The PBEye

Pro Bono As We See It

Clinic in a Box® Program

October 30, 2014

With the Clinic in a Box® Program, Verizon Has Great Reception

Verizon Communications, Inc.** plVZNJ 2ugged into pro bono again this month, hosting its sixth Clinic in a Box® program on October 16 at its headquarters in Basking Ridge, N.J., in collaboration with CPBO and DLA Piper *†. During the clinic, 13 Verizon volunteers assisted six local nonprofits that provide a wide range of services essential to the community, including youth advocacy, support for victims of domestic violence, and services for displaced children. By providing this opportunity for legal assistance to these organizations, Verizon has helped in making sure these organizations can continue to provide invaluable services to the community.

Many of the clients expressed how thrilled they were to receive help from such engaged volunteers and were happy to leave with “to-do lists” from the lawyers they met with that day. The volunteers were also happy to help, with many finding the experience not just personally rewarding but also a great opportunity to engage with other Verizon lawyers with whom they may not work on a day-to-day basis.

The success of VZNJ 1this clinic comes hot off the heels of the Clinic in a Box® program that Verizon hosted last month, which served nonprofit organizations from the D.C. metro area. It was at that clinic that John Frantz, Verizon vice president and assistant general counsel as well as chair of Verizon’s Pro Bono Committee, remarked how much Verizon’s pro bono efforts have grown since the company hosted its first Clinic in a Box® program just four years ago.

The Clinic in a Box® program is a time-limited pro bono opportunity that allows in-house lawyers and other legal department staff to work together to provide meaningful assistance to organizations that serve the local community. 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, contact CPBO Director Eve Runyon.

 

** denotes 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 3, 2014

Verizon Connects to Pro Bono with a Clinic in a Box® Program

OVerizonn September 16, Verizon Communications, Inc.** co-hosted its fifth Clinic in a Box® program. Along with co-hosts CPBO, DLA Piper *†, and the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program, Verizon held the clinic in its downtown D.C. offices. During the clinic, nearly 40 lawyers and other professional staff from the company’s metro area offices assisted 11 local nonprofits.

John Frantz, Verizon vice president and assistant general counsel and chair of Verizon’s Pro Bono Committee, welcomed the volunteers to the clinic and noted that it had been four years since Verizon hosted its first Clinic in a Box® program, then in Arlington, Va., which was also the first pro bono event the department sponsored. Verizon’s pro bono program has grown dramatically in the time since and co-hosting periodic Clinic in a Box® programs is now just one of many of Verizon’s pro bono efforts.

After welcome remarks from each of the co-hosts, the clinic began with an hour and a half training session led by expert attorneys from DLA Piper, covering areas of law relevant to nonprofit organizations. The Verizon volunteers then met in teams to conduct a legal audit of each organization. During the meetings, volunteers reviewed a legal audit checklist, developed by CPBO and tailored by DLA Piper to D.C., Maryland, and Virginia law. The volunteers identified issues of concern and provided guidance to the nonprofit clients as needed.

Verizon 2The clients remarked not only on the breadth of issues covered at the clinic but how the assistance offered by the Clinic in a Box® program is “crucial in the nonprofit arena” and provides vital resources to the greater community. The nonprofits served during the clinic supply a wide range of services, including assistance to victims of domestic violence, employment support and career education for low-income women, as well as educational programs to tackle underage drinking and drunk driving.

The PBEye is pleased to report on the impact of the clinic on the community’s nonprofits, as well as the ongoing pro bono participation of Verizon’s legal department. The Clinic in a Box® program is a time-limited pro bono opportunity that allows in-house lawyers and other department staff to work together to provide meaningful assistance to organizations that serve the local community. 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, contact CPBO Director Eve Runyon.

** denotes Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatory

August 12, 2014

Learn to Co-host a Clinic in a Box® Program with CPBO

ACC AM 14

If you’re headed to this year’s ACC Annual Meeting in the Big Easy, make sure to check out CPBO’s training session on Wednesday, October 29 to learn how to co-host a Clinic in a Box® program!

Developed by CPBO, the Clinic in a Box® program is an off-the-shelf legal audit clinic hosted by legal departments and ACC chapters, in partnership with CPBO, law firms, and public interest organizations.  During the clinic, in-house counsel work in teams to provide legal advice to local nonprofit organizations or small businesses.  Volunteers also earn CLE credit while they obtain training prior to the client meetings.  To date, CPBO has co-hosted 50 Clinic in a Box® programs across the country with ACC chapters and legal departments.  

By attending the training program at the ACC Annual Meeting, attendees will learn the ins and outs of planning and hosting a Clinic in a Box® program, which will qualify them to obtain a reduced-price license. CPBO offers licenses to legal departments and ACC chapters.

Please note that attendees will be learning how to host a clinic, not participating in one, and there is a separate fee of $500 to participate in this program.

Register for the session by October 1 to receive more information, including payment instructions.  We look forward to seeing you there!

 

August 5, 2014

Pro Bono Blows into the Windy City!

Pro bono is alive and well in Chicago! On July 25, CPBO, the Chicago ACC Chapter, DLA Piper*, and The Law Project co-hosted a Clinic in a Box® program for in-house volunteers from the Chicago ACC Chapter, marking CPBO’s 50th Clinic in a Box® program to date. The Chicago ACC Chapter alone has co-hosted six of these programs, making it an annual event for the chapter.

Held at DLA Piper, the Clinic attracted lawyers and other professional staff from legal departments throughout the Chicago area. The program began with an hour and a half training session led by expert attorneys from DLA Piper, covering areas of law relevant to nonprofit organizations. Following the training, volunteers from the Chicago ACC Chapter met in teams of three to four with the nonprofit clients to conduct a legal audit of each organization. During the meetings, volunteers reviewed a legal audit checklist, developed by CPBO and tailored to Illinois state law by DLA Piper. The volunteers identified issues of concern and provided guidance to the nonprofit clients as needed.

The clients not only remarked on the breadth of issues covered at the Clinic but also how they were able to ask “very specific questions and [receive] excellent responses.” These services better assist the organizations as they provide vital resources to the greater community. The nonprofits served during the Clinic provide a wide range of services, including assistance to victims of domestic violence, community art programs for children and local artists, as well as maternal and child health services.  The PBEye is pleased that this year’s Chicago ACC Chapter Clinic in a Box® program was a great success for pro bono and the community’s nonprofits. We look forward to what next year’s event will bring!

The Clinic in a Box® program is a time-limited pro bono opportunity that allows in-house lawyers and other department staff to work together to provide meaningful assistance to organizations that serve the local community. If your legal department is interested in co-hosting a Clinic in a Box® program, contact Eve Runyon, director of CPBO, for more information.

 

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

July 1, 2014

United to Give Back

ohio1
On June 23, CPBO, Central Ohio ACC Chapter (CO-ACC), United Way of Central Ohio (UWCO), and Barnes & Thornburg*† co-hosted a free legal education program in Columbus, Ohio, for UWCO member agencies on hiring and firing. The concept for the event sprung from a Clinic in a Box® program co-hosted by the same organizations in May 2013 that The PBEye reported on in OH, What a View!  At that clinic, Eric Henricks, assistant general counsel at Nationwide Insurance** and past chair of CO-ACC’s pro bono committee, saw the potential for CO-ACC members to continue assisting UWCO member nonprofits throughout the year, not just as the result of the occasional clinic.  UWCO leadership was interested in the idea, as were the other co-hosts.  That began a year-long process of conversations, research, and planning that resulted in a wildly successful program that all hope will be the first in a series.

Like many communities, Columbus is home to many nonprofit organizations that provide critical services but are financially strapped. UWCO provides tremendous support but not legal services. At the same time, there are many in-house counsel eager to utilize their skills to provide pro bono legal services. The job of the co-hosts was to determine the best manner in which to provide assistance. To do so, UWCO and CO-ACC surveyed its members and the co-hosts spent time analyzing and brainstorming. Based on survey responses, hosting a legal educational program focused on specific legal needs was a clear winner, which turned out to be true!  Approximately 50 representatives of UWCO member agencies attended the one and a half hour presentation on hiring and firing by in-house counsel and CO-ACC members Beth Spain, assistant counsel at Honda North America, Inc., and Jill Fridley, counsel at United Retirement Plan Consultants, along with Amy Ita and Bill Nolan from Barnes & Thornburg.

The PBEye looks forward to reporting on future events hosted by CO-ACC, UWCO, and Barnes & Thornburg. Those at ACC chapters interested in co-hosting a Clinic in a Box® program or developing a program similar to the legal education program, contact CPBO Director Eve Runyon.

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From left to right: Nathan Holschuh (Emerson Network Power and chair of Central Ohio ACC Chapter’s pro bono committee) and presenters Beth Spain (Honda North America, Inc.), Jill Fridley (United Retirement Plan Consultants), Amy Ita (Barnes & Thornburg), and Bill Nolan (Barnes & Thornburg).

 

† denotes a Member of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project

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

February 25, 2014

ACC-SoCal Volunteers Support Nonprofits

CPBO, the Southern California ACC Chapter, Snell & Wilmer*, and Public Law Center recently co-hosted a Clinic in a Box® program at Snell & Wilmer’s Costa Mesa office. The program brought together volunteer attorneys from nearby legal departments, including BNY Mellon**, Bank of America Corporation**, and Verizon Communications Inc.** This is the second clinic that ACC-SoCal has hosted in the past six months and CPBO’s first of 2014.

Snell & Wilmer began the program with a presentation on areas of law relevant to nonprofit organizations. After the presentation, the in-house volunteer lawyers gathered in teams to conduct a legal audit of the participating nonprofits. The legal assessment covered several issues related to nonprofit management, including governance, employment, tax, intellectual property, and real estate.

The participating nonprofits provide a vast range of services to improve local communities, such as supporting veterans, providing transitional housing, and offering nutrition assistance to low-income families. The client representatives in attendance were very thankful for the knowledgeable volunteer support and look forward to continuing the conversation.

To learn more about the Clinic in a Box® program, contact CPBO Director Eve Runyon.

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

December 24, 2013

ACC-Northeast Clinic in a Box Program: The Gift of Pro Bono Legal Services

PresentFor the third year in a row, CPBO, Association of Corporate Counsel-Northeast Chapter (ACC-Northeast), Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, and Popeo*†, and The Lawyers Clearinghouse celebrated the season of giving by hosting a Clinic in a Box® Program to provide pro bono legal services to local nonprofit organizations. Once again, Mintz Levin generously hosted the Clinic in its Boston office and members of ACC-Northeast turned out in force; more than 40 volunteers dedicated their time and legal expertise to assist 12 nonprofits.

As in past years, the Clinic began with a 90-minute training session led by attorneys from Mintz Levin on governance, employment, taxation, and other legal topics important to nonprofit operations. After the training session, ACC-Northeast members met in small teams with an assigned local nonprofit to conduct a legal audit.

Volunteer attorneys came from a wide variety of companies, including the 2013 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox, Biogen Idec Inc., Boston Scientific Corporation, Liberty Mutual Holding Company Inc., National Grid USA, and Reebok International Ltd. Several registered in-house counsel participated under Massachusetts’s newly effective practice rule governing in-house pro bono legal services.

The participating nonprofits provide many valuable services, such as funding research into rare and lesser known cancers, providing shelter and services to victims and survivors of domestic violence, and protecting the Assabet, Sudbury, and Concord Rivers.

Feedback from volunteers and clients alike was tremendously positive. One volunteer noted, “This was a great experience in that I was able to teach the client and learn at the same time.” A representative of one the clients said “Fantastic experience! Very helpful and user friendly!”

Cheers to the Boston in-house community, Mintz Levin, and The Lawyers Clearinghouse for continuing to co-host the Clinic and give the gift of pro bono legal services. And, here’s to continued success in 2014 and beyond!

Those interested in learning more about past CPBO Clinic in a Box® Programs should click here. You may also contact CPBO Director Eve Runyon to learn more about hosting a Clinic in a Box® Program.

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

November 5, 2013

A Monumental Month for CPBO and ACC Chapters

As a reader of The PBEye, you likely already know that CPBO works with ACC Chapters around the world on their pro bono efforts, from hosting Clinic in a BoxSM Programs to developing ongoing pro bono programs. Last month, CPBO had the pleasure of working with several Chapters in three cities across the U.S., as well as talking to other Chapters leaders from far and wide.

ACC Chicago
ILFirst, on October 11, CPBO, along with ACC Chicago, local in-house pro bono leaders, and DLA Piper*†, hosted an in-house pro bono event in Chicago. The event included a panel discussion on “The Ethics of In-House Pro Bono” and networking time for in-house counsel and public interest organizations. Broadcast online around Illinois, the event was attended by more than 130 in-house counsel, in-person and around the state. The event was a grand success not only because of the great turn-out. The panelists –  Thomas Sabatino, Jr., then-ACC Board Chair and executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of Walgreen Co.**, Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride, Traci Braun, associate general counsel at Exelon Corporation**, Peter Lindau, assistant general counsel at DLA Piper, and Eve Runyon, director of CPBO – engaged in a robust discussion about the ethics rules applicable to in-house pro bono, highlighting the recent Illinois practice rule amendment that removes restrictions on registered in-house counsel providing pro bono legal services. Since then, several legal departments have contacted CPBO to learn more about in-house pro bono.

ACC Charlotte
CLTNext, on October 16, Shannon Graving, assistant director of CPBO traveled south to speak at the Charlotte Chapter’s Pro Bono Awareness Luncheon. In-house counsel from a wide variety of Charlotte area legal departments came together to talk about pro bono efforts at their departments and the Chapter. Deborah Edwards, pro bono chair of the Charlotte Chapter and deputy general counsel at Piedmont Natural Gas Company, Inc., began the program by welcoming attendees and highlighting the Charlotte Chapter’s plans for increased pro bono efforts. Graving then led the group in a discussion about many of the issues of greatest concern to in-house counsel, particularly those new to in-house pro bono, including how to get started, multijurisdictional practice issues, professional liability insurance, budgets, and balancing pro bono and community service activities. Those in attendance with more in-house pro bono experience shared their tips and Graving provided information, in addition to CPBO resources.

ACC-SoCal
CAFinally, CPBO headed west to co-host a Clinic in a BoxSM Program at the ACC Annual Meeting with ACC-SoCal, Alston & Bird*†, and Public Counsel on October 28. During the clinic, 40 volunteer attorneys from around the country received training from Alston & Bird before meeting in teams to conduct a legal audit of 10 local nonprofit organizations. The legal assessment covered issues pertinent to nonprofits, including governance, employment, tax, intellectual property, and real estate. The local nonprofit organizations served a variety of communities, including children, senior citizens, and affinity neighborhoods.

In addition to these three great events, CPBO was pleased to speak with the many ACC Chapter leaders who stopped by the CPBO booth at the ACC Annual Meeting and looks forward to working with them all!

If you are interested in learning more about how CPBO can assist your ACC Chapter develop a pro bono program or become involved in pro bono related issues, contact CPBO Director Eve Runyon.

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

July 16, 2013

Windy City Three-peat

CPBO, the Chicago ACC Chapter, DLA Piper LLP*, and The Law Project recently co-hosted a Clinic in a BoxSM Program at DLA Piper’s Chicago office. The program brought together 49 volunteer attorneys and paralegals from 21 corporations, including CPBO ChallengeSM signatories Allstate Insurance Company**, Discover Financial Services**, Kaplan Higher Education**, Verizon Communications Inc.**, Walgreens Co.**, and West Monroe Partners, LLC**. This is the third consecutive year that ACC Chicago has hosted a Clinic, and their commitment to pro bono has never been stronger. Read about the previous clinics in 2011 and 2012.

The Clinic started with a series of training presentations given by DLA Piper lawyers on areas of law relevant to nonprofit organizations. After the presentations, the volunteers broke into small groups to meet with 13 nonprofit organizations and conduct a legal audit, focusing on governance, employment, tax, real estate, and intellectual property issues.

The participating nonprofits provide a vast range of services, such as running a local nursing home, providing housing for street children in India, advocating for underserved communities and individuals, housing, counseling, and encouraging interest in German and Scottish culture. Feedback from the clients was overwhelmingly positive.

To learn more about the Clinic in a BoxSM Program, or to inquire about hosting a Clinic, contact CPBO Director Eve Runyon.

Chicago Clinic

*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

Hat tip to PBI intern John Treat for his help with this post.

June 28, 2013

OH, What a View!

ohioOn May 30, the Barnes & Thornburg LLP*† Columbus, Ohio, office showcased much more than a scenic view of the city, thanks to a group of attorneys committed to pro bono. The firm, with the Central Ohio ACC Chapter, United Way of Central Ohio, and CPBO co-hosted the city’s second Clinic in a BoxSM Program, in which volunteer attorneys assisted local nonprofit organizations.

The Clinic attracted lawyers from a number of Columbus companies including Abbott Laboratories**, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company**, and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company.  They started their day with inspiring words from Nathan Holschuh, corporate counsel at Emerson Network Power on behalf of Central Ohio ACC, and Dawn Tyler, senior vice president of community impact at United Way of Central Ohio, followed by an hour and a half training session led by expert attorneys from Barnes & Thornburg, covering areas of law relevant to nonprofit organizations.  After the training session, the volunteer lawyers met in teams of two or three to conduct a legal audit of their assigned organizations utilizing a checklist developed by CPBO and tailored to Ohio state law by Barnes & Thornburg.  Topics include employment, governance, intellectual property, real estate, and tax.

The participating nonprofits provide immigrant and refugee assistance, youth services, and a variety of other community support initiatives to those in need in Columbus and outside communities.  Client feedback after the meetings includes, “very productive,”  “well done and very well worth the effort,” and “great event.”

To learn more about the Clinic in a BoxSM Program, or to inquire about hosting a Clinic, contact CPBO Director Eve Runyon.

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