are unable to afford legal services by engaging local in-house counsel who are eager to share their knowledge and skills with organizations in their community.  The topic of the November 19 program was nonprofit governance. Nearly two dozen representatives of UWCO member agencies attended the event.

To start, Nathan Holschuh, pro bono committee chair, CO-ACC, and Jawana Richardson, assistant vice president of accountability and operations, UWCOoh2, welcomed the attendees to the program.  Presenters Veronica Bennu, managing counsel, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company**, Rhonda Comer, senior vice president and general counsel, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and Julie Veldman, associate, Barnes & Thornburg, then spoke about the legal aspects of nonprofit governance, including best practices relating to boards of directors and governance documents as well as compliance with IRS and Ohio legal requirements.

Following the presentation, attendees were given the new option of meeting individually with volunteer attorneys to receive brief advice on governance issues specific to their organizations. At least a fourth of the nonprofit attendees did so.

oh3The PBEye congratulates the co-hosts on another successful program and looks forward to reporting on future installments in the series!   In-house pro bono leaders interested in co-hosting a Clinic in a Box® program or developing a legal education or similar program can contact CPBO Director Eve Runyon.

 

† denotes a Member of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project
* denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® signatory
**denotes a Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatory

November 19, 2014

Interested in Co-Hosting a 2015 Clinic in a Box® Program?

CCIB imagealling all legal departments and ACC chapters interested in co-hosting a Clinic in a Box® program in 2015 – the time to select a date and begin planning is now! An off-the-shelf model used by legal departments and ACC chapters around the country, with the support of CPBO, law firms, and public interest organizations, the Clinic in a Box® program offers in-house counsel and their colleagues the opportunity to guide a local nonprofit organization or small business through an assessment of its legal health, providing meaningful services to organizations in need.

CPBO’s Clinic in a Box® program is a popular way to engage in-house counsel in pro bono and assist local nonprofit organizations or small businesses. By the close of 2014, CPBO will have co-hosted 53 clinics, during which more than 1,500 in-house attorneys have participated and more than 500 clients have been helped. In total, these organizations assist hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries.

2015 is fast approaching and the calendar will fill up fast. Whether selecting the full-service or limited-support license, proper planning and preparation requires four to five months. To secure your preferred date and ensure sufficient time to make the clinic a success, please contact CPBO Director Eve Runyon.