Search our archives on in-house pro bono news.

LexisNexis Launches Program to Assist Deferred Law Firm Hires

May 19, 2009

LexisNexis, a Signatory to the Corporate Pro Bono Challenge℠, has launched the LexisNexis® Associates Serving Public Interests Research (ASPIRE) program in response to the growing number of law firms that are delaying the start dates of new associates. As a way to make the transitional year more effective, ASPIRE extends complimentary access to LexisNexis services, including federal and state case law as well as online training materials, to those associates who elect to work at a public interest organization during their deferral time. ASPIRE will help equip these associates with the necessary tools to flourish in the non-profit field.

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Esther Lardent Featured in City Bar Panel on International Pro Bono

May 12, 2009

On Thursday, April 2, 2009, Esther F. Lardent, President and CEO of the Pro Bono Institute, participated in an International Pro Bono Opportunities panel at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (City Bar). Facilitated by the City Bar’s Pro Bono and Legal Services Committee, along with Ms. Lardent, panel members included Edwin Rekosh, Executive Director of the Public Interest Law Institute and Jean Berman of the International Senior Lawyers Project, among others. Madeleine Schachter, Special Counsel, Pro Bono at Baker & McKenzie LLP, moderated the panel.

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A Commitment to Service: The Right Place/The Right Time

May 1, 2009

Earlier this month, I participated in two moving events that, while not directly related to pro bono service as we in the legal profession would define it, provided important lessons and opportunities for the future of pro bono.  On May 18, I traveled to Boston to see my friend and mentor Brooksley Born receive one of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library’s Profile in Courage awards.  Created in 1989 by members of President Kennedy’s family, the award annually honors public servants who have demonstrated the political courage to do what is right, rather than what is expedient.  In addition to highlighting the work of extraordinary women in Nigeria who brought peace and a freely-elected government to that troubled nation, this year’s awards went to two lawyers – Brooksley, who served as Chair of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission in the late 1990’s and Sheila Bair, now Chairman of the FDIC.  Both issued unpopular warnings about, respectively, unregulated financial contracts, such as derivatives and credit default swaps, and the dangers of the subprime lending bubble in housing – two conditions that were responsible, in great part, for the current economic meltdown.  These two women dared to defy conventional wisdom, as voiced by the most powerful and respected government officials in the administration and Congress, and, in doing so, faced unease, resistance, and even enmity in the political and business spheres.

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2009 Corporate Pro Bono Roundtable and Networking Dinner Highlights

April 22, 2009

The Roundtable and Networking Dinner hosted on March 5, 2009, during the 2009 Forum for In-house Corporate Pro Bono again presented some of the most valuable sessions for in-house counsel starting, developing and expanding their legal pro bono programs. The sessions dealt with many of the challenges corporate legal departments’ pro bono programs are facing in the current economy and offered an informal and friendly environment for in-house counsel to exchange information and ideas on in-house pro bono.

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Inside Counsel Highlights Corporate Pro Bono Efforts – Paying It Forward

February 1, 2009

One indication of the increased pro bono involvement of legal departments is the cover story of the February 2009 Inside Counsel magazine, which features a detailed piece on pro bono by in-house counsel – “Paying it Forward.” The article includes a thought-provoking interview with the President and CEO of the Pro Bono Institute, Esther F. Lardent, and highlights the tremendous breakthroughs corporations have made in the provision of pro bono services and the numerous benefits they have gained from developing pro bono projects. The innovative and well-crafted pro bono programs of several Corporate Pro Bono Challenge℠ Signatories were highlighted:

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PECO Legal Department to Receive Citizens Bank Pro Bono Award

December 11, 2008

The Awards Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation has chosen the winner of the Citizens Bank Pro Bono Award for 2008 to be presented at the 30th Anniversary Andrew Hamilton Gala on November 1, 2008. The recipient of this prestigious award is the PECO Legal Department for demonstrating outstanding volunteer efforts in providing legal services to those in need. PECO is the first corporate legal department to receive the Award.

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Kids in Need of Defense (KIND): Microsoft and Angelina Jolie Galvanize Legal Community in New Initiative to Protect Unaccompanied Children

December 11, 2008

Imagine that you are fifteen years old, and you have made the painful decision to flee your home country because your parents have abused you for years and no one has come to your aid.  You reach the United States, but instead of finding safety you are placed in a jail cell.  You don’t speak English.  The guards do not speak Spanish.  No one seems to care if you live or die.  You then must go to immigration court – alone – terrified what the judge will decide.  Will you be allowed to stay in the U.S., or will you be sent back to face the dangers in your home country? 

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McGuireWoods and AOL Honored for Pro Bono Collaboration

December 3, 2008

McGuireWoods LLP and AOL have been selected by the Northern Virginia Pro Bono Law Center as the joint recipients of the “Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year.” The award was presented at the Fairfax Bar Association’s annual State of the Judiciary Luncheon held earlier this week at The Country Club of Fairfax.

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South African Pro Bono Work Grows Incrementally

November 20, 2008

In a sign of the growth of pro bono in South Africa, a legal services organization has recently developed a weekly clinic to provide pro bono services to poor and disadvantaged people living with HIV/AIDS in Johannesburg.  The growth of pro bono in South Africa has been motivated in part by the recognition of the continuing gap in access to justice as the country deals with the residual effects of apartheid.  At the 2007 launch of ProBono.Org, a non-profit clearinghouse for public interest legal matters, attendees questioned how attorneys who are struggling themselves can make time for pro bono.

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