The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel
June 7, 2012
CBS Corporation’s pro bono program involves lawyers and legal staff in New York, Pittsburgh, and Los Angeles. Members of the legal department undertake a great diversity of pro bono projects, including providing assistance to victims of domestic violence, staffing clinics for homeless people, and helping veterans apply for Combat Related Special Compensation. The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel recently published an interview with CBS Executive Vice President and General Counsel Louis J. Briskman and Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel Laurie Nicole Robinson, who discuss the legal department’s program in detail.
Editor: What led you to start the CBS Law Department’s Pro Bono Program?
Briskman: In 2004-2005, I served as the general counsel of Aetna. When I arrived, I was impressed with the fact that the legal department had an extraordinary existing pro bono program. The program was effective, and I witnessed firsthand the high level of commitment and participation of the attorneys in helping those who could not afford legal services. While there, I personally had an opportunity to work on a pro bono matter, which involved appearing in family court in Connecticut to represent my client. This experience reaffirmed to me the value and contributions of providing pro bono legal services.
At Aetna, we also partnered with the Pro Bono Institute, which is headquartered in Washington, DC and headed by Esther Lardent. The Institute has tirelessly helped to lead the way in engaging in-house legal departments and law firms to provide legal services to the poor, disadvantaged and other individuals or groups unable to secure legal assistance.”